Impact Media began in 2008 as an advertising agency focused solely on TV spots. Now, in 2019 (11 years later) that agency had since shut down and is now reforming again as Advertisx. So how did this all happen?
Well, prior to the founding of Impact Media in 2008, I thought I should play on my strengths (after freelancing for years prior at other agencies). The other agencies that hired me had me working on video production, i.e. filming and editing TV spots for their clients.
That started with one agency in particular in around 2001: Think Tank Advertising. Think Tank was a well known full service ad agency in San Diego (handling broadcast TV, radio, print, collateral, identity, etc). Well, the fun there only latest so long. After a period of time working as a full-time freelancer for Think Tank, the company decided to disband. The agency had two owners (partners) and they decided to part ways and start separate agencies, one going the route of search engine marketing and the other continuing more with identity (logo design, stationary, product packaging, etc.) So I began freelancing for both, more so for the search engine marketing outfit (that never really operated under a business name as he grew his business from clients and people that he knew). For him, I did all the video production for his video-SEO campaigns. Countless videos now exist all over the internet for lawyers, doctors, and all sorts of clients as a result of the video-SEO work we did together. While on the other hand, the identity-based agency became Epicenter Advertising & Marketing (now another prominent San Diego agency) for whom I created a few more TV spots, promotional videos, and company documentaries for.
So with all the freelancing for that small circuit of agencies, I began attracting my own clients using mainly a relatively new platform called Google Adwords (now called Google Ads). Because you needed your own website and your own business in order to run Google ads, I went ahead and created my own agency. Again, in those days named: Impact Media.
Impact Media began as a television focused agency (charging clients to produce spots and also run them on cable or broadcast TV) as the TV outlets offered a 15% discount to agencies. So there was an opportunity to capitalize from buying media as well as creating it. Unfortunately, that only lasted so long and the agency was really just scraping by. It wasn’t the start of the digital age (that had long been in my opinion) but it was a time when every business owner was beginning to look to the internet and forget about TV (fueled more so by the recession). So I decided to follow demand and turn the agency into a video production company that creates promotional videos for whatever clients wanted to use the video for (be it to embed into their website, or upload to YouTube, or run as a social media ad, or send out in an email campaign, what have you.) The clients never really had a clear plan on what to do with their video, but there was a lot of demand just to make one regardless, which Impact Media was able to get by with for its entire existence.
But Impact Media was never supposed to be simply a video production service. Production was only supposed to be part of it. The media buy was supposed to be the other half of the agency’s duties (as with ALL other ad agencies). So Impact Media had to find a way to bring that component of the business back into it. So for the final 5 years or so, Impact Media put video production on the back burner and focused on where clients do spend money on a monthly basis: Google Adwords. Impact Media was now a PPC management agency (charging both for the creation of ads and then to manage clients’ Adwords accounts on an ongoing basis). And Google Adwords was something I knew how to do very well from growing Impact Media using the platform.
So Impact Media went on as a PPC management agency doing work mainly for HVAC companies. That also lead to doing SEO as so many clients were more interested in organic rankings rather than paid. SEO also meant more money in Impact Media’s pocket as nothing would go to Google. It was 100% profit in exchange for work. Then three more SEO experts where subcontracted and Impact Media began to juggle many SEO projects at once. So what was the problem? Why did Impact Media shut down?
The answer is two reasons: 1. All the focus on search engine marketing lead to clients never branding their business. 2. There had always been problems with the name: Impact Media.
Reason No. 1: To Re-Focus On Outbound
Let’s start with number 1: I had an epiphany. Brought on by dipping around in television again and running another couple of ads on TV. I realized that clients really should be branding their business. Although search engine marketing is great for getting some quick sales, it doesn’t generate A LOT of sales from A LOT of customers (as branding campaigns do). What businesses really need to do is strive to become a household name. Even on a local level, why should a local plumber try to get found in Google for “best plumber San Diego” when the consumer could just search for the plumber’s business name directly (which is what people would do if the plumber was… BRANDING!) That’s why the plumber that advertises on TV gets all the business.
So luckily, the internet is rife with outbound advertising opportunities. With Google Ads, YouTube video ads, Facebook advertising, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. there is no limit to the amount of outbound advertising opportunity you can capitalize with. And it works similarly to the methods that Impact Media started out with (doing TV commercials) only it’s online.
Reason No. 2: The Name Confusion
We were having trouble with the name. Not only is Impact Media a common name held by many companies (and even agencies) all over the world, but here in San Diego in particular, there was another Impact Media which apparently was an unscrupulous outfit. Scammers apparently. The issue came to light after I did some SEO work for Impact Media’s own website it began to rank in Google organically. And when your website begins to get found, it first gets found for the business name. So who are the people that would Google “Impact Media San Diego”? Well, it’s people who are trying to track down that other/old Impact Media (that apparently used to operate in the 1990s). My Impact Media began in 2008. Anyway, I was getting calls from lawyers and people who are still trying sue that other Impact Media (which wasn’t a problem as soon as I told them “you’ve got the wrong Impact Media”) but still, I didn’t want the association. Thus, Advertisx was born. A new agency, with a new name, and a new focus.