Jackson based GodwinGroup, one of the Southeast’s leading advertising and marketing firms, has announced it is forming an alliance with WebMetro, a full service provider of Internet and online marketing services, headquartered in Los Angeles. The strategic pact will expand Godwin’s new digital arm and top officers from both companies hope it will keep their brands on the frontlines of a rapidly evolving field.
Search engines have been combing the World Wide Web for the information-hungry general public since the early 1990’s. Since then, the industry has grown more sophisticated with early engines like WebCrawler, Lycos and AltaVista paving the way for Google, Yahoo Search and Microsoft’s latest incarnation, Bing. Major advertising companies that used to spend their budgets on billboards, radio spots and TV commercials are cashing in on this intricate and important industry using a new blend of technology and marketing savvy that includes website design and development, social media and search engine optimization (SEO).
“Digital is here to stay and we have to be there,” said Godwin senior partner and board chairman Danny Mitchell. While Godwin is no stranger to doing business on the Internet, having launched their first website in 1992, Mitchell admits that when the company looked at itself in the mirror it decided it needed to quit dabbling and make a major commitment to the arena. After spending a year retooling their business model and vetting potential partners they decided to go with WebMetro.
“Google is clearly the dominant force in the Internet today,” says Godwin CEO Philip Shirley. “WebMetro is an expert at using Google analytics and other Internet marketing tools, which translates into a powerful marketing tool for clients.”
Mitchell says that the Internet evokes emotion as a medium, much like television. People will choose what websites they visit and who they communicate with on the Internet just like they pick which television shows they will watch. “People are more likely to control what they hear,” Mitchell says. “This time they are controlling the brand and we have to tap into the audience’s agenda.”
Godwin’s early forays into database marketing provided them with a more shotgun approach using programming that could profile customers and locate pockets of potential clients. Today, Godwin’s digital marketing staff, which has grown to sixty, will have access to the latest version of WebMetro’s proprietary marketing technology called DSMM Advantage. DSMM offers a total campaign management system for online marketing, including detailed tracking and analytics software with a rifle-based approach that listens to customers
Mitchell says that getting results has always pushed Godwin. “Our clients aren’t looking at our awards but at our results and how they can drive their business,” he says. “We want to know information. What attracted us about the system was the analytics, the ability to scientifically evaluate and adjust as we communicate with people. Anybody can buy a paper click or dabble with social media or SEO but these guys were able to prove that they have done something and show a return on investment. We’re closer to the customer than we’ve ever been.”