Looking for a Transactional or Strategic Partnership?



When it comes to entering into a partnership for your app or website designing project, you’ll be faced with the dilemma of choosing from two types – transactional or strategic partnership. They can both help you complete your design project, but with a different approach.

The OECD has predicted that the economy will normalize by the end of 2021. But, we’ve only just entered the New Year and thanks to the pandemic, times continue to seem uncertain and trying. However, we have to march on. During such struggling times, you would want to join hands with the right partner for your UX project. After all, every penny counts. Right? 

So, which type of partnership will be more beneficial for you? Let’s find out.

Strategic and transactional partnerships – what do they mean?

Strategic partnership

Who doesn’t like a partnership that lightens the load? This is what strategic partnership is all about. A strategic partner will directly collaborate with users to solve unique challenges like UX design, branding, integrations, and much more. Such a partner is going to be on the front-line and work with you right from the stage of conceptualization to the implementation of the idea. An example of a strategic partner would be UX/UI design agencies.

Typically, such partnerships focus on carrying out a mutually beneficial exchange of revenue.

Transactional partnership

Transactional partnerships are all about trying to get the most out of your partner in exchange for as little as possible. This relationship is based on how much you can take rather than what you can give. As such, these partnerships never last for a long time. Even your partner will put his/her self-interest before the larger objective of your design project. An example of a transactional partner would be freelance designers.

Although transactional partnerships are not completely unnecessary, they’re not well-suited for long-term projects. If you only need a partner to work with you for a one-off design project, this type of partnership might be ideal for you. It might even save you a lot of money!

Now, let’s take a look at the differences between these two types of partnerships so that you can make an informed decision.

Strategic V/s transactional – which partnership is for you?

Full accountability V/s limited accountability

Strategic partners assume full responsibility for the design project and hold themselves accountable for any faux pas. They’re never afraid of re-designing, but their sole aim is to get the project done and meet the expectation of the client. Ideally, they do not just work for what they’re paid for, but try to add value in many different ways, such as sharing the risks. 

Transactional partners, on the other hand, generally work for what they’re paid for. They rarely bring any other value to the table. Once they have designed and submitted the project, they move on to other projects. So, if you need any changes before the launch date, good luck chasing your partner down!

Understanding business objectives V/s fulfilling project brief 

When you enter a strategic partnership, you’re essentially sharing your workload. The strategic partner is not only going to focus on making your design project a success among the target audience but ensure that it aligns with your overall business goals. From conducting user research to auditing and A/B testing, such a partner will make the necessary changes to sync your design and business objectives.

However, a transactional partner is only interested in finishing the project as per the brief provided. Such a partner will rarely come up with a strategy to align the design project with the business goals. It is not within the job purview.

Act for mutual benefit V/s act only in own interest

Strategic partners like, design agencies do not work for self-interest. They come up with solutions and strategies that will be mutually beneficial. After all, agencies have a reputation to take care of and the better value that they provide each client, the better are the chances of getting more clients in the future.

Transactional partners do not think beyond one design project collaboration. Their objective is always to get more out of one project, and therefore, your interests will be rarely taken into consideration.

Low dependability V/s high dependability 

Strategic partners are independent. Since they offer to support you throughout the lifecycle of the project, they already have their team, technologies, and tools. They are capable of tackling design projects of any complexity. You can simply off-load your project details and wait for the dedicated project manager to give you an update. In such a partnership, you won’t be disturbed unless necessary.

On the other hand, transactional partners are quite dependent on their clients. They require constant input from the clients and there’s rarely room for project scalability. If the complexity of your design project changes, a transactional partner might not have the bandwidth or the technology to carry out the project to completion.

Long-term V/s short-term relationship 

A strategic partner provides turnkey solutions and will take care of the minute details of your design project including the bug fixes. These partners form long-term relationships and they can be relied on for ongoing projects. They can even handle several design projects at once.

While the nature of a transactional partnership is short-lived. With no room for scalability, they fail to offer anything more than short-term results and ROI. They fail to adapt throughout the lifecycle of a design project and might even walk away halfway if they find a better opportunity coming their way.

To conclude, if you only need someone to look after your one-off project, you can certainly consider a transactional partnership. But, if you want a partner who will support you from the ideation to the design phase and the launch phase, a strategic partnership is probably more up your alley.

If you are looking for a strategic partnership to take forward your design projects, contact Divami. With a customer-focused user-centric approach, we were recently identified as one of the best User Experience agency of 2021 by reputable review agency

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