My Breakthrough: Websites are Just the Beginning

By Friday January 17th, 2014

"In order to really take advantage of new possibilities, initiatives need to be aligned and integrated." - Matt Sommer, COO

Breakthroughs From a Digital Agency (a Series)
We have a small, close-knit team here at Brolik. We’ve experienced solid growth year over year since our inception in 2004, but 2013 felt different from the rest. The company celebrates 10 years in business on January 14th, 2014. But, it’s not just this milestone we’re celebrating… this year the company reached a level of maturity that we can be proud of. As a small agency, cash flow challenges, production bottlenecks, inefficient processes and peaks and valleys in new business are common. This year our talent, experience and execution aligned better than ever before. To put a cap on the year, and to put this somewhat vague concept of “maturity” into more tangible terms, each of our team members will present their personal breakthroughs over the last year. In the process, we hope you’ll get to know the people who make up Brolik a little better.

This past year at Brolik felt different for me in a lot of ways. I’m sure it’s related to the fact that we’re growing; we’re up to a team of 13 (including 2 brand new interns!), and our cash flow is much more consistent and less ulcer-inducing. It’s more than these tangible things, though. I really feel like we’re hitting a stride with our whole team and all of our resources pointing in the same direction. One thing that has really changed Brolik from my perspective is the development of our Digital Strategy product and process.

We’ve been building websites and managing digital marketing campaigns for 10 years now. We first built Flash websites back when you had to have a college email to create a Facebook account, long before the first Tweet. A decade feels like an instant when you’re trying to keep up with technology. In the meantime, we came to the realization that it wasn’t enough to just keep up with the new digital platforms. In order to really take advantage of the new possibilities, these initiatives need to be aligned and integrated. This is at the core of how we now think about digital marketing strategy.

We worked our asses off for years striving to make the best websites we could for our clients, and we developed strong relationships with them through this process. In a way, we would grow to feel responsible for the success of their business. At the end of the website project, though, it would just sort of end. Our client had invested in an incredible tool, but they weren’t sure of the next steps, and we had spent months nurturing a relationship that had nowhere else to go. It felt a little strange, but we made websites, so until they needed another one it was over.

Digital Strategy pulls it all together. It allows us to help our clients take the next step. We get to run with them and be part of the team. We get to make use of the websites we’re building, to see how awesome they really are and what we can do to make them even better. Rolling all of these new and different marketing platforms into a single product and idea also allows us to simplify the lives of our clients. They know that they need a digital presence, but should they focus on SEO or social? Content development or paid advertising? The answer is yes to all of these things, and Digital Strategy gives us the opportunity to show our clients exactly what that means.

Now we get to work with our clients in an organic way that moves with them, analyzing the data we have and adjusting accordingly. It’s a little scary, but it’s totally liberating. Not to mention, it takes a lot of pressure off of our sales team, since it isn’t necessary for them to get a whole new roster of clients every 6 months. We get to grow with the clients we have, building stronger relationships and ultimately delivering better results. If that’s not a win-win situation, I’m not sure what is.

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About the Author

Matthew is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Brolik. As CSO, he manages the digital marketing team, helping Brolik’s roster of clients achieve their online marketing goals. When he’s not coming up with his next big campaign idea, you might find him in the recording studio or enjoying an IPA with a funny name. Check him out on Twitter.