We talked to Guido Ampollini of GA.Agency about changes in digital marketing and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Guido Ampollini: All good, thanks. Luckily my loved ones and I are all good.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded GA.Agency.
Guido Ampollini: I founded the digital agency GA.Agency two years ago, beginning in 2019. Two years later we are more than 20 people.
I started to work for Google first and Expedia after, between 2008 and 2013. I was in digital marketing at the beginning of the industry. After that, I decided to go solo; 5 years working as a consultant for search marketing by myself, trading under my name Guido Ampollini, was doing great. Working with important clients in big projects with a lot of freedom (digital nomads), but at some point, I realized the industry was changing, client acquisition for websites was happening across different marketing channels, and direct (other agencies) competition was growing; therefore I decided to scale the consultancy to an agency, building a team and increasing the number of services.
How does GA.Agency innovate?
Guido Ampollini: We recently launched a couple of new services, conversion rate optimization and data analysis. This came out from our ideas, looking at competition and/or understanding our clients’ needs. After we had the idea, we discussed it internally, we decided how to structure the service, and we started to offer to one of our clients for free as a trial program—a classical win-win situation. After the test was successful, we started to promote on our company presentation, website, etc.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Guido Ampollini: It has been tough; in the first part of 2020, few clients cut budgets. We lost roughly 20% of revenue. But over the recent months, there has been a great boost, with existing clients investing more and acquiring new clients. Investing in eCommerce has been obviously booming, and we are in that industry, so recent months have been really good.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Guido Ampollini: We had to furlough two guys in our team during the first part of the pandemic, but luckily UK gov supports have been to go. Then, when business restarted, around November, we had to hire different people to cope with demand, and to be honest, now it is easier; there are few talents in the market ready to start straight away. Especially the ones coming from the travel industry, which sadly have been hit hard by this crisis.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Guido Ampollini: For us, it’s pretty simple as an agency, we send out a survey to our clients every 6/12 months to collect feedback about how we are doing; we use Google Forms not using tools but keen to know if there are good ones out there.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Guido Ampollini: Nope. I just furloughed two people for some months, that’s it.
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