I get asked this a lot…. People seem to find it fascinating that I decided to go into business myself during a worldwide pandemic and with the added pressure of having a child on the way in November. I’ll admit, I often ask myself the same thing and wonder whether or not I am putting too much pressure on myself to succeed, but there are some really good reasons to be starting a Digital Marketing agency right now and for me, it was an appropriate time to take a risk and do something I’ve always wanted to do. Here’s a bit more backstory as to why I started Reform Digital.

Redundancy

This isn’t an uncommon thing to hear during Covid times. I, like a lot of other people in Australia, was made redundant in my previous role due to the pressures of this pandemic. I was initially kind of shocked at the decision, but looking back on it, it was a necessary thing to happen to really kick me into gear.

I’ve found that during my career in digital marketing, there are times where you become a bit complacent and lose sight of what really drives you and I have had this on and off during different stints in different positions. This sudden change in plans however did the total opposite and really cleared my head, allowing me to clearly see what my next step was.

Hearing all of the stories of businesses going under, staff being terminated, pays being cut and plenty of other ways in which businesses in Australia were looking to survive, I suddenly realised that although these are horrible decisions that needed to be made. I wanted to lead a team of talented individuals and I could see an opportunity for growth that would allow me to bring on some staff and provide jobs at a time where people were losing them.

I don’t wish redundancy upon anyone, but for me, it was actually a blessing in disguise.

A gaping hole in this industry

You heard right, I believe that there is a gaping hole in the digital marketing industry. Looking at the large number of digital marketing agencies in Australia, it isn’t any coincidence that there are some average operators out there and I have seen this increasing over the last 5 years in digital agencies. I have a strong belief that if you are being paid for your service by a client, the relationship should be open, transparent and offer great value for their investment.

Things like consistent and accurate tracking and reporting, constant communication of deliverables and KPI’s and quality digital strategic thinking and implementation are the absolute MUST HAVE’s from a digital marketing campaign and often I have heard too many times from clients that this industry over promises and under-delivers. As an agency, we always try to put ourselves in our clients shoes to truly understand the way they see their investment playing out and if we aren’t exceeding their expectations, then we aren’t doing our job properly.

By identifying this area of the industry that I think needed filling, it motivated me to fix this and to be better than the average digital agency in Australia and to strive to excellence, not just settle for a salary and a handful of decent clients.

Covid isn’t so scary

Let me just start this by saying that the disease itself is scary from a medical standpoint and my heart goes out to anyone who is dealing with covid’s impact, but I’m referring to Covid in the digital marketing world. When the initial news started to break out, businesses were shutting up shop with digital marketing and advertising spend, so there was definitely a rush of panic through the industry. This however didn’t scare me or my decision to start an agency, it actually made a lot more sense.

With everything that is going on right now, businesses have started to shift their focus and a huge push for Return on every dollar they are spending has become awfully apparent. This is excellent for a startup agency who focuses on conversions as businesses are now shifting away from the mentality of “we need to be doing digital and we will just go with these guys because others are” and they are moving towards “what provider can give me the best return so that I can maximise my returns digitally?”.

It is the whole reason I came up with “Reform” as a business name. Reform literally means:

With so many underperforming and broken campaigns out there, our objective from the beginning has been to improve, make changes and optimise campaigns to increase conversions for businesses. I couldn’t resist the temptation of starting an agency that could really impact businesses and improve their marketing strategy during some of the hardest times to run a business we’ve ever experienced.

Why not?

Simply put, why not?! Sure, I have a baby on the way, so being financially stable during that time was a concern… Covid definitely makes you consider whether or not things could get worse… I had several job opportunities thrown at me for established agencies in Australia that were awfully tempting… I even had some people in the industry aggressively persuading me not to consider starting an agency… These may all seem like logical reasons not to pursue what seems like an uphill battle, but there is one specific reason that trumps all of the above to keep me doing what I’m doing –

I LOVE WHAT I DO!

It’s true, I love everything about digital marketing, I love the problem solving, I love brainstorming and bouncing ideas off my clients and my staff and most of all, I love that we are able to help businesses scale and reach their goals. All of these things give me the drive to make a successful business and are the main reasons why I decided to start my own digital marketing agency during Covid.

Dave Hyman – Founder – Reform Digital

If you would like to chat more with me about your digital marketing strategy and scaling your business for the remainder of 2020, click here to get in touch!

One Response

  1. I love your thinking David and wish you good luck with your new venture, I will certainly pass on your business details to clients that may need your services.

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