In this edition of Agency in Spotlight, we have with us, Garrett Mehrguth, president and CEO of Directive – a lead generation and performance marketing agency for software companies. Let’s get straight into where the story begins and how they paved their way to where they stand today.
Humble Beginnings of Directive
Garrett Mehrguth began his entrepreneurial dream on fiverr.com, a website that allows freelancers to offer services, starting at only $5. First, he founded the Irvine, CA office, where he provided services for SEO, PPC, Social, and Content Marketing.
Garrett’s first initiative was to create social media calendars for his clients.
Since Directive’s inception in 2014, Garrett has led its expansion of five new locations, starting from Orange County, to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Austin, and London. In 2019, Directive was ranked in the top 500 in the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. Additionally, Directive is certified as a “Great Place to Work” for 2020.
Garrett is proud of his six-year drive at Directive which has grown by a 300% year-over-year growth rate, and now has up to 100 clients. His clients include Allstate, Sumo Logic, and Betterment, to name a few.
Garrett explains his niche as:
“Every agency has a “proven process” but we aim to clearly connect the dots between performance marketing (SEO, PPC, CRO) and revenue growth for software companies. So, whether our clients need to generate marketing qualified leads or help their whole brand (not just their website) get discovered in the search, we’re there for them.”
One of the biggest achievements for Directive is its launch of an online digital marketing course, Institute. This initiative is an online learning experience in context to Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Rate Optimization, and understanding Analytics & Optimization.
Garrett explains the reason he pushed for this initiative as he understands how fast-paced the world of marketing is, and someone new to the bandwagon may struggle to find the point of origin.
“Many schools don’t offer up-to-date programs for digital marketing, and if you look online for help, there are thousands of videos and articles, making it impossible to know where to start. Institute offers step-by-step training that teaches marketers, from any level of experience, how to build essential skills required to accomplish growth goals for any business. Also, this course is based on real campaigns our team has used to grow online sales for companies.”
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Continuing with his opinion, Garett says that with SEO and PPC practices, they need to look for new trends and strategies, because they continue to change.. It’s imperative that we remain updated about the happenings in the industry to stay on top of things.
Garrett further explains how he was able to pave the way to success, in this case, there were a few drivers that helped in sustaining their continuous success:
- We’ve learned to let the data guide us. Success, which is often a synonym with growth, is data-driven.
- As a performance marketing agency, historically our growth was through “eating our own caviar”. We do world-class performance marketing for our clients and implement those efforts on our brand as well. Demand-generation-focused performance marketing is incredibly powerful and has a massive impact on pipeline consistency.
- We’ve focused on the development of high-value differentiators. At Directive, we’ve concentrated on performance marketing engineered around maximization of client ROI and developing a style of work that clients value.
At Directive, they use various tools that help them to efficiently get their job done. A few of the tools which they work with are:
- For SEO, they use:
- Google Analytics
- Google Tag Manager
- For PPC, they use,
Garrett believes in continuous learning – that’s the reason why he loves to attend meetups and conferences.
His field marketing team participates in various conferences throughout the year and hosts a number of meet-ups for marketing leaders.
“In 2020 I look forward to speaking at 23 Digital Summit conferences as well as Search Marketing Summit, SMX West, 3XE Digital, UnGagged NYC, and more.”
Tips from Garrett Mehgruth
Garrett regularly publishes his reports on conversions for data analysts. He enjoys experimenting with data-driven strategies to see how things unfold. He shares his two cents for startups and agency owners who are willing to start their own business ventures. :
“When a company understands why they exist and who they exist for, that directly influences their concentration and the development of high-value differentiators.
It is easy to get distracted by external noise. Your unique value proposition is your competitive advantage. Strengthen it before exploring potential areas of expansion. Then expand where and when it makes sense and diversify, but don’t dilute your core competencies.”
Lets recap on what we’ve learned through and from Directive’s journey.
- Drivers to success
- Adopt data-driven strategies
- Implement successful strategies on your own brand
- Focus on development of high-value differentiators
- Strengthen your USP before thinking of expanding, as it’s your competitive advantage
- The way to success is through continuous learning
We hope you enjoyed our talk with Garrett about his agency and experience. Stay tuned for our next Agency in Spotlight rollout!