By Alicia Wallace, Camera Business Writer
Parallel Path, a Boulder-based firm that specializes in data-driven online marketing, in April appointed Hardy Kalisher to lead its strategic consulting group.
Kalisher, the founder of HK Design + Consulting, started working as a consultant to Parallel Path in November, then was brought on to a director-level position last month.
The Daily Camera spoke with Kalisher recently about online marketing strategies.
The following has been edited for clarity and space.
1. What prompted you to transition from HK Design + Consulting to Parallel Path?
I think it was a meeting of like minds. The founders of Parallel Path, Brian Cleveland and Bryan Boettinger, and I have some history with just working in the local community. Bryan Boettinger, we go back 20 years.
Conversations about coming in and supporting their leadership team as a consultant led to further discussions about joining the agency on a permanent basis. I was having success with (HK Design + Consulting) and ultimately the more I got to know about Parallel Path, the more appealing it became to join forces with them and achieve more (success) as a group as opposed to working fairly independently.
2. What do you feel separates Parallel Path from others in its field?
We’re an online marketing agency and there is no shortage of those. One thing we do particularly well is we’re very good at collaborating with our clients in developing direct and quantified goals.
The entire online space is very competitive, with evolving dynamics. We work as a partner with our clients to achieve their goals and build single- and multi-channel strategies to deliver against their goals.
(Working with) both medium- and enterprise-level clients, all of our clients are looking for the same thing. The clients’ chief marketing officers are charged with developing their brand awareness online to developing leads and revenue through transactional websites.
Our approach is very data-driven … and (applicable) to multi-channel strategies. We don’t just look at the end of the pipeline …
Our marketing decisions are moving at a faster and faster rate. … Being transactional online is happening faster and faster.
Online has gone from desktop to smartphones to tablets.
3. What types of customers are on your roster?
We have clients from Colorado to Japan. We have international clients. We have tech clients. We have e-commerce clothing companies.
We have global Fortune 50 clients. … Our clients are very sophisticated in their markets.
4. What are some tips seeking to improve their online marketing capabilities?
The most successful form of online marketing is delivering what the customer wants when they want it and where they want it, and the best way to do that is through content and relevant content. You need to reach your clients when and where they want to be reached.
When and how they are doing it (could include) smartphones and various devices.
The relevance piece, I go back to authentic content. That is where it is most effective.
If online marketing is about trying to beat the system, that is a short-term gain. Companies that are getting it right — and the strategies we develop — have developed content that’s authentic and relevant for the client.
… Be honest and have quality content and you will have qualitative success and you will have quality customer engagement.
(Search engine optimization) content is ultimately the most successful. Paid advertising works when it follows the same best practices from an SEO standpoint — matching the customer’s desire to find accurate, relevant content.
5. How could social media play into online marketing efforts?
Social media is just one part of an entire marketing strategy. Social media primarily allows companies to engage. If they’re smart, they’ll interact in real-time with their clients and customers and reinforce their brands or positions.
When done right, it’s about creating an authentic relationship with your customers. That authentic relationship is about being transparent and honest.
(Companies that are successful on social media) are quick to respond, quick to engage. They’re pushing conversations as much as they’re collecting and pulling in.
— Alicia Wallace
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