We talked to Daniel Mester of Masa Media SEO & Digital Marketing, the first digital marketing agency in Israel to provide monthly services without long-term contracts, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Daniel Mester: Thanks for reaching out. We are doing well and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I appreciate the opportunity.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Masa Media SEO & Digital Marketing.
Daniel Mester: I have been engaged in SEO since 2011. I have been studying by myself and doing some random projects in my spare time. I started my official journey in 2013, when I had my first job as a junior SEO account manager in one of Israel’s largest companies (Yellow Pages). I was very happy there and even had the opportunity to meet the woman who later became my wife. About 16 months later, I felt I was ready for some new challenges, so I transferred to a leading international betting company. I was curious to get familiar with the global market and the toughest niches SEO wise. I had a great time there, learned a lot, and after about six months, I felt I could go my own way, and this is what I did. I set up my own website, promoted it organically on Google and started to get customers coming in. All along, good friends and people have recommended more customers to me and helped me grow. Since then, we have steadily developed to where we are today.
How does Masa Media SEO & Digital Marketing innovate?
Daniel Mester: We strive to stay ahead in all aspects of our business. We continue to invest in research and development and look for ways to improve our work. We are the first digital marketing agency in Israel to provide monthly services without long-term contracts. Over the years, we have established a number of proprietary tools and workflows that allow us to obtain the best results for each customer who joins.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Daniel Mester: We closed the physical office. My team and I started working remotely, and honestly; this was one of the best decisions we made. Now, we can hire the best talent without worrying about geographic location. In addition, it frees us from commuting time and other related expenses. The most important thing is: everyone can become more productive in remote work. As for customers, some of them had to suspend their campaigns due to the severe impact of COVID-19. The rest actually increased their investment and expanded their online campaigns. On top of that, many new leads poured in. COVID-19 seems to be a huge catalyst for companies to establish online businesses and use digital marketing as their main marketing channel. So luckily, this was actually a good time for a business like ours.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Daniel Mester: In the first few years, we strived to make everyone happy and take on as many projects as possible. After about 2-3 years, I realized that my team and I were working around the clock, and the financial aspect did not really justify it. We also did things that we were not the best at, which led to moderate results. I decided to rearrange the entire business module so that we can focus on what we like to do and what we do well. We shifted from different services to mainly focus on SEO. This meant learning to say “no” and sacrificing a lot of business to promote future growth. In addition, we decided to focus on quality rather than quantity: instead of recruiting many small businesses with budgets and expectations that would fail, we decided to reduce the number of customers, but to make sure that everyone working with us had what was needed to succeed. We became an agency that focuses on a limited number of clients at any given time. We focus on interpersonal relationship with our customers, quick response to any problems and our full attention to each project. The results are surprising. We are currently working with some of Israel’s largest companies, and we have attracted new global customers while maintaining a retention rate of approximately 90%. The lesson for me is: learn to say no and focus only on what you are really good at.
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