Digital marketing companies are a different beast in 2017 than they were a decade ago. Client companies have long ago established a web and social media presence, and now they’re looking to make what was once a small part of their marketing plan into a driving force for the company.
Cedar Falls, Iowa startup Red Lab Technologies is looking to integrate companies’ marketing programs with technologies to create a more efficient system.
How Red Lab Technologies works
The roots of Red Lab can be traced back to when Greg Jass and Doug Drees launched TargetClick Marketing Solutions, which eventually merged with Mudd Advertising. In 2014, Jass decided to launch another marketing company, starting Red Lab Technologies.
“Digital marketing companies are a dime a dozen anymore, we’re well aware of that,” Jass said. “Back in 2010, when Doug started TargetClick, we had a leg up on everyone. Now running a good campaign isn’t a one and done thing. You take the info from that campaign and keep using it to build toward that company’s goal.”
Drees and Jass work with their clients to formulate a strategy, which might include a new website, who the clients want to target and tried and true digital marketing strategies like SEO and social media. The company has also created some scalable platforms, which make it easy for other agencies to bring Red Lab on board for specific projects.
“The landscape has gotten more competitive, and there are a lot more ways to target people,” Drees said. “The objectives of marketing have moved, and they’re continually moving in the digital space. What you do one month might not work the next. Marketing has to reflect all the different ways people are getting their information.”
New company, old lessons
Drees and Jass were able to learn from their experiences with TargetClick to help them decide what they wanted to do with Red Lab Technologies, and what they didn’t want to do.
“Fortunately, we were able to go through the acquisition of our previous company together, and we learned some things that were really good for Red Lab, and some things we would never incorporate into a new business,” Drees said. “We were definitely able to get a lot faster start this time around, and we really learned to appreciate what a good sales team can do. A lot of it is about relationships and setting expectations.”
What Red Lab is working toward
Drees and Jass have been a part of a startup that was acquired by another company. They’re not against the idea of it happening again, but they’d like to keep things a bit smaller and more focused for Red Lab’s future.
“We’ve been a part of a really fast growth stage before. I’m not saying we wouldn’t do that, but we want to stay fairly small to keep the company quick and nimble,” Dress said. “We’ll grow with our existing clients. The more cool things we can do on the marketing and development side, the more business seems to come our way.”
Joe Lawler is a freelance reporter based in Des Moines.