2016 proved to be a pivotal year for VitalStorm, both internally and within the digital marketplace. Prompted by exceptional growth, the year began with an ambitious move to a new office where additional space and a lake view offered a renewed vibrancy to the team. It was a year where business goals were exceeded and relationships with some of the largest companies in the home service industry were created. In addition to our exceptional progress, we made great strides in our company culture; performing more cohesively within departments and as a company overall. As we transition into 2017 with high goals and robust momentum, we stay grounded in our core values of commitment, care and teamwork. We spoke with co-founder Josh Moran, who took some time to reflect on our biggest year yet – and the vital storm of progress that lies ahead.
What would you say was the biggest challenge for VitalStorm this year?
One great challenge – same as the previous years – was keeping up with the fast growth, while maintaining the same high level of excellence. But, I would say the greatest challenge in my perspective has been building our team. It’s critical that we get the right people on the team and work to help them grow and enjoy the environment they are a part of. We have the conviction that team members must believe in the company they are a part of if they are going to trust and invest their time in that company. So, working to live our Core Values and help the team members to do the same, while also managing the “business” and “production” is a challenge.
Was there a department within the company you felt surpassed expectations?
What is most fresh in my mind is the Success Team – and that might be because it has been the most recent to experience marked improvements. This team is here to ensure our clients get the care they deserve – and expect. The feedback so far is outstanding. And my own experience with the team has proven the same. These guys truly care about our clients and take pride in those clients’ perception of VitalStorm’s excellence in customer.
It has to be said that I feel all departments have surpassed expectations. We’ve had new team members come on, who have made a great impact. We’ve also had team members step up as new team leaders and are raising the bar of excellence in their departments. Jeff and I do have very high expectations for our team, but still we are impressed with what has been accomplished this year.
How has the move to the new office effected our company culture?
In my opinion, the move has been the single largest factor in improving our company culture. It seems that team members feel better about this workplace and are thankful for the level of professionalism and creativity it brings. Our hope is to continue to build upon this and make this environment even more inspiring.
What were the biggest changes in the market this year? How did these changes affect our business strategy?
We’re blessed to say that over the years, as the economy has dipped, VitalStorm has continued to grow. However, although our own business has not been affected by any down-turn, we have seen an increase in cost on our clients’ side. And given that their companies may be facing economic challenges, we’ve had to manage campaigns around rising cost-per-click. That’s been a challenge, but not one that VitalStorm wasn’t prepared to tackle!
We signed on some high profile clients in 2016. What are some of the challenges we face as we continue to grow and attract multi-national corporations?
Yes, bringing on Rheem was a big deal for us. We somehow managed to roll with it – and not have to build our team up too greatly to take on the work. It has exposed us to a new horizon of clientele, and we are excited to break into this area of online marketing!
What are the short-term and long-term goals for next year?
We’ve got a long list of things we want to complete in 2017, but at the top of the list is breaking into the Display side of PPC. Currently, we’ve mastered our own strategy for Search. We’d like to do the same for Display. Our vision is to develop what we are calling “Performance Display.”
Also, big on the horizon will be an effort to build a strong outside sales team. Since we opened for business, our “sales” have always come from referrals. It’s time we step it up and develop a volume of leads for ourselves!
Is there a word or thought you feel encapsulates 2016?
Unbelievable. I would have never imagined we would be where we are so quickly. We’ve had some great years of growth in the past, but this year has been a huge milestone for VitalStorm. From the new office, to breaking $1,000,000 in monthly ad spend in AdWords, to partnering with a national brand, we’ve accomplished more than I can really believe at times.
We owe the success to our team and their hard work and dedication. We owe it to our clients who refer us and rave about us. We owe it to our Heavenly Father and the gifts and opportunities He’s provided.
The digital marketing landscape continues to change at a rapid pace. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos. Let our team guide your home service company through the rough and uncompromising tempest that is digital marketing. Don’t get caught in the storm; move actively through it with the experts at VitalStorm. Click here to learn more!