Digital Natives Group’s Jonathan Jacobs on Adding Value Through Collaboration

Digital Natives Group’s Jonathan Jacobs on Adding Value Through Collaboration

Tell us a little more about what that client collaboration looks like. Now we’ve got a grouping of images or graphics we can use to help create a more collaborative aesthetic. It’s no secret that collaborating across agencies can be difficult at times. When we hear what another agency or internal party is working on, we try to have the mindset of, “What is a way that we can create something that will add value to what they’re doing? For a lot of organizations or individuals we work with, it’s their first time investing in a digital agency and making a commitment to the digital space. In those cases we advocate for bi-weekly calls for sharing and discussing projects. So when a team is working on an offline program that doesn’t seem to have a digital activation, we can come in and say, “actually, if you’re able to capture some of those photo assets we can either amplify it after the fact online, or create a social campaign around it to help attract more individuals before the event even takes place.” We also encourage monthly roundups featuring the projects everyone is working on for the campaign. So showing them some of the projects and initiatives we’re working on might just spark an idea for further collaboration. On that note of transparency, at what point do you think it’s most important to connect and/or align with other project stakeholders? We’ve seen some of our best work come from collaboration early on in the process.

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#SproutPartner Jonathan Jacobs is Co-founder and Partner at Digital Natives Group—a digital marketing agency proudly located in “one of New York’s creative capitals,” Long Island City, NY.

The aptly named agency boasts an instinctive, inherent understanding of today’s connective technologies as a result of being “born into digital.”

We recently spoke with Jacobs about how he and DNG approach and accomplish effective collaboration with multiple client and partner stakeholders.

In your work at Digital Natives, where do you find the greatest need for collaboration?

For some of our clients, especially some of the larger organizations, there are a ton of different parties we need to collaborate across—whether it’s another digital agency, an internal party we don’t interface with as frequently or an outside PR agency. And although we consider all of our client relationships a partnership, we’ve got several clients that are pretty hands-on so collaboration in those cases is a must.

Tell us a little more about what that client collaboration looks like.

Our team produces content on a monthly basis, but on occasion our clients might have something they want to say, a link that’s of interest or an advocate they want to support. So we’ll have them go into the platform and save that content as a draft. At the end of the week we go in and take a look at everything, make sure everything is in the right brand voice with the right brand imagery and then we go ahead and queue it up.

We also use the shared Asset Library as a repository for visual inspiration. If our client happens to be a photographer or sees a graphic they like that they want us to recreate, they just drop it in the library. Now we’ve got a grouping of images or graphics we can use to help create a more collaborative aesthetic.

It’s no secret that collaborating across agencies can be difficult at times. With it being such an important part of your process, how do you ensure it’s more collaborative than competitive?

I think it’s important to remember the ultimate goal—to amplify each other’s work…

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