First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Brian Jensen: We are doing well and feel fortunate that we’ve been able to stay healthy and safe. It’s been an adjustment having our children out of daycare and attending school online, but I know our situation isn’t unique.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Congruent Digital
Brian Jensen: My background is working at marketing agencies in SEO departments, which were typically siloed. I identified a need to create an agency/service where marketing departments worked together to create an integrated and consistent experience across the buyer journey. In 2015, I took the leap and started my own company. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve made mistakes along the way – with that being said, I’m a firm believer that hard work always pays off.
How do you stay in business?
Brian Jensen: We hustle! At Congruent, we pride ourselves on creating marketing strategies and campaigns for our clients that incorporate tried and true marketing tactics with creative solutions to help our clients succeed in an ever-changing digital landscape. We’ve also learned to adapt and pivot quickly. In digital, it’s vital to stay up-to-date with the latest technology… especially with the platforms we use for paid advertising, including Google and Facebook. All of our business comes from referrals and word of mouth, so the hope is that as long as we continue to exceed expectations for our clients that they’ll want to continue to refer us!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Brian Jensen: For some clients, the impact was more severe than for others. Our service provider clients were hit harder than our SaaS clients, who saw almost no disruption in revenue. We found ourselves working on solutions to help our clients adapt to doing business during a pandemic. For example, when restrictions were put in place, we worked with our service business clients to start offering virtual estimates to keep leads coming in.
We had clients that had to scale back, which was O.K. with us. We view ourselves as more of a partner than a vendor and embrace the mentality that we are in it together!
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Brian Jensen: We did experience bandwidth issues, and I had to let a client or two go. It’s hard giving up revenue, but ultimately, we have to do what’s right for us and right for our clients.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Brian Jensen: I’ve learned how to manage it better – accepting that there will be stressful moments for me was the first step. When you are overwhelmed, even the most basic tasks can feel insurmountable – sometimes, you just have to take a step back and give yourself a small break. From there, I learned that eating healthy, getting plenty of exercises, and making sleep a priority are all effective ways to reduce both stress and anxiety.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Brian Jensen: Digital marketing agencies are a dime a dozen. My personal thought is that there’s plenty of business to go around. While we provide advertising and marketing services for our clients, we do no advertising for ourselves. We plan on growing by continuing to follow the mantra that we’re not looking to be the biggest, just the best.
Your final thoughts
Brian Jensen: We’ll get through this – things will return to normal. Be safe, and be respectful.
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