Isobel Burns

Digital Marketing Engine LTD

Tell us about your background

A partnership of strategic marketing for a global automotive brand & relationship-based business development for international recruitment firms. Having built and sold businesses, we understand the pressures faced by entrepreneurs trying to be all things to all people. What we would have wanted became the basis for Digital Marketing Engine. By Building a fully functional marketing strategy that is both efficient and transparent means the business owner can focus their time and attention on their zone of genius, without losing control of the key part of their business development.

Elevator pitch: What is your agency about?

We help businesses who need more customers or clients. We work very closely with our clients to ensure their message is reaching the right people at a critical point in their buying decision. Creating authority in your chosen market, building efficient sales funnels and driving highly-targeted traffic through Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn campaigns.

Where did the idea come from?

The value of all online marketing is in the data. Most campaigns are reported with a handful of key metrics that don't tell the whole story. We wanted to change that - business owners are a bright bunch of people and deserve to know what is happening at this critical point in their sales cycle! Client acquisition and retention are what we specialise in. We work with the data to understand the journey your customer takes. We use the data to shape campaigns and drive revenue. We do this inside your business assets to ensure full transparency and promote trust. You can see the campaigns unfold!

What were some early challenges you faced?

Doing too much for too little and leaving ourselves stretched! We are problem solvers by nature so wanted to 'fix' things we could see needed work but were outside our scope. We're learning to 'stay in our lane' and advise instead! We also faced an awkward time when we first set up. Having had great results in other businesses, we found ourselves without our own branded case studies, which made it harder to win the first few clients, initially!

How has your business changed from it’s inception to now?

We're clearer now on who we take on as a client. We won't take someone on unless we're sure they are ready, both financially and in terms of their infrastructure set up. We're working with key partners to offer a more holistic service across different disciplines.

Tell us about your biggest failure

An early client we didn't audit as thoroughly as we should have done. This was a business we really wanted to work with so overlooked some basics that needed more attention. The client's website wasn't set up well, the pixel was being used for a few different businesses and the client had limited funds to get big results in a new market and with a new (unproven) product. We didn't set expectations clearly enough and ended up working 30-40 hour weeks on something that should have been 10! We got the results, but it wasn't a happy time!

What is the best indicator for you that your business is working?

Clients coming to us via referral. We know we're doing a great job because we can see the data but having people knock on the (virtual!) door is the biggest affirmation!

What is the biggest challenge you face with your business daily?

Reminding myself of the key deliverables rather than trying to do everything! Our plan is very clear but it's in my nature to try and 'help' all & sundry!

What’s something you wish clients understood better about your business?

That it takes time to get results but when you do the results are a game changer! Facebook is the ultimate 'have a go' platform when it comes to ads. Trying to get across how fiendishly complicated it is to run a high-converting campaign, without baffling your audience, is pretty tricky!

Are there any areas you’d like to expand in over the next few years?

I'd like to add in-house SEO specialists to the team. It is such a different beast to advertising but the two compliment each other so well.

Are there any technology trends that you’re particularly excited about using in your work?

Multi-platform tracking is just brilliant. Video editors are getting better and better, and there's always a shiny new app to play with!

What advice would you give someone who is considering launching their own agency?

Plan. Plan again. Now get ready to adapt your plans! Making sure you have your infrastructure in place means you run efficiently and in a manner that is scalable.

Can you give us your best tip for making customers happy?

Over-deliver. Love what you do and it will shine through. Be unrelenting in your pursuit of their goals. Get their message right then get their message in front of the right people. Add to that the right offer, and the results will flow.

Can you recommend a great book that everyone must read?

I'm going off-piste here because I find the classics, ancient mythology, a really insightful way of understanding people. The stories expose how we are persuaded, our beliefs about how things work and fit together, and what drives us as people. People buy from people so if we can crack that code, we're on the winning side.

Finally, what are you most excited about for the future of your business?

Being in it. I find inquisitive joy in what I do on a day to day basis. There is nothing more rewarding for me in my business than cracking a client's funnel, especially if it's been a tricky one! It's a sense of achievement, like when you get all the colours right on the Rubix cube (I'm such a nerd!).

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