I sometimes have to pinch myself when I realise AdMarula is now in its 9th year of business. It feels like just the other day that me and the other co-founders walked into an investor’s office and pitched our idea: to start the first, truly transparent performance marketing company in South Africa. It was a little terrifying to be honest. We didn’t know much about the industry, only what we’d heard from various publishers and advertisers. But clearly there was a need for our idea, and we had determination on our side.
Capital, determination and a good idea however, will only get you so far. We knew we couldn’t get the business off the ground if we didn’t have two other vital ingredients: publishers and clients. The problem was, we needed one to get the other – a real catch twenty-two situation. Did I mention we were determined? We figured that if we could get 5 brands on board, the publishers would eventually come. And so we set off on a mission to find 5 advertisers who were willing to be our first customers, and literally help launch our business with us. We thought it would be hard, and in some ways it was, walking into an established company’s office and asking them to become a client of a business that technically didn’t exist yet. But then the value proposition was pretty simple. All we needed was their buy-in, a bit of their time and their messaging, with virtually no risk, but potential for great up-side. A new sales channel not previously explored, so what did they have to lose? Such is the power of the performance marketing model.
After a few weeks we had signed up 5 clients, and we could go ahead with launching the business, which in turn has created jobs, business opportunities and sales for hundreds of brands and publishers over the years. And our journey continues. I cannot wait to celebrate our 10th birthday next year, hopefully with a big bash where you will be invited. I am truly thankful for the past 9 years at AdMarula, and in our story our clients (especially those 5 founding clients) are no doubt the heroes. Had it now been for their faith in us and our idea we would not be where we are today. And so I encourage you to make your customers the hero of your story. Get to know them, go the extra mile every day to not only provide excellent service, but to fix things when they go wrong – because they will.
Like any business owner I’ve had my fair share of ‘fire fighting’ over the years, but most clients are more forgiving than you think. As long as they see that you are truly sorry for your error, and that you are doing everything in your power to repair the damage (and keep it from happening again), you are likely to at least get a second chance.
On a more serious note, the Corona virus pandemic has forced the businesses world into unchartered waters and we understand that many of our clients and publishers are heavily affected by this. I want to assure you that we are open for business, and we trust that by adhering to the advice given to us by the people who know best, we will all get through this together.
No doubt this Easter holiday will be a more quiet one spent at home with your family. Wherever you are, take care, stay safe and please get in touch if you need help with any of your campaigns.
Onwards and upwards!
Daniel Gross – CEO