Business in the Spotlight: DigitalDinos
Our Spotlight this week is a company who shares a lot of Recommendable‘s values. Started by an incredible student, who has dropped out of Southampton University to build DigitalDinos! We were really excited to speak to a company focused on helping companies get online and get digital! Remember to be featured in Recommendable‘s Spotlight then apply here.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Carl Hewitt, and I’m lucky enough to be the Managing Director at DigitalDinos. I originally became fascinated with business at a young age and found myself hating the phrase ‘that’ll look good on your CV’ as I knew I never wanted a ‘real’ job! I love seeing progress when working on any project, often spending way too much time on fine tuning tiny details, but knowing that I’m in a role where I can get out what I put in really appeals to me. I started my first business when I was 16, a clothing line with aimed at giving gym goers more options than just Nike or Adidas!
A year later, after taking part in the Unloc Entreprise Academy at Portsmouth College, I made up my mind and decided I wanted to become and entrepreneur! Subsequently, I started my first business ‘Net Connection’, writing and delivering social media workshops to small businesses in Portsmouth which, after the addition of my two other directors Hayden Taylor (also Managing Director at Unloc) and Reece Matthews, we created DigitalDinos. I think that investing your time and/or money in people and their ideas is the most important aspect of business and so I’m lucky to have such driven and forward-thinking people working with me.
I have now left university to focus on my business full-time, and we’ve just taken on a new member of the team in Joe Lea, so I’m excited to find out where we can take this and just how far we might go!
What is DigitalDinos all about?
DigitalDinos is a disruptive digital marketing agency aimed at helping small businesses gain access to affordable digital marketing while also working with young, pioneering students, helping them to build a bank of valuable experience and boost their employability as they study.
After learning that local social media consultancy is being charged at up to £1000 per day in some cases. We found that those behind many start-ups have had become accountants, PR managers, HR whizzes and just about every other company role you could imagine. All of which leaves microscopic time for digital marketing and, as a result, it often gets pushed down to the bottom of the list; which is a big mistake!
Businesses were losing masses of potential leads, sales and growth due to inadequate digital marketing strategies and had no time to even attempt to create a consistent online presence. That’s where we come in. For the price of a coffee and a sandwich day, small businesses are able to afford a clearly thought out and executed social media marketing plan, monthly KPI’s, constant support via phone or email and the ability to tailor everything to their specific needs.
Also, we noticed unbelievably talented creative arts, business and marketing students finding themselves at a loss post-university as they had a huge lack of experience, with nothing to show on their portfolios. Therefore, we now work with some brilliant young designers, marketers and all round techies to deliver our services and create a win-win situation for both students and small business owners alike.
How important is what you do?
Based on feedback from our network and current clients, I think what we are doing is of tremendous importance to small businesses. The moment you mention affordable digital marketing for the smaller company, we see ears prick up! A lot of people have told us that it’s exactly what they needed as a start-up and as they progress their business. We were able to create 4 times ROI for one client, (Mick Collins of The Chocolate Lounge) in his first week with us, just through Facebook! And there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you’re helping someone grow because they took a chance on 4 baby-faced marketers! Since then he’s moved into a bigger space in the heart of the city and has some very exciting plans in the pipeline!
For students, we think the opportunity we present them with it’s something that’s been missing for too long. We’ve come up with a way to fit work into the everyday life of a student as they can now work from wherever, whenever, on their phones or laptops, and improve their employability; it doesn’t get much better!
DigitalDinos aims to work with 100 clients by this time next year and work with around 30 students to deliver the best digital marketing services possible to small businesses, starting with those local to us, then expanding across the UK.
Why is being active on social media so important for businesses in 2017?
In the words of Jason A Miller, of LinkedIn, ‘Social media marketing is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a necessary part of a successful integrated marketing approach’.
Digital marketing has become the most valuable and most accessible tool for any business, with spending in that area set to surpass traditional marketing spending by 2018. I think the reason behind this is that any business, big or small has the same opportunity as their competitors; social media levels the playing field. Facebook alone gives you a free-of-charge, captive audience, of literally billions, ready and waiting for you… if you know how to tap into it!
Social media is also a unique platform to communicate with customers in full view of everyone. Interaction with customers goes a long way, be it dealing with a complaint or just saying ‘Hi’, we’ve been given an unbelievable channel to push our brand messages to engage with our target audience but too many businesses are missing out!
Why is word of mouth important to you as a business?
We feel that word of mouth is the most influential form of marketing possible. Everyone trusts the opinion of their family and friends as, unlike traditional marketing, their network is usually unbiased, only suggesting a product/service because they really believe it’s so good it has to be shared! We find that especially with small, local businesses, word travels fast. Therefore, the bulk of our new clients don’t come from big marketing campaigns, but through word of mouth and recommendations.