Ever feel like marketing agencies just throw unfathomable jargon and invoices your way? Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of small businesses. Many spend thousands of dollars paying large agencies in the hope of growth but it gets them few strategies they understand, never mind results.
The founders of Digital Refinery saw firsthand the struggles of small businesses facing big agency churn-and-burn. Empty promises, opaque tactics, and lacklustre results. They knew there had to be a better way, so they decided to offer it themselves.
How Digital Refinery Stands Out
We spoke with Azriel D’souza, Digital Refinery’s Chief Marketing Officer, and here’s what she had to say about their company in her own words: “Our mission is to help businesses become more profitable. There is no point in spending on marketing if you are better off without it.”
According to Azriel, the chief thing that sets the company apart is transparency and accountability. All the processes and results they drive are designed to be transparent.
“We spend time understanding the business we are working with, use our experience to suggest the channels where they should focus their marketing and drive results that matter, and can help implement anything that they need within our domain of expertise,” said Azriel. “We also do 1:1 meetings with businesses to explain the reports and answer any questions. We document and account for all our time and work in a place that our clients have access to 24/7.”
Outstanding SEO Services
Most businesses seek the highest SEO rankings, yet few people understand how to drive commercial success using SEO rankings. Most agencies also follow the same template for all businesses.
Azriel clarified to us that that’s not the case with Digital Refinery. They understand that each small business needs something unique. From what Azriel said to us, Digital Refinery’s approach to SEO begins with understanding people, algorithms, and the client’s business.
Moreover, she noted that the company’s work is not just focused on ranking but on driving real, tangible results. For her, this has been at the core of the positive feedback and testimonials they have received ever since they began.
Azriel also noted that they usually have a waitlist for their SEO services. They only take on a select few customers each month that they can fully commit to.
They break SEO into a streamlined, simplified, and accountable process with clear indicators of success that can be measured from day one. And their expertise is not limited to just local SEO: they also help businesses launch internationally and expand their reach. Indeed, Digital Refinery works with businesses across Australasia, Europe, and the USA as well. However, Auckland has their main headquarters (close to Slyvia Park Mall).
But their holy trinity of services? SEO, creative website design, and online advertising (think Google, Facebook, and Bing Ads).
Community and Challenges
Really, when you take into account everything involved in making a small business successful, it’s no walk in the park. But Digital Refinery is a team that walks the talk.
The founders of Digital Refinery truly believe that the work they do directly affects the lives of the business owners and everyone involved within their family and the wider community. After all, like Azriel says, “when a business does well, the whole community flourishes.”
Digital Refinery’s team is a community itself, with specialists in every marketing area. But like any other business, their team hasn’t always been one big happy family.
Azriel shared with us that one of their biggest challenges was finding good staff in their team that have the same values and integrity so they can deliver that to every single customer who works with them.
They were also in need of a large team to manage the overflow of customers they got during the COVID season. And Azriel recounted to us that Digital Refinery even had a hand to play in helping medical centres shine during this time.
One local medical center found itself in a bind. As per Azriel, their website was built on an ancient system that was about as useful as paperweight in a hurricane. They needed a new website quickly.
They got quotes from a couple of big-name agencies, but after six months, all they had to show for it was a text-based website that looked like it belonged in the museum of Internet fails.
When they came to Digital Refinery six months later, the team understood it wasn’t just about a website anymore. It was about connecting with patients, alleviating stress, and making life a little easier during a global crisis.
In just 15 days, Azriel and the rest of the Digital Refinery team built the medical centre a website that was sleek, functional, and ready to tackle the pandemic head-on. No overseas outsourcing, and no communication breakdowns.
That’s apparently the difference Digital Refinery brings to the table. Azriel says that as they have their own team and do the work themselves, it’s faster, of better-quality, and always delivered on time with ongoing support.
And showing support to small businesses goes a long way for Digital Refinery. They have been growing and expanding organically, mainly through word-of-mouth.
Digital Refinery’s Vision
Aside from their vision to be the best digital implementation company in New Zealand and then globally, Digital Refinery hopes to double as a team this year, if not triple. All with the goal of helping businesses learn to use the funding available to them and market their businesses locally and at a national level.
The specialists at Digital Refinery are approved RBP partners too, and approved by the government to use funding from local businesses to assist in marketing themselves. However, they are grateful to their clients, who’ve helped them grow.
If the founders of Digital Refinery were to give advice to any upcoming businesses, it would be to focus on the customer, understand their needs, and be the best at delivering those services. And remember, be open to feedback and learning.
After all, she says, “your customer is your best teacher.”