12 Years: Past, Present & Beyond!
The week of April 4, 2016 marked an important milestone for Linkmedia 360. It was our 12-year anniversary as a directional media and digital marketing agency. Although it is not a true milestone year, we are proud of our team and what we are able to achieve for our client partners each day.
As I approach my personal one-year mark with Linkmedia 360 as one of the newer team members, I thought this would be a good chance to connect with our Managing Partner (and Founder), Dave Wolf, to look back on the last 12 years. In the discussion below, Dave shares what has happened in recent years, but also shares his outlook on where our agency is heading as digital media and marketing continually change based on consumer habits and internet trends.
How have you seen various forms of media transform since 2004, and how has it helped shape what Linkmedia 360 is today?
At the time of its inception, Linkmedia 360 focused on directional media, which comprised of online and print directories, along with the management of online local business listings. The sole focus was, and still is, to generate inbound phone calls and in-store traffic from consumers that need to make a purchase decision. The directional media and local search landscape has gone through monumental changes in how consumers search, consume content and look for a business or service. As this evolution occurred and continues to evolve, our client partners looked to us to provide strategies and implement tactics to enable them to capitalize on these changes. It was this tectonic shift that was the catalyst that pushed Linkemdia 360 to become a full service digital marketing and analytics agency.
To make this shift, we added team members with the skills and expertise necessary to serve our clients’ entire digital marketing funnel, from search rankings, to lead capture, all the way through to conversion.
The other major shift, is that many clients moved from subscription advertising models to performance advertising, or pay-per-call models as we refer to. The media cost is not predicated on a fixed ad rate, but the rate a client is willing to pay for an inbound phone call from their target consumer.
To achieve this transformation and position Linkmedia 360, we made substantial investments in talent acquisition, training and software applications. The Linkmedia 360 of today feels like a different company to me than it did 18-months ago, for the better! I say for the better, because we have more capabilities to drive client results, which is what we are most passionate about as an agency.
What trends do you see happening in local search in the upcoming years?
The trends that I see in the near future are the continued domination of mobile search. This has been and will continue to be driven with more accurate positioning, better user experience and improved behavioral search technology. In terms of lead generation, many service-based and health care businesses will continue to push toward a cost-per-lead media buying model, paying for inbound phone calls and appointments and continue to move away from subscription advertising where an advertiser pays a fixed cost for a campaign. Another continuing trend will be the ongoing virtualization of industries whose digital marketing is served through a SaaS business model that can be implemented quickly, is scalable and offers API tie-ins to internal management systems.
What has been your most valuable learning experience in leading the agency?
The most valuable learning experience that I can share is the ability to be agile and willing to pivot based on client needs and results. It is also crucial to continually invest in the business in terms of talent, business development, team resources and technology. These are all important elements that are crucial to compete, succeed and enable the team to drive client results. Another important recommendation is to bring on team members that fit with your culture and that are committed to taking ownership of important tasks.
What do you enjoy most about coming to work at Linkmedia 360 each day?
There are a number of things that I really enjoy about coming to work each day. Seeing clients win and succeed through our marketing campaigns and strategies we create is amazing. There is nothing greater and more important to us than seeing our clients succeed and win in their markets. Like the rest of our team, I constantly think about strategy and tactics that can positively impact our clients. Another equally enjoyable part about coming to work, is the Linkmedia 360 integrated marketing solutions team and the very talented individuals I get the chance to work with. Over the last few years we have added a number of extremely talented individuals to our team, which has provided opportunities to expand my knowledge and expertise learning through their experiences and skills.
Here’s to another 12 years…
Since joining Linkmedia 360 I can certainly echo Dave’s sentiments on the team, company culture and partnerships with software providers and media partners. Most importantly, our clients keep us challenged and motivated to continue driving results on their behalf. Having the ability to make an impact on their organizations is what drives our team to collectively succeed in our roles. For the next 12 years we are looking forward to continued change in our client markets as it relates to both digital marketing and directional media – so bring it on!