When it comes to marketing and advertising, knowing all of the latest methods is a must. So having a marketing agency that understands all of the latest tech tools and trends can be a major benefit.
Walk West is one such agency. You can read more about the company in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides advertising and digital marketing support to businesses.
CEO and Founder Brian Onorio told Small Business Trends, “We’re in the marketing business, Mad Men with a hefty dose of digital age techniques. When it comes down to it, our agency is heavily equipped to build digital infrastructure such as websites, video content, and landing pages, as well as being experts at distribution via social and search.”
Going the extra mile for the right clients.
Onorio says, “We differentiate ourselves from the pack in that we don’t take every project that comes to our door. For us to be right for our clients and our clients to be right for us, we take a few weeks to really learn and understand the business position of each of our clients. The conversation always starts with “can you build a great looking website?” or “can you produce us a brand video?”. The answer to both of these are yes, but the question is why. Who are we communicating with? What are the goals behind it? Who is our competition? How do we message to our target audience? These are all questions that must be answered first and it’s that strategy-first approach that differentiates us.”
How the Business Got Started
By jumping right in.
Onorio says, “In an uncertain economy (2008 – 2011), and at a young age, I knew I wasn’t the most experienced, most knowledgeable agent on the scenes. I overcame that with aggressive early-phase pricing and a work ethic that didn’t require sleep. The exponential growth started when I replaced myself by hiring another developer. That allowed me to focus on all other facets of the running and growing the business.”
Onorio explains, “The biggest risk I ever took – and in hindsight, it wasn’t a big risk at all – was hiring my first full-time employee. I wasn’t yet business mature enough to understand the dynamic of adding employees and the impact to the business. I spent way too much time thinking of what employees cost instead of what they brought. I had a fear that it would only last a few months and I’d have to let the person go. But as a result of those first three or four employees, it really allowed me to divorce myself from behind a computer screen and focus on brand awareness and business development – two things that always suffer when you have a principal who is too busy working in the business instead of on the business.”
Mentors can be extremely valuable.
Onorio says, “Things changed for Walk West dramatically when I introduced a Partner and mentor to the staff. We grew rapidly and sustainably. There are a lot of people out there with the experience you’re looking for waiting to help out. Find them. It’ll make all the difference.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Exploring new services.
Onorio says, “With $100,000, we could hire a small 2 or 3 person team for 6-9 months to explore opportunities in spaces that are tangential to where we currently operate.”
Interesting Slack channels.
Onorio says, “We use Slack for internal communications and more than a few of the channels are always fun asides from the daily grind. #BourbonPleasures is all about the crew’s favorite dark spirit of choice. #Quotes is always full of crew quotes that are always good for a laugh. We’ve even created posters for the office around some of the fun quotes in that channel.”
Favorite Lunch Food
A taco bar.
Onorio explains, “Once a month, we’ll hit up a spot and have them bring in a taco bar. Always a staff favorite.”
“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar
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Images: Walk West; Top Image: Jen Layton- Sr. Marketing Strategist, Kirstin Geary-Marketing Specialist, Melissa Vega- Marketing Specialist, Second Image: Ryan Scotton-Sr. Developer, Adam Sentner-Sr. Product Architect