We talked to Salvador Daswani, co-founder of Trek Marketing, about digital marketing strategies, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Salvador Daswani: We’re doing good. It’s definitely been a challenge, but we’ve done our best to remain positive.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Trek Marketing.
Salvador Daswani: My educational background is in Electrical Engineering. After working for four years as an Electrical Engineer after university, I made a rather abrupt jump into entrepreneurship in 2012 by dropping everything and moving halfway around the world (literally) to the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, to build and run a small hotel. Through marketing this hotel, as well as developing an online booking system for tours and excursions in Mauritius, I became interested in digital marketing. Three years later, in 2015, I returned to Canada, and about six months later, I co-founded Trek Marketing with a friend who had an existing web development company focused on ecommerce.
How does Trek marketing innovate?
Salvador Daswani: At Trek, we are extremely ROI-focused when it comes to our clients. The majority of our clients are ecommerce businesses that want to increase their online sales. We use data in order to drive our decisions and effectively build holistic marketing strategies for our clients. We’re constantly looking at new metrics that are directly or indirectly tied to website sales, and we determine how to measure and make decisions based on these metrics.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Salvador Daswani: It’s no secret that ecommerce has boomed during the pandemic. However, we were hit quite hard in March and April 2020 as some clients reduced or eliminated their marketing budgets given the uncertainty at the time. However, since mid-2020, we’ve seen a steady increase in clients, and many of our clients are seeing monthly sales far higher than anything they saw pre-COVID.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Salvador Daswani: As a consulting business, one of our biggest challenges has been when to hire, especially in uncertain times. In the past, we’ve waited too long to bring talent on board. As we grow, both in terms of the company size and as entrepreneurs, we’ve become less risk-averse. A lot of this is due to the fact we’re more confident in taking calculated risks given past experiences.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Salvador Daswani: One of our biggest challenges during the crisis has been to keep team morale high. This is especially true given that we’re allowing staff to work from home and no longer have the interaction we did pre-COVID. We’ve noticed that staff who live alone have been especially hard hit. We’ve given extra attention to employee mental well-being and virtual happy hours, and get-togethers have helped somewhat mitigate the lack of social contact we’re all experiencing.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Salvador Daswani: There are lots of marketing agencies out there, but we rarely come across one as ROI-driven as Trek. For example, our Pay per Click (PPC) services are billed as a percentage of revenue we generate for clients from a particular PPC platform, and not just based on a flat rate or a percentage of ad spend, as is the industry standard. This attention to our clients’ bottom lines, in addition to our data-based marketing decisions, will help us stay competitive. At the end of the day, we know we’re providing real value for our clients, and we can tell them exactly how much value we’re providing.
Your final thoughts?
Salvador Daswani: Ecommerce as an industry is still in its infancy. We’re excited about what the future holds and that we’ll be a part of this rapidly growing industry.
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