This year marks an important moment for Verkeer, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on where we have come from as well as what we’re excited about going forward.
Core Values and Strong Relationships
Verkeer is now 10 years old, and a timely new website represents two distinct facets of our brand:
- We still hold the core values on which we were founded – honesty, integrity and brass-tacks practicality that demystifies digital and empowers our clients.
Our commitment to learning and evolution remains as strong as ever. We have an open-eyed willingness to embrace the ongoing changes that characterise the digital world, and this I think is one of our greatest strengths.
- While many digital marketing agencies see impending updates on Google and in tech as a threat, a point of denial or an opportunity to create a sense of dependency amongst their clientele, we see them as exciting opportunities on which we can grow even stronger and beneficial relationships with our clients.
A Willingness to Grow and Evolve
Apparently Einstein once said: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
I like this idea because I think it reflects very well who we are as a company. Naturally, I believe that our individual team members do have special talents but I think there are lots of people in our industry who can say the same.
What defines us at Verkeer is a lack of ego and passionate curiosity – we want to know about our clients, we want to gather more knowledge about our own specialist areas, and we want to share that knowledge as well. We are excited to make great things happen, whatever that means for our customers. We’re excited to see what the good and the great at Google come up with to deliver an even better online experience for everyone, and we want to know how to maximise that opportunity.
We never consider our knowledge to be complete, and that willingness to keep learning spans every aspect of who we are. It’s led us to continuously reevaluate our structure as an organisation, our location, and the scope of services that we offer. As a result, we have evolved in all ways since we first started. We now have a new London office, we have refined our processes to improve efficiency, communications and outcomes, we have extended our network and ecosystems, and we take time to keep learning as well.
Early AI Adopters
AI is accepted to be the next big in all areas of technology, and the narrative around that can be disconcerting as well as thrilling. Some people we speak to are delighted by it and want to know how to get involved, while others hear horror stories about what it might mean for their brand.
Personally, we’re excited about AI, and the reason for that is that we see it as evolution, not revolution. We don’t think it’s a magic bullet that’s going to change the world, but we do see its benefits and how the powers that be are trying to make it work. We have also been early adopters of elements of it to great benefit and know that it does not replace human talent but it can certainly make room to make better use of individuals’ time and resources.
For example, within the context of our team, we have AI running through our customer service. We use it to transcribe notes, alert senior management of any issues and make sure we’re keeping clients happy. For our customers and the way they deal with us, it makes the relationship as efficient as possible. Herein lies the reason for our AI use in this space. It’s not because we want a fancy new toy; it’s because we know our clients are time poor (possibly more so now, with the immense volume of video calls), and our business is built on great relationships that make our clients’ lives easier.
Our approach to all things is client-first: How are we serving you best? How are we making the best use of your budget, your time and your resources to deliver on the outcomes that matter to you?
Excited but Not Over Excited about Digital Evolution
AI is also ready to make waves in search itself with Google’s new Search Generative Experience, which is gradually opening up access. We will discuss this in greater detail soon, but as with any Google update, it’s shrouded in a combination of rumour and mystery to spark both anxiety and excitement.
In a flurry of activity, thousands of companies have popped up overnight dedicated to the likes of ChatGPT, which launched in November, and other impending AI developments. That’s fantastic, but it can strike fear into the hearts and budgets of companies and their leaders as they try to understand what it means for them.
Our approach is once again one of excitement but not over excitement. We know this is something that can, should and will be integrated into our clients’ digital marketing requirements over the coming months and years, but we also know there’s no need to panic. With humility we come back to the value of learning – we see education of and with our clients as a fundamental part of working together.
We’re a pretty humble team and we like to try and test things through our steering group, with the goal of understanding what and when is best to take up new opportunities for both ourselves and our clients. That means being realistic as well as idealistic about what is done, when, how and in what order.
Change is always going to happen, but done well it’s a space for opportunity, growth and for even better results.
We’re Always Going to Make Sure Brilliant Basics are in Place
As a company, digital marketing is our DNA. Our modus operandi is to help organisations to have a pathway by making reasonable recommendations based on the best use of their budget. Personally, I love that we got into digital marketing because it’s the start of everything.
We use digital marketing as a foundation alongside what we call the ‘brilliant basics’. That includes things like user analysis, site hierarchy, keyword research, technical research – all those good things that, whether they directly rank for SEO or not, are fundamental to making it work. These things are the basis of great results, and because we focus on them it makes us, and our clients, well placed to maximise the benefits of upcoming updates.
For us now, in terms of the next 10 years, we are focused on how we harness AI for our clients and ourselves. Our principles won’t change, but what we continue to do is raise the quality.
Find out how Verkeer can help you maximise your opportunities online with a sustainable digital marketing pathway.