As marketers we know that digital advertising can impact offline store visits and sales, but how can we successfully communicate that to small business owners? In this spotlight, Bloom Digital Marketing’s Carlos Obregon shares how their reporting has evolved to make these online/offline connections, the challenges of balancing personalized client relationships with client base growth and more.
How would you describe your company in less than 150 words?
Bloom Digital Marketing is an agency that sincerely cares about our customers. We have been in business for 12 years and most of our original clients are still with us today.
We achieved this level of loyalty by following two principles. The first is to always be up-to-date on the latest features and opportunities available in digital marketing. The other is to get to know our clients so well that we are like an internal team rather that just an external vendor.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
In the beginning, we partnered up with traditional advertising agencies that did not have a digital marketing department. This was a win-win as it allowed them to serve their clients better and keep them happy and we got to work with large accounts that included traditional advertising as well as digital advertising.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
We strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance, typically working 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. In order to increase my personal productivity I have identified the type of tasks that I do better in the mornings or afternoons. In the morning, I have more energy and can power through a full inbox, make calls and setup appointments. In the afternoon I seem to be more focused and I can strategize and study the latest trends, etc.
Besides acquiring new customers, what is the biggest challenge in growing your business?
The biggest challenge I see is the balance between growing our client base while maintaining the personalized relationships that our clients are accustomed to with our agency. We have been able to address this challenge by prioritizing and delegating tasks that are not client facing. Fortunately we have never been in a situation where we have to turn down new clients!
What do you think is the most interesting trend in digital advertising now?
Definitely it would be Artificial Intelligence and how it can make advertising better for the publishers as well as the consumers.
For the publishers, it will allow them to show ads to consumers based on what stage of the buying funnel they happen to be, with different ads and calls to action for the awareness, consideration or action stages of buying.
For the consumers, AI use will result in the consumers seeing more relevant and useful ads based on multiple factors such as interests, age, demographics and even current weather and the time of the day. Theoretically digital platforms already offer some of these targeting methods but they are not all quite there yet. For example, I keep seeing ads for senior dating websites in my Gmail inbox, although I am in my 40s and married!
I am a positive person and while I can admit that AI has downsides, I believe humanity will greatly benefit from AI.
Do you see any trends specific to PPC reporting?
Although we have more data available to us than ever, it is getting easier to interpret and get valuable business intelligence. After all, the ultimate goal of PPC reporting is to provide accurate and actionable data.
We have a client who runs a chain of organic food stores. In the past, our reporting focused on the number of clicks on their ads, impressions and costs. Now we can tell them not only how many people bought from their online store and how much they spent, but also trace back offline activity to their online marketing. For instance how many calls they got from their ads and from their website, how many people asked for directions to their stores and how many people actually went to their stores after seeing or clicking on their ads. Powerful data!
The amazing thing is that the tracking tools for all the data points mentioned above are all available within the AdWords and Google Analytics platforms. These metrics speak for themselves and are the basis for budget allocations and often a source of pride for marketing departments!
All this data helps businesses calculate the exact ROI online and offline they are generating from their digital marketing initiatives.
How will these trends impact advertisers in the future?
I believe reporting will no longer be a painful task for agencies. With tools like Swydo that pull metrics directly from the digital advertising platforms and their pre-built widgets it is now easier to create beautiful and very useful reports.
With better and more varied metrics advertisers can easily connect their online spend to actual sales, signups, subscriptions – and any additional goals they may set.
What are the biggest challenges you face in PPC campaign management?
Staying up to date with all the new features available on the main platforms. Interface changes also make it challenging. To stay up to date on AdWords, we follow the AdWords blog closely and we take advantage of all the training opportunities available to the Premier Google partners. We sign up for every single webinar and live training events.
What are the top 5 tools or apps you use almost every day?
- Adwords Editor. Such a powerful and time saving tool
- Swydo! We use it for reporting as well as a template for SEO audits, etc.
- Gmail and Google Calendar. I like the integration between the 2.
- Todoist. I like the GTD system to organize my life!
- Facebook Power Editor. While not as user friendly as Adwords editor, it does the job.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
While I was in high school I had a summer job in a collections company. I found it very tough to try to collect payments from people who were going through difficult times in their life. I learned to always assume that people have good intentions for the most part.
What people have influenced your thinking (and why) and might be of interest to others?
In terms of business I have really liked the books by Dale Carnegie as well as the programs by Anthony Robbins and Eben Pagan.
In the spiritual area of life I like reading the books by James Martin, a Jesuit priest from the US. I find Jesuit spirituality very useful and insightful, I feel everyone can apply it to their lives whether they are religious or not.
What is your favorite quote?
This quote is attributed to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”
Where do you see your company in the future?
We will continue to be an agency that truly cares about our clients, growing the number of clients we work with without becoming a faceless vendor that only cares about getting paid.
Carlos’ enthusiasm for social media, link building, and search engine marketing drives him to uncover new and cutting edge strategies at Bloom Digital Marketing. Since 2004, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the largest e-commerce and information portal sites in Vancouver, including Infomine.com and HealthPricer.com, where he wore many hats. He has implemented search engine marketing and social media solutions for organizations in a multitude of industries, and developed online awareness campaigns for the Learning Disabilities Association of the Yukon and the Heart & Stroke Foundations Quitters Unite program.
Carlos is a regular speaker on the topic of search engine marketing and optimization in Small Business BC’s seminar series and Google special events. He received his B.Comm from the renowned Tec de Monterrey in Leon, Mexico in 1994; and his MBA in International Business from the University of Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1998. You can get in touch with Carlos via LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.