Captains Blog / June 09

Captain’s Blog: Chapter 10

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Recently, I celebrated my 9 month anniversary as the CEO of iFrog Digital Marketing and I could not be more proud of the pirate team at iFrog.  iFrog recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary.  I have heard our COO and others describe iFrog as a company of two distinct time periods, “before KT and after KT.”  That really does sum up iFrog Digital Marketing. 

Prior to my joining iFrog, they were a highly successful boutique agency that had their DNA in two substantial elements of marketing.  First, they were actually Born In a Dealership®, Preston Ford to be exact.  They literally were serving the internal digital needs of the entire Preston Automotive Group.  It was that early success that made Dave Wilson, our Chairman, and Brent Durham, our COO, decide to form a separate business to service auto dealers.  The other part of the DNA is world-class service.  Clients were not treated as a number, but as a partner.  So, the foundation of iFrog was built and they ran a very successful business for their opening act.

Then, 9 months ago, I left my digital leadership position at GTB (Global Team Blue) to join iFrog as their CEO.  I was impressed with iFrog because of their potential, but I also saw a huge limitation.  They did great marketing, but it was entirely manual.  They were not able to scale to get to the next level so I wanted to redefine iFrog from a small boutique agency to a global marketing technology company.  

iFrog needed a transformation in two distinct ways.  We needed to embrace technology and become a leader in marketing technology.  We needed to stop thinking of ourselves as local and regional and start thinking of ourselves as national and global.

First, we needed to tackle technology.  We started implementing a single technology stack that was built with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning across all platforms so that our Media ROI would increase substantially for our clients.  It also greatly improved our efficiency and ability to identify revenue opportunities for clients.  Also, all of our platforms are connected and talk to each other, so it gives a complete customer journey.  Add to that a robust business insights practice that focuses on business outcomes, not just digital metrics, and we have liftoff!  

Another aspect of commitment and growth in technology is the creation of iFrog Labs. In our Labs area, we will be creating proprietary software which will be our entry into SaaS (Software as a Service).  Our initial proprietary technology is close to its first release and we have an entire 3-year plan of products that will be released.  Our mission is to change and disrupt marketing to leverage technology to make a much better consumer experience and greatly improve marketing ROI for clients.

The other major shift for iFrog is around our marketing and brand.  We are no longer solely focused on just Tier 3 automotive.  We are no longer a local or regional company on the eastern shore of Maryland.  The eastern shore is where our headquarters resides, but iFrog today is a national marketing technology solutions company.  Today, iFrog has the ability to offer solutions for both brand and retail across all verticals.  iFrog Labs is already building software solutions.

We honor our roots in a dealership, our hometown and all the folks who have made us great.  However, iFrog is not a local or regional company.  We are not a retail company.  We are a marketing technology company, which is why we have thrived during this COVID-19 pandemic.  

Our clients span the nation and within 2 years, they will span the globe.  While we honor our past, we will not be defined or limited by it and our team is focused on building a sustainable competitive advantage for our clients.  We aim to be different and not be confined by the thoughts of the past.  The future is exciting and new and we are honored to be a part of it.  We have the strength and courage to reimagine marketing and limit the waste and make certain we are consumer centric in our approach.  As we exit COVID-19, iFrog is a very different company, a stronger company and the best part is the world hasn’t seen anything yet – but they will.

As always, please don’t hesitate to hit me up 24/7 at kt@ifrog.com

Be a pirate, have a great day and embrace the change!  Focus on continuous improvement and evolution!  #ifrogmarketing, #pirates, #PiratesForChange

This week, our Captain discusses his mission ambition.  Right now, our clients span the nation and within 2 years, they will span the globe.  Want to know how?  Read his latest Captain’s Blog to uncover the secret. 

Keith Tomatore

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