While Some Companies Seek Validation Externally, StringCan Interactive Explores It Internally

lessons from our LAB

January 9, 2014

While Some Companies Seek Validation Externally, StringCan Interactive Explores It Internally

Our Digital Scientists are made up of tech-loving, results-oriented, passionate, digital marketing nerds who have an unnatural obsession with all things digital. Most likely seen glued to a screen and spewing new digital marketing trends.

Ah, Goals. Every company has them and every employee is expected to achieve them. But what some digital agencies focus on, is where I’d like to think we differentiate ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I am a goals oriented person. At StringCan Interactive we are not only about creating personal and professional goals, but finding innovative ways to execute and surpass them. And we don’t just focus our goals on us, but for our amazing clients as well.In January 2013, my boss and mentor, Jay Feitlinger, blogged about StringCan Interactive’s 2013 goals, how we went about developing them, and how we were going to reach them in 2013.

While each of us were tasked with one major specific goal, mine was a little more out-of-the-box, and I’d like to share it with you, the reader. I was tasked with achieving “validation”, but it’s not what you think. See, many digital marketing agencies have sections of their website dedicated to awards. That’s not to say they don’t deserve them, but what do you do when the owner of our digital marketing agency wants to make it more about the client and less about the awards? How do you achieve validation amongst global audiences, when you’re concentrating more on your talented internal team and using their creative skill sets to deliver maximum results to our clients?


Validation, as my team knows, is one of my biggest pet peeves in the marketing space. There’s all this insane amount of energy invested in "winning" awards. I completely understand that awards are unfortunately a necessary ‘evil’ to increase brand awareness and credibility, but how can we be different in this aspect? What can we spend time talking about in this topic of validation and awards that doesn’t contradict my belief on this?”


Seek one external-based award dedicated to company culture and work environment, then focus the rest on validating our own talent and resources that make it happen everyday and solve complex business problems for our global clients.


We received one external award from the Phoenix Business Journal’s Best Places to Work – garnering the #5 Best Place to Work. Ironically, this validates why we’re so focused on our team. As for our internal awards, we decided to recognize members of our team who exhibited StringCan Interactive’s core values, as well as include awards for our partner resources and clients. Let’s validate the talent and clients that give us purpose everyday instead of us seeking outside approval.

After brainstorming this concept, we had outlined 5 total awards and the winners are listed below. To them, we not only say congratulations, but thank you:


The Well-Oiled Machine – This award goes to the StringCan team member who is the most organized and efficient in their work responsibilities. This person consistently provides quality work and always delivers on time.

Kelly Rix – Director of U.S. Client Services: Despite being relatively new to the team, Kelly’s experience, organization and energy quickly became the standard for efficiency on the team. Kelly is a true asset to StringCan Interactive and will continue to be as we march forward.

The Magic Bean – This award goes to the StringCan team member that grew the most in their role in 2013, while contributing to the team through trainings, knowledge sharing and general enthusiasm about the world of digital marketing. (We had a tie)

Alix Parker – Digital Strategy Manager: One of the youngest members of the StringCan Interactive team, Alix showed her desire and drive to grow and develop her skills - constantly taking on new roles and making some up along the way. She is on her way to being one of the top digital strategists in Arizona.






Michelle Giannino – Director of Projects: As StringCan continues to grow, new processes, systems and oversight was needed. Michelle was tasked with finding, developing, learning, teaching and implementing these changes. What she accomplished in one year, can take some organizations several years. She has impressed all of us and I am sure she is just getting started!

MVTP - Most Valuable Team Player – This award goes to the team member who is focused on being a true team player. This person is excellent in communication, enjoys collaboration, feedback and supporting their team when help is needed. In essence, this person is always focused on making sure the whole team succeeds.

Alix Parker – Digital Strategy Manager: Yes! She took two awards home this year! It’s a testament to her drive and team minded approach to work. She is always available to lend a hand while constantly providing top quality work and insight. Way to go Alix!

As StringCanny as a Non-StringCanner Can Be – This award goes to a StringCan partner who made us shine the brightest because of their work and support.

Robin Bramman – Master Certified Branding Coach but we just call her awesome! We have a long list of amazing partners who made us better in 2013 but we are happy to recognize Robin. Above all others, she took our work and StringCan’s brand to a new level. She is a true professional with a keen skill for all things branding!

The Top Client of the Year – This award goes to StringCan Interactive’s top client of the year. While we value all of our clients, we dedicated an award to the client who was the most enthusiastic about digital marketing and working with StringCan to identify and engage their ideal audiences. We have enjoyed an impeccable working relationship and have accomplished a tremendous amount to be proud of in 2013.

The Little Gym International (TLG): TLG, an international education company that offers children a holistic “Three-Dimensional Learning” approach to skill development for more than 35 years, was our winner. We have been working with Heather Anderson and her team at TLG for a couple of years now, and not only do we love their brand and mission, but we really enjoy working with their world-class team! Thank you The Little Gym for making our jobs so rewarding!

With 2013 gone (Wow, I’m getting old), and the achievement of redefining the laws of validation, we are excited for 2014’s end-of-year nominees. Stay Tuned!!

Featured Photo, Phoenix. StringCan Interactive. 2013.

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