Gary Nissim on building Indago Digital

Mediaweek

Tea IMAA, the industry’s national nonprofit association for independent media agencies, was launched last year.

Since then, it has continued to grow its member base and has made a number of major announcements, including its business credit agreement and a number of new media partners.

Mediaweek has been profiling IMAA members; the above functions can be found here. This week we speak with the CEO of Indago Digital Gary Nissim.

Nissim pointed to his return to GroupM-owned agency Outrider as one of the key stepping stones to opening his own store.

“Outrider was the perfect stepping stone to running my own agency, as it went unnoticed because it was not profitable. I was able to bring my own team, product, tools, process and culture, but at the same time I took advantage of the support provided by a group of agencies; finance, human resources, training and influence. We exceeded the targets and no one bothered us. “

After three years, the business was profitable and Nissim said he had two accomplishments. The first was that all of the customers and employees were friends with the senior management team and, second, their growth potential at GroupM was limited.

“At the time, I knew what I had to do: quit and build my own agency, but first I looked to raise seed capital. What surprised me was the number of people interested in investing in a service-based business. However, I never took the money, the best move I ever made.

“It has brought me peace, happiness and most importantly control, which was the main reason I established Indago. I enjoyed my time in the different agency groups that I have worked for and have a lot of respect for them, but I set up Indago because I wanted to do digital marketing differently. “

Things moved fast from there with Nissim quitting his job and starting Indago Digital without any startup capital, buying a home and also having his first baby in the space of three weeks.

“I got my first client in the opening month to whom I owe everything: Jeremy reitman – who at the time was director of digital for the new Hello World. He had been a previous customer when he was on Expedia and had quickly become a great friend.

“A week later, I got my second client, Contiki, through another industry legend Tim Connew whom I met through the group of mothers of my newborn babies. I didn’t even have a sales platform, I completely outgrown it and ended up working with Contiki for four years before they brought their digital marketing to the company. The next cab out of line was starting to work with the newly hired and incredibly talented Rebecca newton At Crown Resorts and Casinos, although Rebecca moved on, we are still working with Crown seven years later. “

How Covid-19 Affected Business

Since Indago Digital focused on travel and hospitality, the company suffered huge losses last year.

“We had clients who ruined us and some just refused or couldn’t pay their bills. Fortunately, I never wanted to be a bank, so we did not pay for customer media, which limited our exposure. We were almost 70% down year over year, but we invested our resources in specific industries that were not only riding the Covid wave but were dominating it and our customer base is totally different 12 months later. Much more focused on fintech, professional services and government. “

This includes the recent announcement of new clients at Nestlé Professional, Eclipx Group and the city of Parramatta, but Nissim said the company was able to stay afloat thanks to budget cuts and government support.

“To be honest, there are more like 12 new clients in the last 12-15 months. We were very down and took a big beating. I think we were the first agency to move to four days a week and cut costs a lot before everything really started in Australia. And then we had to rebuild.

“Job Keeper saved us, there is nothing here or there. Job Keeper was perfect for us and allowed us to weather the storm and gave us the opportunity to find new clients in different verticals and rebuild.

“We go back to the pre-covid numbers that, considering that we received a 70% success rate, I think it is quite impressive.”

Indago Digital Specializations

Nissim described Indago Digital as honest, passionate, loyal and, as always, trying to do the right thing for its clients.

“We specialize in means of acquisition and in Australia search marketing is still the best means of acquisition, so we are better at it – paid search and SEO.”

Be a member of the IMAA

Nissim is a proud member of the IMAA and said his agency has enjoyed the benefits.

“The barrier to entry was low, I love what they are trying to achieve and the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. To date, it has been great. Got a free top choc courtesy of Val Morgan, but I had to see the worst movie of the decade on Godzilla vs. KongI have attended numerous educational sessions and have benefited from their public relations. “

Nissim said that the indie sector is doing well because they offer responsibility in the quality of their work.

“When I choose a service provider, the first question I ask is; ‘Are you a business owner?’ Do I want a private company or corporation to install my kitchen, teach my son to play the guitar or detail my car? I want a privately owned business where the owner cares about his brand and understands that his reputation is only as good as his last job.

“Marketing is no different, and as technology has leveled the playing field, Indies have increasingly become a better option. The heads of all Indago business units are proprietary and therefore naturally incentivized to provide excellent account management and drive world-leading results. I guess a lot of indies are similar in that sense. “

Owen Hone

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