Digital marketing has been around for years but people are yet to have a complete understanding of its working and benefits. Due to the misconceptions and confusion around digital marketing, businesses mostly stick to traditional marketing tactics. Often this lack of understanding leads to a lack of trust—especially because of the agencies that use a “rinse and repeat” strategies (or flat out don’t know what they’re doing). This approach does not fit as all clients are different and so are their goals. “When done correctly digital marketing can has an enormous impact on a client’s bottom line, and that’s iSynergy’s bread and butter,” explains Steve Cross, the Creative Director at iSynergy. The company leverages multiple outlets for programmatic campaigns and inbound strategies because it wants what works best for each client, and thus leverages insights to change direction when needed. Transparency is key.
Steve Cross shares an extensive experience in SEO and programmatic media with competency in inbound methodologies. As a leader, he has always stressed building trust amongst the team members. Initially in his career, Steve’s former boss had stated that the people who give the least amount of trust are the people you should trust the least. This teaching stayed with him and thus he entrusts everyone until they prove otherwise. His leadership style resonates with Steve Jobs’s famous quote-“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
iSynergy team has the flexibility to state their ideas and solutions, but Steve has the final vote. “My job is to keep people just outside of their comfort zone so that they question the status quo and remain at the forefront of the industry…while also treating them so well that they don’t want to leave!” he explained.
In our recent chat with Steve Cross, he walked us through the journey and offerings of iSynergy. In exploring the journey we also find out how the company has become one of the crucial innovators in the industry.
Please walk us through the establishment of iSynergy? How has the organization sustained growth throughout the decade?
Initially, we started as an IT company in the early years, which is really funny to think about now. But when you get to the core of our business, and what led us to where we are today, it’s our “permanent beta” mindset that’s sparked evolution and growth.
The reason is the ‘permanent beta’ mindset. For those of you not living in the tech world, the term “beta” refers to the final stage of software development where a product is tested (continuously) to provide feedback and make room for improvement. Always evolving. Never fully developed. Providing a continual opportunity for growth. Our industry is moving so fast that even when something (an idea, a concept, and a pitch) is perfect today, tomorrow it can be improved. Our process is what makes us different. We are constantly getting focused (and re-focused), and we are challenging the status quo daily.
What makes iSynergy’s offerings exceptional in the industry?
We don’t resell any product or platform, because it’s not our job to push a product on a business; instead, we want what works BEST for that business. We believe an Omnichannel strategy is a way to go, and while there are tactics that we continuously employ (like SEO, programmatic, content marketing, and social), each iteration is different. It all depends on the client’s ultimate goal, and we are constantly researching, optimizing, and testing to see what will work and what won’t. Long story short, we believe that if we do what’s in the CLIENT’s best interests that iSynergy benefits from long-lasting relationships, referrals, and a trusted reputation.
What kind of culture do you embrace at iSynergy?
Our team is made up of individuals who have a desire to be the best. They’re driven. They’re focused. They take responsibility for the success they want to achieve (for both themselves and our clients). But even more importantly, our employees are simply good human beings. We want people who are inquisitive by nature, POSITIVE, and team-oriented. These important attributes create unity and keep people working toward something bigger than themselves.
How does work-life balance look like for the iSynergy team members?
When it comes to work/life balance, iSynergy is acutely aware that work is not life. To be great at what we do, there has to be flexible, because if there isn’t, burnout will spread like wildfire. That’s where the “taking responsibility for the success they want to achieve” part comes into play. Each person here is accountable to both the client and their fellow employees, and the last thing they want to do is let someone down.
We grind when we need to, but downtime is a necessary means to a successful end. We offer hybrid/flex schedules to senior staff as well as extremely generous vacation time to ensure everyone gets a break to re-energize and give their loved ones the attention they deserve.
Covid-19 has drastically affected several businesses, what was the impact on your company?
The COVID outbreak was uncharted territory for us, as it was for every other business worldwide. But interestingly, being a digitally focused marketing agency, we were fully equipped to pivot without even really realizing it. Our team easily transitioned to remote work, because we already utilized internal platforms that allowed us to communicate and track no matter our location, and the digital services that we provide to clients became more important than ever before! Fortunately, there were no major mishaps, in fact, we grew…a lot. We’ve added numerous employees over the past 12 months because the entire world is now hyper-aware of digital marketing’s importance.
What is the process or tools involved in generating new ideas, beyond the traditional whiteboard brainstorming sessions?
We start with research. New ideas are great, but if they’re not rooted in fact, then they’re worthless. When we onboard a new business, we “go dark” during the research phase. We gather information about the client, the competition, and the market landscape; then we come together to discuss the situation and what will work best for the client. That’s when the real magic starts.
Being one of the crucial innovators, could you advise on how does one become a linchpin of innovation in their respective industry?
It doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen by chance. You can never be in a place where you’re comfortable or satisfied, and you need to have an unquenchable thirst to find the next great idea. Drive and passion are at the root of it all, and surrounding yourself with people who push you to be a better person and professional doesn’t hurt either!
“We are a crew of quirky professionals who strive to question the status quo. Our creativity is what stands out, our data-driven strategy is what succeeds.”