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Interviews

How Marketing Agencies Stay Productive: Louis Miller of eCity Interactive

April 19, 2018

This week we feature Louis Miller, Managing Director-Strategy of eCity Interactive. eCity Interactive is an award-winning digital agency using proven digital methods to impact the things that matter most to you. Founded in 1999, they believe that building strong relationships between their clients and their audience leads to enduring success.

In this interview, you can read more about his work, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.

Your location: Philadelphia, PA.

Your favorite gadget: My bike - It’s the best way to get around the city.

You start your day with: Two strong cups of coffee and, if I’m lucky, a few minutes of quiet with my Headspace app.

Your favorite time-saving trick:  I use the MealPal app to reserve my lunch in advance, so I can skip the lines and grab my food without even waiting to pay. It saves me at least 30 minutes per day!

Your top 3 blogs you read daily: I love blogs that talk about user research and the science behind why certain web designs work, like Smashing Magazine and Nielsen Norman Group. Harvard Business Review consistently publishes great articles that make you rethink things. And of course, whatever is trending on Twitter.

A picture of your workstation or the view outside your window if that inspires you: We have great views!

The view outside Louis' office window

Describe an average day at  eCity Interactive?

I start my day reviewing my calendar to see what needs to get done that day (and making sure that I haven’t been double-booked). If needed, I’ll put a hold on my calendar to make sure I have time to think and do some production work rather than spend all day in meetings. As a content-focused digital agency, I spend a good portion of my day brainstorming ideas for blog posts, videos, eBooks, and other features that will be meaningful to a particular group of people. Otherwise, I’m working with the team digging into analytics, calling clients, reviewing proposals, and getting things done!

As a marketer what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?

Take the time to step back from your daily work to focus on your business rather than doing the work of your business. At a growing company, there’s always more to do than there are hours in the day, so you need to be intentional about making sure everyone is on the same page with what kind of company you’re building and how to get there. Our leadership team has weekly meetings where we don’t talk about clients or projects, but instead identify goals and issues to be resolved in order to build a stronger team. This has been a great way to focus on what’s important for us. I send myself a bunch of emails every day: notes from meetings, tasks that need to get done, people to follow up with. Productivity experts usually recommend not to use your email as a to-do list, but it works for me! Probably the most important productivity hack is to remember to actually talk with people. There are a hundred ways to send messages to people, but nothing replaces face-to-face interaction. It’s the most effective way to get a point across and make a decision.

Weekly meeting at eCity Interactive

As a person who is well-versed with online marketing/ inbound,  I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3-5 tools you use?

We use HubSpot as our marketing platform and sales CRM. Having all our information on a single platform has been a great way to get our marketing and sales teams aligned. I use Lightshot screenshot tool probably a dozen times a day to quickly show bugs, document workflows, or communicate design changes. The browser plugin makes it easy to show exactly what you want in seconds. We’ve also moved our entire team into using the Google’s G Suite, so having everything in the cloud, paperless, and searchable has been so helpful.

Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?

We have a very sophisticated marketing system where we can send targeted messages to users based on which web pages they are reading on our site. For instance, if someone in our database has clicked to read more about our inbound marketing services, we can automatically follow up with related emails including relevant blog posts and case studies. In addition, we’re always analyzing conversion rates on blog posts and landing pages to see what’s driving leads and how we can improve them going forward.

What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?

First and foremost, we try to write about the pain points of our ideal clients in a way that is relevant, informative, and entertaining. Having a catalogue of high-quality content makes organic search our top acquisition source for new leads. From there, we push people to trade their email address for one of our more in-depth ebooks or white papers. Once that happens, we establish a personal connection as quickly as possible to see if we can talk about what brought them to our website. If there isn’t an immediate need, we will continue sending them relevant information so we’re top-of-mind when they do have an opportunity to work with an agency.

Is there any advice you'd like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?

Identify what’s important to growing your company and focus on that. It’s much easier to spend your day on quick tasks and replying to emails, but that won’t be nearly as effective.

How do teams at eCity Interactive have fun at work/ make work fun?

We have quarterly team outings, which have ranged from volunteering at a nonprofit for needy children, karaoke, going to Phillies baseball games, or competitive axe-throwing.

The eCity team enjoying a game of competitive axe-throwing

A big thanks to Louis for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out eCity Interactive.

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