What was the scope of their involvement?
We had a website but it wasn’t suited for its purpose and lacked functionalities for the impact that we wanted. When we started working with Probe and Query, we had a couple of days to talk about what each area of our organization needed from the website. They came back with a plan for us. We had a brief in mind and they did a lot of stakeholder interviews. That formed the basis of how we took the project forward.
There were several areas in which we worked with them. One was the full overhaul of our corporate website, iwa-network.org. We focused on that initially because that was the area of greatest need. They also worked with us on building a good events management site. We organize various events throughout the year, but there are three or four Tier 1 events that have between 1,000 and 5,000 people attending. They built a website for us that included a programmed schedule manager to manage these complex events. They have also worked with us on multiple project websites. We run and found several projects around the world, and each one has its own project website. They range from systems that are very basic websites to one that was a statistics portal, which involved development around a database.
Probe and Query did SEO work and analytics. They also advised us on our social media strategy that ties in with the website and its promotion. They looked at how to improve the return in terms of visitors to the website and to the content. They are also doing maintenance and development on the main website.
We didn’t have any developers. We had a digital engagement manager who was working here, but she left halfway through the project. They took on that role themselves because we didn’t have the in-house resources or experience for it.
We also developed a website, e-newsletter and native app with P&Q for our rebranded and relaunched magazine, The Source. This has involved a single sign-on integration with the iwa-network.org and our membership platform iwa-connect.org, allowing all systems to recognize IWA members when they are logged in. It also involves developing online subscriptions and integration with a payment portal, and delivering a freemium model for access to the magazine's content – where users will have a certain number of free articles per month, after which they will be asked to subscribe or join the IWA. This has been a big piece of work, with the website and newsletter live for six issues of the magazine, and the native app, subscriptions and single sign-on going live in April this year.
How did you come to work with Probe and Query?
We had been working with a small agency based out of Brussels, but we didn’t feel like we were getting very far or quickly with them. We started a new search for a different agency, looking at a couple based in Amsterdam. Probe and Query is based in Belgrade and the digital manager who worked here was originally from Serbia, so I think she came across them through her network. We went over to Belgrade for a day and met with them and discussed everything. They seemed like a good fit for our organization. We felt that Probe and Query offered more flexibility for us. From a budget perspective, they were also more affordable.
How much have you invested with Probe and Query?
The IWA network site and event site cost us €125,000 [approximately $133,000 US]. The additional projects would add an extra €30,000–€40,000 [approximately $31,000–$43,000 US].
What is the status of this engagement?
The engagement has been over 18 months. We first met them at the end of 2015 and the website went live July 2016. We’re still in a working relationship with them as they’re working on a couple of projects for us.