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  • Writer's pictureLisa Williams

Michael King on Marketing Benchmarks, Billing & Imagination

Michael King is a digital marketing leader and marketing technologist. He leads an agency, iPullRank, which specializes in Content Strategy, Audience Research, Social Media, SEO and Marketing Automation. His edge as a marketer comes from his ability to take a difficult marketing topic, dive deep in to the research and emerge with a solution that's part marketing and part technology. My book "When Everybody Clicks" cites the importance of relationship building as a path to sustainable digital marketing. King shares how imagination, trust and respect drive value and success for his team and clients.

-What do you think are benchmarks of sustainable digital marketing?

As with anything in marketing, these benchmarks need to be determined against the business objectives of the marketing campaign. Ideally, though, we're looking to build flywheels such that the marketing gains enough momentum to keep going forward. Each channel has a different benchmark for that self-sustained growth, but I think content marketing is a good example of this. With content marketing you're typically spending for several months before you see a real return, then at one point you've developed enough valuable stuff that the value of the conversions surpasses the cost and continues to grow month over month without much more proactive push.

-What are the biggest pain points of creating long-term agency/consultant and brand engagement?

As an agency/consultant you're always fighting against the clock. People wants results right away and at the cheapest price. Since most agencies/consultants (not iPullRank) bill hourly, everything is a function of time.

-What is the number one cause of failure in digital marketing relationships between agencies and brands?

Lack of trust and/or respect on either side.

-When do you decline a project or client?

Whenever it's a bad fit. The bad fit is largely determined by the prospects attitude. It's not always a function of money, I'm always down to work with someone who is ready to get results. I'm not interested in clients don't respect the work or our methodologies.

-What is your biggest frustration?

My biggest frustration is that I love building things and I love helping other people make their things successful. Right now, I spend more time helping brands and not enough time bringing my own ideas to life. I don't see an end to that conundrum in the near future, but I look forward to my team growing to the point that I can just work on my passion projects and oversee the team.

-What are your priorities/guidelines when selecting new business?

I look for passionate people that have a problem they truly want to solve. It also doesn't hurt if they can afford us.

-What are the qualities of a sustainable digital marketing relationship between a brand and vendor?

Results, Trust, Respect, and Managed Expectations.

-What do you think are the qualities that prepare today's digital marketing professionals to be revolutionary and to stay relevant in our ever-changing industry?

Imagination. There's a lot of copycats that are afraid of taking risks and not enough people that are trying new things.

-What types of clients/engagements are your favorite?

I don't really have a type of engagement since we do so many different components of online marketing, but I do love the ones where we get to build a creative piece of content.

-Please share an experience that made you either super excited or super distraught in your time as a digital marketer?

I really enjoy when we get people results and they are super excited to see things work. I also really love watching my team flourish into the great digital marketers that they are. It never gets old seeing a chart that goes up and to the right either.

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