In this episode, Alex Fanshel, the CEO of New Standard Digital, discusses his unexpected career shift from finance to starting a marketing agency. They explore topics such as the future of marketing, the impact of AI, and the services offered by New Standard Digital. The episode also delves into the story behind the agency’s growth, the challenges and advantages of digital marketing for big brands and smaller businesses, and the technical challenges faced by big brands utilizing complex tech stacks.
Alex Fanshel is a highly accomplished professional with extensive experience in the digital marketing industry. As the CEO of New Standard Digital, a leading digital marketing agency, Alex helps Fortune 500 brands and startups drive predictable traffic, leads, and revenue through a range of digital specialties. Additionally, as an Enterprise Consultant and Subject-Matter Expert at General Assembly, Alex works with Fortune 500 enterprises to transform their marketing departments, focusing on digital transformation, e-commerce, and various marketing strategies. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Masters in Marketing Agency:
- New Standard Digital is a marketing agency that offers services such as content marketing, search engine optimization, Amazon management and marketing, and paid acquisition.
- Offering agency services, New Standard Digital expanded their offerings to include search strategy and organic search strategy for Fortune 500 beauty brands.
- Referrals and word-of-mouth played a significant role in growing their client base, along with upskilling through teaching opportunities.
- Big brands have brand awareness and existing search traffic, making it easier to get results.
- Smaller businesses can execute strategies faster due to fewer restrictions.
- Strategies for content/SEO and Amazon paid acquisition are usually similar for big brands and smaller businesses.
- Dev Noodle helps marketing agencies with developers’ “bench time”, providing support when needed.
Connecting with Alexander Fanshel:
Connecting with Josh Hoffman:
- 30:28 – First thing, if someone were thinking about starting an agency or any business, my answer is always the same. Your only job is to get someone to give you a single dollar. I don’t care what it’s for, I don’t care if you’re losing a ton of money, you probably will completely agree. Your only job is to get someone to give you a dollar. If you can do that once, okay, you can probably do it again in the second dollar, in theory will be easier to earn.
- 31:00 – What I always say in terms of marketing, I would say, you know, if someone is interested in marketing or just trying to do marketing better, I would say if something is complex, it probably isn’t necessary, and it’s probably not the best strategy when it comes to content in SEO, right? What are people searching? What is the intent? Do we have a right to win slash play? Can we create great content? Can we acquire backlinks? The strategy hasn’t changed in years. It’s very straightforward. It is not fancy. If, again, if it doesn’t intuitively make sense, it’s probably not a good strategy, frankly.
- 21:49.. Josh: Was there any, you know, like lessons that you learned through that process? Like you wish you brought stuff up earlier or anything like that?.. Alex: Oh, this is, this is a very good question. I think this was unavoidable, but to your point, we didn’t discuss what we wanted to do long term until we were well in it. And my business partner at the time was like, I just want to make good money and, and live, you know, live a, a high quality life where I don’t work all the time. And I was like, well, I want to build a, a business that grows.
- 27:06 Josh: Is there anything that you tried with like a bigger brand that worked with a smaller brand or vice versa that just fell on space? Take that the other way if you also want to say, oh my God, it worked, and you didn’t expect, so I’ll, I’ll give you the option there… Alex: I’ll say it this way, with what I mentioned before, with the bigger brands, right, they have brand awareness. If I have that, if I have existing search traffic, my life is going to be infinitely easier. Usually working with big brands is the dream because all the difficult part, brand awareness, what have you is already there. Now I just need to get my strategy approved and live. Whereas with the startups, the strategy is usually approved immediately, but the strategy going live does not produce results immediately.
- 19:32 Josh: obviously the first customer is really important, and through your story too, I think the second customer is arguably just as important. Because that almost starts the trend, right? Like, that makes it a company. So how did you guys, did you use that to get your second customer? Or how’d you guys get your second customer?.. Alex: I was just talking to a friend, and he is like, oh, what are you up to? And I was like, oh, you know, we started offering SEO services and we’re getting really great results. And then they’re like, oh, you know, I do consulting for some brands and I know a brand that could use SEO, can you talk to him? And we said, sure.