Jan 13, 2015

Transparency Matters

By: Jacob Smith


If you work with A Brave New you can expect transparency in that work. That means we aren’t afraid to let you see how the sausage is made.

If Josh and I disagree about a possible strategic course, we don’t mind you seeing and even - gasp! - participating in our discussion as we work it out.

Why is transparency so important to us? It's pretty simple.  Without it you can’t have an authentic, mutual relationship. And we believe that authentic, mutual relationships are vital to success.

This plays out in all sorts of ways, but there are two ways that are especially important to me on the technology side: phantom developers, and “certified partner” relationships.

You will always know who is doing your development. I do a lot of that work, but I can't do it all and I have some really smart friends who I love working with. Whomever is doing the work, they will be involved in the project, not some shadowy behind the scenes figure.

Clients often want a dedicated writer or artist to learn to write in "their voice," but don’t understand the value of a developer who understands their technology and brand .(If you need convincing that technology matters to brand, read this post).

A Brave New developers are expected to create technology that is not only usable, but is also a beautiful fulfillment of your brand promise.

The second area where many agencies aren’t as transparent as they should be is with their certified partnerships. Of course each of these vary, but in general, any certification for a technology comes with strings attached.

Most of those strings are related to delivering a certain amount of business to the certifying partner. I believe this to be a conflict of interest.  It should be disclosed, but hardly ever is.

A certified partner may be recommending a technology because it’s best for your organization, or because they need to meet their quarterly target. That isn’t to say they aren’t trustworthy, or are trying to put one over on you, but it does mean there are other factors at play.

Does that mean that A Brave New will never be a certified partner? Not at all!  In fact, we are looking at becoming a certified AdWords and Google Analytics partner with Google.

What it does mean is that you can count on us to disclose our relationships with any technology providers if we are recommending that provider. This was something we did at Masterworks that I am proud to continue.

Transparency is vital to an authentically, mutual relationship. Those relationships are few and far between in the agency world, but we want to change that.

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