Justin Seibert, President, Direct Online Marketing (Pittsburgh, PA)
Justin Seibert is President at Direct Online Marketing, an agency that focuses on and excels at – direct online marketing – to move clients’ ROIs in a positive direction. In this interview, Justin describes the process of developing strategies to drive quality traffic to its clients, converting that traffic into leads, and sending leads through to generate sales. Justin says the process of vetting potential clients is “very long.” Some of what the agency looks for to get a good fit:
- Medium-sized businesses provide the greatest opportunity to make an impact. Smaller businesses will not be able to get benefits commensurate with what it will cost them to work with DOM. In the case of larger businesses, the agency will not be able to move the needle as much.
- Highly niched businesses, either the lead brand or the challenger brand within a specific niche. These businesses are not “household names” unless the household is one already familiar with that particular industry.
- Almost any industry. The agency works heavily with a number of SaaS (Software as a Service) companies, higher education, and ecommerce retail and less so with everything else – from “manufacturing to finance to entertainment.”
In 2001, Justin started his career in Los Angeles, working for a company in the financial industry. The company had been highly successful with radio marketing but was looking for the next thing . . . and assigned Justin the task of figuring out how to use the internet to generate quality leads. His office was right next to the sales floor, so he got fast feedback on how good a job he was doing.
In spring of 2006, Justin moved into his basement and blogged at least five days a week, trying to get the word out about digital marketing. By October, he hired his first part-time employee.
Justin says he always liked the idea of hiring people . . . because of the positive impact it would make on those individuals, their families, and on the community at large. But, planning and timing the growth of a company, especially when there is no outside funding, is a challenge. Justin explains, There are two classifications: 1) the revenue producers (sales, marketing, and 2) the internal administrative staff. He now has the confidence to hire for those internal functions when he perceives it is best for the company.
For “client-facing” employees, Justin looks at the current book of business and the pipeline to decide which functions to hire and when. The problem is in the timing. If he hires ahead of need, he may not have the cash flow to support those new hires. If he hires when everyone is swamped, the workload increases even more because the new employee needs to be trained. Cultural fit is paramount – but not intransigent. The agency’s employees are virtual due to Covid, the culture has changed, and, in the middle of all of this, Justin has been hiring.
Two things Justin notes as important when starting an agency: 1) Know what your process looks like. (He cites Marcus Lemonis’s “People Profit Process.”) and 2) Get some sales training early on. Sales plus process is key.
Justin can be reached on his agency’s website at: directom.com or on LinkedIn at Justin Seibert (S-E-I-B-E-R-T).