From multinational conglomerates to local pizza joints, digital marketing has revolutionized the way businesses reach and connect with their customers.
Most companies today, are inclined towards digital marketing approaches—google ads, email newsletters, social media ads, and the likes—considering the accuracy, transparency, and efficiency they deliver.
However, for small businesses, when it comes to marketing and advertising, understanding what the best approach to market their products, services, or solutions, could be a troubling task.
Enter Marketing Juice, a marketing agency that offers full-strength marketing services for local business.
Marketing Juice provides a wide array of marketing support – from website design to digital strategy planning with SEO and social content marketing, to grassroots marketing and consulting, and all things in between.
In the following interview, Miranda Imperi, the Owner of Marketing Juice, shares with us insights into the agency’s operations, its distinctive offerings, and her vision for scaling the company.
Please brief our audience about Marketing Juice and how it is currently positioned as a leading marketing agency.
Marketing Juice creates custom digital marketing plans for the small business owners or teams that are overwhelmed with doing their own marketing. We offer exclusivity with clients and do not work with a competitor business, taking only one client per industry. Everything we do is custom made for our clients; we do not take the cookie cutter approach that many other agencies do.
We incorporate a high degree of content strategies into our marketing plans which compel us to be super mindful about our work. To achieve excellent success rates of these strategies, we emphasize on getting to know our clients and in that process, they get that personalized touch that you don’t always see with a big agency.
We believe in education – we are always training internally, training our interns and our clients in marketing best practices, and staying up to date so our clients continue to succeed organically.
We see ourselves as an outsourced marketing department and a strategic partner to our clients rather than just an expendable service provider. We are inherently vested in our clients’ success and growth.
Tell us more about Marketing Juice’s offerings and what aspects make it stand out in the cutthroat market.
Our focus is on organic content marketing because we believe the investment in long term search placement is highly valuable for a small business, more so than the instant gratification of an advertisement and all the ups-and-downs a business can experience with traditional PPC strategies.
We are very budget conscious, so we only recommend strategies that are both affordable and effective to our clients. We also do not believe that any one strategy is necessary for all businesses we work with – we will only put your business there if it is appropriate for your business to be there as we do not want to waste your money and time, putting you on a platform that is ineffective and will not hit your targets.
Our plans are set up so we can pivot strategically as we need, to accompany your business growth and evolution.
Miranda, please brief us your journey in the industry and how you have aided Marketing Juice to excel in its niche market.
When I began my career in digital marketing, I worked at an SEO agency that served mostly larger companies, but also took on some smaller clients during the early days of social media marketing. I started in the social media department, but I quickly became very enamored with the concept of link building.
When I started in the industry more than a decade ago, the link building strategies that were most effective and the ones most widely adopted by agencies were ‘black hat’. While I was there, I saw the search engine algorithms change and effectively de-index clients using those “black hat” strategies, and I saw the company I worked for have zero remorse for the problems they caused their clients.
Out of that frustration came the idea for Marketing Juice. At that time, there were no agencies specifically catering to small businesses and that were affordable to small businesses. What was (and sometimes still is) happening is that there was such a lack of understanding about digital marketing that small business owners would be easily duped by scam artists or novices in the industry and end up losing their entire marketing budget.
It was frustrating for me to watch that happen to small business owners. Not only did they not understand what had happened, but they did not know enough to fix the mistakes. It is an easy market for unscrupulous agencies to pull the wool over small business owners’ eyes.
My aim was to create a marketing service where a small business owner could feel supported and heard, and their investment in the service was seen as valuable. I pride myself on the relationships I built early on as those owners are far more empowered today and understand marketing much more than they did.
It is not a secret special sauce – what we bring to the table is that we put our whole heart and soul into the work. We see the algorithm constantly evolving to give increasing preference to authentic content, and content creators are running the internet today, which was a bet I took when I started Marketing Juice and today our clients are seeing the benefit of that.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies like AI and ML are impacting the marketing industry and how is Marketing Juice adapting to the change?
On one hand, I find it beneficial for the solo entrepreneur or small business owner that some software that utilize AI and machine learning to essentially create marketing content or manage marketing and customer service platforms through social media are good. It helps people who are not marketers or creative people ease some of that burden of content creation for their businesses.
However, I do teach pretty consistently with my staff and interns, and in my classes to small business owners, that nothing is ever going to be as good as the real deal. The algorithm is not a person. We tend to refer to algorithms as all-knowing beings in the sky, but it is just a math equation, and it can never be as discerning as a human being.
When we rely on a machine to do that, we remove the human element and, above all, marketing is about people; about how they behave, how they buy, who they are and where they live online. When we rely on AI for that, we lose that authenticity that I still believe, will continue to win the day for search engines and placement in the long run.
There will be better and better AI as the years go on and it will get to a place where it will be imperceptible to distinguish for the person on the other end, but I do not think a good marketer will ever be truly fooled by AI.
