Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.
We created a new face for the website using Ackmann & Dickenson. Our platform needed to be clean, simple, and intuitive, allowing us to focus on new long-term business objectives and reach other markets. We wanted to drive more web traffic and tackle ongoing digital marketing using ad words. We plugged in Google Tag Manager and other tools which helped us drive marketing and enabled us to track who was visiting our site, know which pages performed most effectively, what documents were being downloaded, and so on. This platform allows us to track real data and know what's going on with our brand.
How did you come to work with Ackmann & Dickenson?
In the Twin Cities, we have access to one of the most highly-positioned markets for digital services, especially public relations marketing and development. Many large agencies have headquarters or branches here. I went through an extensive RFP process which was submitted to around 11 digital agencies, some of which I'd worked with previously. Many variables went into making this type of decision. Being a bank, we have a very long and political process, going through every risk and taking the due diligence for onboarding a new partner. It resulted in many meetings throughout the selection process.
I presented our options to the board and to some of our committees in the form of a 200-page document, including financials and due diligence. That being said, there was some very compelling competition to Ackmann & Dickenson, but they stood out on a level that was above any other agency with which I worked. I never saw such a smooth, transparent, and honest approach from any other firm.
Ackmann & Dickenson was one of the largest agencies to submit a proposal to us. They have a staff of 50 employees who have the talent to do the work quickly and not have us wait for things to be delivered. Other candidates averaged only 20-30 resources on the largest end. Having a large staff was a good indication that our project would be taken care of and not thrown under when a new client arrived. I have experienced this before and it's not very fun.
The main reason for choosing Ackmann & Dickenson – besides the fact that they were very approachable, honest, and had a good reputation – was that they offer all of the services which a marketing department would want to leverage in terms of digital capabilities, advertising, SEO, and so on.
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
Sorry, this is confidential.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started the initial proposal process in April of 2015. Ackmann & Dickenson was selected in May or June of that year. We gave them an express agreement and went through the due diligence required by the bank in order to move forward. Ackmann & Dickenson was very easy to work with and provided all the necessary information.
I needed to present Ackmann & Dickenson's whole security process to my company, from their Rackspace server to the internal data handling policies used by Ackmann & Dickenson. The contract was signed in October and we kicked-off in January 2016. The work was wrapped-up last week. We have a drawn-out process, and I wanted to have a lot of headway in order to create content and get everything in place. I know how stressful it can be to write thousands of words for a project like this and refine it. I was starting from scratch, given that the company didn't have a lot of material from the beginning. Ackmann & Dickenson turned everything around quickly, and anything that ever moved slowly was due to our team's process. It would have been a month-and-a-half project normally, but it turned into a three-month one due to us having to work with the bank and having to take care of operational matters.
We're in the process of creating a second retainer for Ackmann & Dickenson to deliver ongoing management and refinement. They will work with me in order to make the project worthwhile, adding new functionalities, helping us integrate online payments, and so on.