In today’s interview we talk to Ben Swartz, Founder and CEO at Marcel Digital
. We will learn from their past, see how their services help online businesses where other marketing and web design agencies
fail, and get some insights in the future of the industry.
Please present Marcel Digital to our audience. What services do you offer?
Marcel Digital is an integrated website development and performance marketing agency focused on the midsize B2B market. Our website development, SEO, paid media, and analytics teams are managed by a single PM to eliminate vendor fatigue, create efficiency, and drive performance. We are an Umbraco Certified Gold Partner, Google Analytics Certified Partner as well as a Google Premier Partner.
What’s your story? What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
Our founder Ben Swartz was working at AOL Time Warner 20 years ago and had a client named Marcel. Marcel constantly threatened to shift his AOL budget to this new thing called “Google.” This inspired Ben to figure out Google Ads, how it worked, and how he might launch an agency around this new channel. As AOL Time Warner began to unravel, Ben approached Marcel with a proposition to name his new company after Marcel if Marcel would become his first client. And Marcel Digital was born.
What is the mission of Marcel Digital?
To change your mind about what an agency is and what it can be.
What makes you stand out from the competition?
We are not a cliche. We are an authentic group of talented individuals who care deeply about our work. We are not perfect but you can expect us to be perfectly transparent in our communication.
What are your customers’ pain points that you help solve?
Marcel eliminates vendor fatigue by reducing the volume of meetings and multiple vendors blaming each other.
Our analytics teams are able to establish validated analytics results complete with goal conversions so you have a single source of truth in your own first party data.
We are truly integrated: Our SEO team and our analytics teams help paid media teams ensure we are only spending necessary budget on Google with little or no bloat. Our SEO team helps our dev team develop SEO friendly websites. Our paid media team informs our SEO team which keywords have the best engagement. There are many similar examples of the value of integration.
What trends are going to shape the future of your industry?
B2B firms spend too much on paid digital media. They tend to have a very narrow purview and/or flawed data. This needs to stop and the only way for it to stop is validate website analytics.
Next, firms will begin to connect their validated analytics to their CRM to find out what marketing channels or combination of marketing channels resulted in new to file business.
Finally, when firms possess high-quality data, they can confidently decide on whether to develop or redevelop their websites. In the past, it was common for B2B firms to discover an affordable designer, create something that appeared satisfactory to them, and attempt to execute the project rapidly while staying within a tight budget. However, those days have come to an end.
Lastly, any exciting news or developments that you would like to share about Marcel Digital?
Marcel Digital is going to be celebrating our 20th anniversary in March. We are also celebrating our 10th anniversary of being an Umbraco Gold Partner. We are one of only 6 agencies in the U.S. and the first agency in the midwest to reach this milestone. Marcel is also about to celebrate being a Google Analytics Certified Partner for over 12 years.