9thCO: Strong Team Leads to Strong Client Relationships
For digital agency 9thCO, retention is the key to success. According to founders Aaron Mogadam, Ezra Silverton and Justin Cook, hiring – and keeping – great employees is crucial for fostering creativity and ultimately retaining the best clients.
While that philosophy may sound simple, employee retention is notoriously tough in a fast-paced industry that thrives on change. But recently, 9thCO was shortlisted by CIO Review as a ‘Most Promising Web Development Agency’ and they walked away with the Consumer Choice Award for Toronto’s Top Web Agency. So how is this team staying ahead of their competition?
In just a few years, the 9thCO management trio has built a team that is creatively gifted and is not afraid to experiment. “We try to nurture the unique abilities of each employee,” says Cook. Employees are encouraged to regularly attend training seminars and conferences, and take on in-house R&D.
Creativity is most valuable when we tie it to a solid strategy and deliver campaigns tailored to the client’s requirements
“It’s important for every employee to feel responsible for the success of a project,” adds Silverton. “That sense of ownership has a direct impact on productivity.”
According to Mogadam, team members are invested in the success of each project because they have a deep understanding of their clients’ businesses. “Creativity is most valuable when we tie it to a solid strategy and deliver campaigns tailored to the client’s requirements,” he explains.
Overall, the 9thCO team attribute their success to creating a positive atmosphere. Employees have flexibility in terms of work hours and a lot of autonomy in how they approach each project. “We don’t believe in micro-managing,” explains Silverton. “We want our employees to feel free to improvise and innovate. They can’t do that with someone constantly looking over their shoulders.”
“In our experience, satisfied employees lead to satisfied clients,” says Cook. The company’s results back up his observation. 9thCO gets glowing reviews from Global Furniture Group, whose redesigned website cut bounce rates by 58%. The site 9thCO built for Buttcon.com bagged three Communicator Awards in 2015, while Tasteofnature.com’s redesign resulted in a 190% boost in session duration. Hickoryfarms.ca had similar success, reporting 198% ROI during the 2015 holiday season.
Although 9thCO (www.9thco.com) currently focuses on the Toronto region, their long-term goal is to build a roster of international clients. With a team that specializes in web design, SEO, web development, SEM, PPC, social media, consulting and design, the team is poised to take on bigger projects. “We have an impressive depth of expertise,” says Mogadam. “We’re ready to take on the next big challenge”