Choosing a digital agency or any kind of agency is very difficult. Can they deliver on cost? Do they have the expertise you need? Most Digital Managers will focus on both of these elements and it's easy to understand why.
This is when the traditional pitch process is applied. Four agencies come in and blow you away with some great ideas. A huge arm wrestle of creativity, technology and egos.
However, I've just run the process in a very different way. Rather than running a creative pitch I've judged agencies by their portfolios and simply spoken to them about process, account management and tested the 'chemistry'.
Does the agency reply to email questions, pick up the phone, and when you meet the wider team, are they as approachable as the new business person and how will they work with the rest of your senior team?
Too often budgets are wasted through short-sightedness. The focus is on the delivery of the website. The website should be seen as just the start of the relationship. Focus on the relationship. If it lasts over five years, your investment today will give you much better returns long-term