With the goal of bringing innovation and transparency to the digital marketing space, Matthew Herchel, and Ben Hohner founded 2h Media, an award-winning digital marketing agency, in Guelph, Ontario in 2017.
In early 2020, there was a change in leadership where Aron Murch joined in the designation of Ben Hohner, who was to take a position at Mozilla. Since then, the team has expanded, as well as its service offerings. 2h Media also takes pride in supporting local small businesses in Guelph, Waterloo, and Kitchener, as well as enterprise-level companies across North America.
With an agile and iterative approach, 2h Media drives long-term growth and stability by breaking larger projects down into manageable sprints. Their focus is on transparency and consistency – values that have earned them much praise. They also say that by introducing business owners to standardized processes, they are able to answer questions sooner, complete projects faster, and produce results that encourage long-term relationships with their clients.
The Agency’s Focus
2h Media helps established non-profit organizations, for-profit accelerators, and government-funded programs integrate streamlined websites and create achievable short-term goals. This is the niche they are proud to focus on, and thus continuously evolve and streamline their systems to capture key metrics.
The digital marketing agency assists organizations to not only successfully reach and convert a wider audience, but also showcase their results to satisfy potential donors, investors, and funders.
Their success comes from their drive to empower as many businesses and individuals as possible. As a growing digital marketing agency, they also remain focused on maintaining their service offerings, while supporting as wide a range of businesses as possible.
2h Media’s Biggest Challenges and Achievements
This digital agency’s biggest challenge was creating an actionable game plan to achieve scalability and sustainability, keeping in mind that there was no recurring revenue model inherent to their business.
Sometimes, some projects can be challenging for 2h Media. For them, it’s mostly when ”a business owner or manager’s goals don’t align with those of their customers. This could come in the form of a business owner who doesn’t believe in their brand but wants it to mean something to someone else or it could mean that they don’t value user interface and user experience upgrades.“
How do they address the challenge?
To avoid becoming trapped in the weeds, they chose to dedicate 1 day per week strictly to business development. During this dedicated time, they reflect on past strategies, table new ideas, and build infrastructure with the intent to streamline and productize their service offerings.
As far as challenging projects are concerned, discovering them early on was a major factor for 2h Media. They successfully developed a process for filtering out the wrong clients from the right ones with significant time investment.
What achievements are they proud of?
2h Media categorizes its accomplishments into different segments.
Their biggest financial accomplishment was helping an established ecommerce business increase their annual online revenue from around $200K to over $7M dollars during a 2-year period of iterative development.
While their biggest social achievement was helping the Montreal Runners raise over $30K for the Terry Fox foundation.
According to them, their biggest technological achievement so far has been developing an in-house design system that blends seamlessly between their WordPress development projects and their Shopify development projects.
2h Media’s Recipe for Success!
The digital marketing agency goes by a single motto, “just be right!” But it really helps them stay on the right track all the time.
“Most of our clients are rightfully pretty cautious about taking on a large digital project. They may not have a technical background and can’t be expected to know intuitively how their dollars will turn into value. They also often have had a bad experience working with another agency or freelancer that over-promised and under-delivered. Addressing these concerns early and providing exactly what we promise is our foundational strategy that informs a handful of more specific strategies which have allowed us to grow to our current stage.”
2h Media’s recipe for success is the three main strategies it follows.
Their first strategy is to find the right customer, which keeps the agency’s client base focused. They make sure not to pass bad leads, so people are connected to the best service providers.
“We’re not aiming to close 100% of the leads that approach us. Instead, we’re looking for customers that align with our values and have a real need for our solutions. We ask ourselves early and often, “Is this the right fit?” If it’s not, we move on and suggest other service providers that might be a better match.”
Their second strategy is to always ensure that they are offering the right solution to their potential clients.
“Potential clients often come to us with an idea of what they need. Our goal is to understand our clients’ needs as intimately as we can in order to offer solutions that we’re confident in and that our clients fully understand.”
Their third strategy is to always find the right partners to work with! It is incredibly important for growing a healthy referral network and infrastructure. They make sure they only partner with companies that share the same core values as them!
“By partnering with the right kinds of companies, we attract new clients that are more likely to be the right fit, we gain access to technology that is more likely to grow alongside our company, and we associate with individuals that are more responsive, and easier to work with.”
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Software Tools and Apps that Help 2h Media Streamline Workflows
“A dedicated tech-stack is a core part of our business model. We choose our technology carefully and don’t deviate from our selected technology providers.”
The digital agency uses Klaviyo, Toolset, Typeform, and accessiBe to automate emails, build infrastructure and drive sales, capture user data, filter leads, and update website content as new content releases. All of these tools are supported by WordPress, and allow automation through artificial intelligence, which is the need of the hour.
How Cloudways Helped 2h Media Achieve Success!
2h Media is a Cloudways agency partner and is proud of its choice when it comes to choosing the right hosting. They have only great things to say about Cloudways and our Agency Partnership Program.
“Cloudways is great. Full stop.
Moving from a shared hosting environment powered by Cpanel to cloud hosting through Cloudways has been a technological leap. The servers are fast. The admin is intuitive. The plans are expandable. Why? See Cpanel alternative.
More importantly, customer support is lightning fast and knowledgeable. It’s everything we look for in a technology provider.
If that wasn’t enough, Cloudways is setting a bold standard for partnership programs. From growth coaching to cross-promotion, Cloudways treats their agency partners more like actual partners than just referral sources. As online partnership programs continue to grow, Cloudways’s approach is a breath of fresh air.”
Tips from 2h Media for New Agency Owners
The most important advice we can give people that want to start a new agency is to keep an open mind and connect with the right people. Too many freelancers never make the shift out of the gig economy mindset and into real growth thinking because they don’t surround themselves with partners that round out their skill sets and allow them to grow or don’t seek out and listen to mentors that know how to reach the next step in their development.
A quote from 2h Media that resonates with their success story:
“Do it right. Even if it’s more effort.”