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Strategic Success: Client Services at Mediacurrent

What is our Why?

At Mediacurrent we talk about purpose a lot. One of our founding partners, Dave Terry, takes inspiration from Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” and truly believes in the value of really understanding your Why. Overall Mediacurrent’s why is stated in this way: “We believe talented team members can work together to provide amazing open-source based solutions for the web.” Having been a part of Mediacurrent’s team for more than six years now, I have been privileged to see the success of that why in action.

I think a lot about Client Services, obviously, and whether I am explaining what we do to a new client, a new team member or even a family member I tend to talk about it in the same terms. I found myself speaking passionately about how Client Services helps our Clients and our teammates, what problems we solve and how we think about partnerships as a team. The conversations tend to touch a lot on execution but seldom cover the Purpose of the Client Services team in concrete terms. Since having a why is so important, I set out to clearly define the purpose of our Client Services team.

In the end I determined that our Client Services team has a simple to understand, but difficult to achieve, purpose. Our Purpose is to be our client's trusted advisor and to have them believe in us as an extension of their team. We believe strongly that when we gain that level of trust and communication, we can help them make the right decisions; decisions that will grow engagement, enhance business processes, and evolve their digital presence.

To achieve this goal we emphasize several key areas of focus to our team.

  • Client Services team members strive to be excellent communicators, using clear, concise written and verbal communication, that shares the right volume of information.
  • We work to earn our clients’ trust via transparency into how and why we work the way we do.
  • Finally, we deliver amazing results - making sure we are on time and on budget while demonstrating measurable data-driven ROI. Expertise in these areas of focus helps us to enable our Digital Strategy, Design and Development teams to partner successfully with our clients and build world class Digital Platforms using Drupal.

Because we have such variety of Clients with different technical and personal requirements, we purposefully organize our team to ensure we give all of them the best possible experience. A one-size-fits-all solution will not exceed expectations for a diverse client base. We need to be able to flex our team size and makeup to match clients needs. If we are building a new platform, this could be a large, dedicated Mediacurrent team working hundreds of hours a month in unison with several Client stakeholders to reach a defined goal. If we are two years past launch, this could be a single team member guiding the client’s internal team at a much smaller allocation, making sure they get the most value possible from their platform and advising them on relevant innovative trends in the industry.

To solve for this, we have three specific positions that play a complementary role with our departmental divisions (Strategy, Design, and Development).


Enterprise Account Manager (EAM)

The EAM is responsible for validating that our clients' needs and goals are being delivered. They work to understand our client's business, vision, and long-term goals as well as understanding how we need to communicate to be successful. EAM’s are charged with making sure the solutions Mediacurrent is proposing align with their understanding of our clients’ long- term goals while fitting the current budget and timeline. As part of our culture, we ask all of our team members to understand “why” they are working on any given task, and to make sure they know what the perceived value is to the client. On large complex projects, the EAM helps to hold the rudder on the why’s and ultimate goals of the project so the rest of the team can focus 100% on details. EAM’s also work closely with our clients to make sure they have a full understanding of Mediacurrent’s capabilities and how our departments compliment each other; keeping them informed of the constant evolution of the tools available and helping them to apply these changes to their roadmap.


Customer Success Manager (CSM)

CSM's manage retainer engagements that are focused on supporting a digital platform post-launch. CSM’s are required to be excellent communicators, strong project managers, and technical resources as well as understanding Drupal’s capabilities at an expert level. This allows them to manage all aspects of digital platform support including feature enhancements, training, maintenance, and choosing the right people from Mediacurrent’s deep bench of experts to work on a specific support task -- whether it’s strategic analysis or designing and developing a new feature.


Project Manager (PM)

Project Managers typically guide projects that have multiple stakeholders and clear A to B objectives. Enterprise-level Drupal projects demand expert project management skills, timely communication abilities, and a detailed understanding of the software development life cycle. Our PM’s possess those traits as well as the ability to organize Mediacurrent’s teams around the unique business needs of our clients. They collaborate with our EAM’s to make sure our projects are not only are delivered on time and within budget, but also include the best solutions to our clients’ needs.


It Takes an Army

Truly successful Client Service teams need the buy-in of the entire organization. Mediacurrent’s culture is one of deeply passionate open source professionals that believe in the ability of Open Source and Drupal to make amazing digital experiences. As a team, we continuously reinforce the importance of building trust, having amazing communication, and delivering a great experience. This is why we coach our entire team to not be order-takers and to always be consultative with our clients. We emphasize a data driven approach that allows our clients to understand why they are achieving their goals. To further ensure success, we form a tight partnership with our clients that incorporates evaluating the work we accomplish together. We utilize Post Mortems and share the results with our teams and clients, as well as talking directly to our Clients about how we can improve.


Purposeful Success

Having a defined purpose for our Client Services team has allowed us to help deliver demonstrable ROI and to maintain long and valuable partnerships with our clients. This has included organizations like Habitat for Humanity and The Weather Company; across a variety of services including Content Strategy, SEO / Analytics Consulting, Software Architecture, Performance Enhancements, U/X Design, Maintenance, Security Audits and Updates.

One of our clients I think best exemplifies this is Manhattan Associates. Five years ago we partnered with them to build a fully translated and feature rich Drupal 6 experience. This led to a long-term partnership - working to support and evolve that platform and finally culminating in a collaborative effort with our key stakeholders at Manhattan (Jeremy Barrow and Will Hinton) to launch on Drupal 8, months before the official release of Drupal 8 itself. Migrating an enterprise CMS across multiple versions and translating it across 6 languages is a tremendously complex undertaking, and our success was made possible in part by our team being Manhattan’s trusted advisors and working with them in a true partnership.

The results speak for themselves when we achieve our purpose - successful projects, happy clients and the satisfaction of being able to help our partners navigate the challenges of Digital Transformation over the long term.

Additional Resources
Creating a Culture of Giving in Your Organization | Blog Post
5 Problems Large Enterprise Face in Their Digital Transformation | Friday 5
SEO: Your Gateway to More Visitors | Webinar

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