U.S. Ad Agencies
This report provides an overview of the digital product agency field. Part (A) includes several trends in the industry. Part (B) consists of profiles of leading digital product agencies Ramotion, Work & Co, and Codal.
Part (A): This section outlines trends in the digital product agency field. Agencies are increasingly being developed in-house; they are seeing the need for more experimentation and user feedback; and they are placing an increasing value on collaboration with research and prototype teams.
Trends in the Digital Product Agency Field
- More in-house teams: Large businesses are increasingly experimenting with in-house creative teams. Verizon launched its own in-house creative team in 2017. In-house teams aren't always successful with Intel's "Agency Inside" only surviving from 2015-2018.
- Rising need for product experimentation: Most product managers feel that they continue to spend too little time doing product experimentation, with 80 percent reporting as such in Alpha's 2019 Product Management Insights Report. This is attributed to the slowness of cultural change as there is clearly a significant desire to do more.
- Rising importance of user feedback: There is a growing recognition of the need to talk to users during the product development process, according to Alpha's 2019 Product Management Insights Report. 86 percent of product managers express the need to talk to users more for better development.
- Rising importance of internal stakeholders: More product managers are wanting to spend more time with internal stakeholders, according to Alpha's 2019 Product Management Insights Report. In 2017, 9 percent of product managers said they wanted to spend more time with stakeholders, while in 2018, 23 percent expressed the desire to do so.
- Rising importance of prototype teams: Collaboration with prototyping teams is becoming more valued. In 2018, 68 percent of product managers rated prototyping teams as "extremely valuable," a 15 percent increase over the previous year, according to Alpha's 2019 Product Management Insights Report. The increase is attributed to more importance being placed on user experience and greater adoption of rapid prototyping.
- Rising value of research: According to Alpha's 2019 Product Management Insights Report, the number of project managers rating collaboration with research teams as "extremely valuable" was 53 percent in 2018, up 15 percent from 2017 and 30 percent overall from 2016.
Part (B): This section provides a profile of three major digital product agencies: Ramotion, Work & Co, and Codal.
Ramotion is a tried and true agency offering a comprehensive experience to its prestigious clients.
- Ramotion is a leading digital product agency based in San Francisco, California. Their clients include major businesses such as Netflix, Mozilla, and Salesforce.
- Ramotion specializes in UI/UX (user interface and user experience) and web and mobile design.
- Ramotion's approach to assisting with brand strategy includes a brand equity audit, audience analysis, competitive review, and analysis of strategic direction.
- Ramotion's approach to assisting with brand identity involves a review of visual positioning, brand application, a visual identity system, and guides for icons and illustrations.
- As an example of how it handles brand identity, one tool Ramotion utilizes is the Design Funnel. It enables the design process to start simply and evolve quickly, making it easier for the customer to be involved at each stage.
- Ramotion's approach to assisting with a brand's communication strategy is an analysis of verbal identity, tagline exploration, and the provision of a communication style guide.
- Ramotion provided user interface choreography guidelines to improve microinteractions in the Lightning Design System, a program that enables app creation on the Salesforce platform.
- Ramotion is the first-ranked UI/UX and web team on Bēhance and the third-ranked design team on Dribbble.
- Ramotion has 4.9 out of 5 stars on Clutch, based on 25 reviews from clients.
- Ramotion has a high profile as a design agency as a result of its work with Fortune 500 companies, providing a significant amount of marketing in design channels. Its reputation is supported by its consistently high reviews across the web, serving as another marketing tool.
Additional details on Ramotion's recent investments and current platform recommendations to clients could not be located following a search of their website and a high level search for news articles.
Work & Co
Work & Co's client-collaborative process and its rapid turnaround are contributing to its quick rise.
- Work & Co is a well-established digital product agency based in Portland, Oregon and Brooklyn, New York. Its clients include Facebook, Virgin, and Target.
- Work & Co offers a range of services, including project management and strategy, design, and technology-related offerings.
- As part of its project management and strategy services, Work & Co provides business intelligence, roadmapping, SEO & content strategy, and organizational design.
- Work & Co's design services include rapid prototyping, user research and testing, motion design, and information architecture.
- Work & Co's technology services include machine learning, technical architecture planning, software for physical spaces, voice interfaces, and augmented/mixed reality.
- Work & Co utilizes a process of intensive collaboration with clients to reach the stage of prototyping sooner and spend less time on presentations.
- As a result of its focus on efficient collaboration, Work & Co has a target of 20 days until market feedback.
- In 2018, Work & Co had its busiest year yet. It developed a Trump tracking tool for Planned Parenthood and an app called Today at Apple that serves as a learning platform providing interactive sessions via the Apple Store.
- Unlike Ramotion, Work & Co does not have an extensive online database of reviews. However, its impressive list of clients had a 90 percent retention rate in 2018 from customers like Apple, Google, and Facebook, and in 2019 it expanded its client list to include Ikea, H&R Block, and many others.
- Work & Co heavily relies on Framer X for prototyping design and the Framer Cloud feature for collaboration.
There were no online client reviews readily found for Work & Co, including at agency review sites like Clutch. This may be because the profile of Work & Co is sufficiently high enough that it operates above the online review sphere.
Codal is an e-commerce specialist that has branched out to cover various fields.
- Codal is a top design agency based in Chicago, Illinois. Its clients include United Airlines, Pepsi, and Intuit.
- Codal offers solutions for products in the following fields: web and mobile (including app and web development), ecommerce (including enterprise integrations and migrations), digital strategy (including digital transformation and UX strategy), and emerging tech (including machine learning and AI, Alexa and Google Home apps, and the Internet of Things).
- Codal utilizes the Agile design process, incorporating the following steps: discover, strategize, design, engineer, and amplify.
- Codal is rated 4.6 out of 5 based on 15 reviews on Clutch.
- In its work for the Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, Codal implemented a series of tools (including MailChimp) to increase lead generation.
- Codal specializes in ecommerce expansion and is a partner with Shopify. Thus, it works heavily with clients on the platform.
Additional Related Findings
Popular UI prototyping tools are InVision, Flinto, and Marvel, according to UX Planet.