What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
While we have seen an increase in social media followers, a better indicator Interactive Strategies’ success is the response from our members. We've had stakeholders come to our team and ask to work with IS, which speaks to the quality of work they do and the guidance they provide. In 2013 we gave stakeholders the option to work with IS, and as a result, we brought them onto projects that our team wasn't overseeing. That they've had organic brand growth within our organization speaks highly of them.
How did Interactive Strategies perform from a project management standpoint?
The team is very responsive, and our account manager keeps us updated on planned work or a project’s status. The bulk of our communication happens over email and we use Box to share documents.
What did you find most impressive about them?
A lot of the information we work on is confidential, so we require multiple iterations of an infographic, for example, before we release it to the public. Interactive Strategies has always been patient with us, despite our atypical process.
They also understand that educating their clients can be part of managing projects, particularly when they explain their strategy to stakeholders, who don't always have the knowledge my team has.
Overall, IS’s honesty distinguishes it from other providers. I've worked with of agencies that have their own underlying incentives, so even if they ultimately help us achieve a goal, their work is still motivated by their own self-interest. IS, meanwhile, strategizes and conducts research that aims to benefit ASCO. They don't guide us in a direction that's going to benefit them unless there's a clear benefit for us. Their transparency allows us to trust them to provide solutions that consider our best interests.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We had one incident of miscommunication as a result of staffing changes, but that was addressed quickly. That was over a year ago, and since then we haven’t had any problems. The only upset in two years was a slight miscommunication, and I'd be lying if I started listing things I didn't think they were doing well.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Bring your own ideas to the table. IS knows how to strategize, think big picture, and utilize the digital space, but it's unrealistic for any agency to be an expert in their client's entire business. If the potential client can provide a basic idea or simple vision, it gives IS more creative freedom because they don’t need to worry whether their idea fits the client’s needs.