Read the waves and work with it Thoughts from EverythingOnline’s Craig Maloney
I am deeply fond and in a relationship with marketing and anything that goes with it. It is an area where my insatiable thirst for knowledge and the latest know-how couldn’t be satisfied. I think learning and mastering the art of marketing wouldn’t stop because of how dynamic and limitless it is. So, I kept myself in the hunt to upkeep myself with the latest. I also like to identify myself with like-minded people and successful marketers.
I find myself a day at the Marketing Tech Summit organized by the UC Irvine and the American Marketing Association. There I’ve listened keenly to every speaker and took key points for taking away. But I was awe inspired when I heard this man from EverythingOnline talking about digital marketing. It was as if he was some kind of a monk who mastered the art and dazed off every person in the room. He talked about digital marketing and how the various areas of business should collaborate to crop up a successful marketing strategy. His vision was entangling, so I have to see him the second time around at the summit talking in-depth about marketing automation and digital advertisement. He sustained my amazement that I wanted to share him with you. And so, I booked an interview with him as an encouraging opening salvo for 2019.
The day of the interview came on a rainy afternoon at the EverythingOnline office. It’s as if the rain is outpouring blessings on me as I get to meet and listen again to the co-founder and CEO of EverythingOnline, Craig Maloney.
A little backgrounder first on Craig. He noticed his affection for marketing when he was in grade 10, realizing that it is very different from his other classes. It was utterly a match made in heaven, rather in school. After graduation, he purposely took sales work and dwell on it for a decade. Like any other neophyte, he didn’t know much. But because he’s a man on a mission, he quickly learned the ropes and excelled in the job. Not long after, with the shared vision from a business partner that Craig jumped into the world of SEO when it was just meekly starting. Craig and his business partner founded a company in 2010 that specializes in digital marketing services, to what it is now known as EverythingOnline.
Now, everything is in order, let’s continue my conversation with Craig. Ride on!
Kim: Hello Craig! How is your 2019 so far?
Craig: Well, I made sure to get a good head start for 2019 by having a long vacation at the end of 2018. It was kind of to drain all the negativity and anxiety from last year and to be fresh as I start the new year. You know your head gets very clouded because of the many concerns and challenges and taking a vacation is all I needed to ease off those burdens. Good thing is that when I came back to work after the vacation, I carried with me a clear understanding of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go this 2019. It’s as if the vision I have is instantaneous. I want to achieve goals. So, that pretty sums up the exciting 2019 so far.
Kim: That’s cool! Sometimes a break is all we need to clear our thoughts and get on track again. So, what are those goals you wanted to carry this 2019?
Craig: The vision of EverythingOnline started in 2007 when I and a friend realized that there were too many marketing providers for the funnel and it is chaotic, at least for a business perspective. What is happening then is a business had to get various company providers for their website maintenance, email marketing, and social media. They get tangled up with the many people and systems they work with. And the biggest problem they have is that those companies were also competitors that the funnel couldn’t go on smoothly as they wanted.
Our resolve is to put on a company that is a one-stop shop for digital marketing services. And so, we started EverythingOnline to provide every digital support a client will need to succeed in their marketing and business goals.
The past years have proved to be fruitful. That’s why we won’t stop at that. This 2019, we plan to look for investors which we haven’t done since we established. It’s time for us to move further by investing more and finding strategic partners who would fuel our ideas. We are geared to finding people to help us capitalize on new types of business.
Kim: I get it. It’s not just about bigger means and more employees; it’s also about bigger capacity for the business and for quality.
Craig: A little bit of both. It’s actually less about the headcount or more employees. I want to be bigger in terms of expanding and adding capabilities, so we can service various types of clients.
When we started, we focus specifically on small businesses and I enjoyed working with them. But you know, it was very difficult to scale with them because they don’t have the budget. It’s hard to maximize their potential and do all the things you wanted for them to grow because they are on a limited budget. It’s not that I wanted to go with big companies, like Coca-Cola for example. I wanted to work with companies that are established, that have strategic goals and have the budget to achieve. These type of companies have in-house resources but are busy that they need an outsource partner to work with them of the tech side of marketing. These are the types of companies I really wanted to work with. And I wanted to find people who can work with me to do more business development.
Kim: So, these established businesses are your target clients. What kind of services would you offer them?
Craig: Well, we’ve always specialized in digital marketing. That’s always been our key service. The services we offer are lead generation, e-commerce, marketing, and digital brand building.
We use a varied mix of our services to customize to the need of our clients and their projects.
Kim: Do you work with the business owners?
Craig: It depends on the business and the people working in it. We normally work with the likes of a marketing director, BPO marketing head, or the entrepreneur themselves. For example, we work with the VP of marketing who is managing the team and finances.
Kim: Do you have a situation where one CEO agrees with you and another doesn’t?
Craig: Yes, that happens a lot! But because we’re marketers, we understand the value of everything either. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t agree.
I’ve been in situations like there’s a very eclectic business owner and it’s the CEO who really runs the company. The chief marketing officer going to the CEO and the latter is saying ‘What do I do? I can’t get the boss to sign off this or that. Or boss says, just go do this.’ Then all of a sudden the CEO storms into the meeting like three months later and say, ‘Why are you doing this? This doesn’t fit our strategic goals.’ Or something like that.
Kim: Oh, it really happens.
Craig: That’s why it is important to know first what the client wants. It is necessary that your goals and theirs align. That’s what you should do. Then they will trust you and start giving all the real information about the stuff you need to know. From there, you will be able to make a better strategy for the client.
Craig: You know, marketing is a low barrier entry. It is very easy for people and groups to get into marketing, but it would be very difficult to stay around and be good at it. Everyone has a unique approach to doing things for our clients. We’re neither dumb or know all. Being able to explain why your strategy and your tactics are the best for their needs is always a very big challenge.
Kim: As a company that is an expert in digital marketing and are pushing for SEO, how can they differentiate themselves?
Craig: I think this is where the human part of marketing comes in. I differentiate myself from the relationships I build with my customers. So, building a relationship is a key. You have to really know your customers, their pain points. Ask what their biggest pain point is, what big things they want to achieve.
Kim: Definitely it should be.
Craig: So the difference is understanding your customer and expressing why you can be valuable them.
Kim: So it may be more about social psychology? We understand the customer; we understand not only their goal but also their pain. But for new customers, how can you approach and persuade them?
Craig: The thing that I’ve been doing is trying to explain stuff more visually. You need a separate campaign for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, or Vimeo and in app stores and this and that.
Kim: So in 2019, what do you think will be the trend for digital marketing?
Craig: In 2019, we’re getting to a point where everyone can compete equally in digital marketing. The good thing about digital marketing is that you can track every effort that you do, you can track it all.
Kim: Any parting words? What is your advice to business leaders?
Craig: Hire Craig Maloney! That’s my best business advice as of yet (laughs). Hire me and I’ll help you out.
People hire me to manage their Google AdWords campaigns or manage SEO campaigns. But know that, I’m not in charge. I am literally just surfing a wave. Alright. I am not the ocean. I’m not even the surfboard or the surfer on top of the surfboard that is being pushed by the wave. My job is to read that wave and work with it. I think that’s really it. That’s what I can do for you.
Kim: To read the wave and work with it. That’s a pretty metaphor. If you know how to read it, then you’ll know what to do and how to do it. Thanks for your answers and your time.
Craig: You’re welcome.