We should not discount the human element of the industry. I keep an eye on emerging technology, not least, the cost of operations is always on my mind as a business owner, but I do not think it is smart to rely solely on AI for a content generation strategy.
Considering the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face and how did you drive the company to sustain its operations while also ensuring the safety of your employees?
The pandemic has been an interesting experience for Marketing Juice because it has really helped our business to grow, and I attribute that to the quarantine shutdown. Specifically, because it finally occurred to many small business owners that they really needed to focus on a digital presence if they had not done so, and if they had then to refine and improve it. It gave them the time to focus on that and we were inundated with businesses seeking help.
It was difficult in the beginning as our team works in-person and it is hard to collaborate exclusively online, but in today’s world we do have the technology to do the job 100 percent remotely if we need to.
When we came back to work, it was a very eye-opening experience for me to see the traditional work week post shutdown, and I made decisions internally to focus on policies that supported my employees’ quality of life, so we have been adjusting our handbook and have gone to a four-day week.
We let our employees make their own schedule and we hold them accountable to those, we give unlimited sick time, specifically as covid is so prevalent. We encourage mental health days and we have created many spaces and downtime areas within our offices, so employees are encouraged to get up, move around and recharge, to work at their own pace as long as they meet their deadlines.
We are very mindful that it was necessary for a lot of business owners to just stop and look at what they were doing. We do not budget the time for that on our own, but we were forced to do it. I was forced to evaluate my business from a distance and give thought to what was working and what was not. A lot of positives have come out of this.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the marketing industry?
I always tell entrepreneurs to go into it with their eyes wide open. People have a misconception that entrepreneurs have more free time. While we have more flexibility as we make our own schedules, we work much more.
I work at least 60 hours a week. The difference is that I love all those 60 hours whereas I was miserable for at least 60 percent of the corporate hours I worked. For me, it is a quality-of-life issue.
Be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices before you become successful. It takes at least a couple of years to make anything above what you need to get by, and you will probably need some form of capital funding or a second or third job in the beginning before you get to the point you are only working one job again.
I encourage people to go into the marketing industry, and small business marketing specifically as there are very few of us out there and so many owners who need that support. Marketing is its own 40-hour-a-week job, and it is a lot of work for that owner, who is essentially working around the clock running their business. People burn out.
It would be great to have more agencies catering to those small businesses so they can succeed and get the visibility they need over big box stores. They are the ones funding the local community, paying for schools and paving roads and they should get the support. I encourage people to get into this industry, just do it with your eyes open.
How do you envision scaling Marketing Juice’s operations and offerings in 2022 and beyond?
Our team is growing at Marketing Juice, and we anticipate adding a couple more people to the company. As we grow, I hope to segue off into some divisions to specialize in different aspects of digital marketing such as email and ecommerce.
I am very excited about our 2022 offerings as we are going to be expanding into Extended Reality, XR, marketing services and exploring the metaverse. This has huge possibilities for our small business clients, and I am super excited to be announcing in the new year some new plans and some cool campaigns for our small businesses.
“Working with Miranda has been eye-opening. Her and the Marketing Juice team have allowed me to focus my attention on other aspects of my business while knowing my marketing vision and direction are being executed. Her vision and talents have exceeded my expectations and I look forward to a long relationship with Marketing Juice.” – Nick Duve | The Candle Studio
“Miranda has been managing my site for 4 years now and I could not be happier. I tried at least two other SEO management companies before getting introduced to Miranda, and I never saw anywhere close to the results I have been getting with her now. And for less money than I was paying before. I appreciate that she is available when I have a question and that she does monthly check in calls with me. She’s referred me to some talented people who also helped develop content for my site. I’m really happy I was able to outsource this important part of my business to her—it’s something I don’t have to think much about, which I truly appreciate—it leaves me time to do the work I love in my business!” – Simone Sturm | Denver Holistic Medicine
“I have utilized Miranda of Marketing Juice in several different ways in my practice. Her skills are razor sharp, and her efforts in social media marketing and management have quadrupled the ROI of my internet marketing spend. I have not only seen significant organic growth in my website traffic due to her efforts, but an increase of calls as well. I highly recommend Miranda if you are looking for someone to take your social media marketing to a new level!” – Rick Kalal | Kalal Law, LLC
“Working with Miranda has been a great experience and solid investment in our future growth. Her knowledge of website and social media marketing is unique and creates a step-by-step plan on generating results.” – David Futryk | Northern Tool & Gage
“It’s fantastic working with Miranda. She is quite willing to customize her services just for us. Other companies that we have worked with in the past only wanted to scale their typical services to match a budget. I don’t feel like she is trying to “shoehorn” us into a common ‘one size fits all’ service. She is very easy to communicate with. I have also been impressed by her ability to makes things happen.” – Mark Roshon | Tornado Technologies
“The Marketing Juice Team produce great results. They know the “tech” stuff and are experts in marketing/consumerism. Marketing Juice has exceeded our expectations. We fully endorse!” – Jeff Ziegler | Paint Positive.