Why 10|20 Marketing Is Where It’s At

By Mark Goren

10|20 Marketing launched in the fall of 2017, but in reality, it started when I graduated from university and enrolled in a post-graduate program to become an advertising professional. That was back in the fall of 1995. 

Don’t worry; I’ll keep the recap of that 22-year journey short and sweet. 

In 1995, I studied to become a copywriter and subsequently worked at advertising agencies in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. I loved every minute of it. Then, in 2005 or so, while working at an agency in Montreal, I fell in love with the potential of social media, the web, and the idea of building community online. At the time, I was commuting to work by train and used the time to read everything I could to understand better what the web was becoming. 

Even though this was early on for social media, what I learned is that I was behind. What I thought the web was becoming, it already was. And, what it already was, was changing to something very different. 

What I did see, however, was an opportunity. Within the online community were nuggets of valuable information. With so many people tweeting, commenting, sharing, posting reviews, and creating content, there was an abundance of intelligence waiting to be harnessed, analyzed, packaged, and delivered as insights to brands for marketing purposes. 

So, I dug in. 

I left my agency job to concentrate on helping brands learn what people were saying about them online. Using social media listening tools, I built a consultancy that delivered social media monitoring reports. Soon, the information I reported on was sought out by companies such as Astral Media, Air Transat, and Ford Canada, to name a few. 

My fascination with online discourse and the value it could bring to brands turned into a viable business. And the expertise I developed by using web-based tools to collect and analyze the data had a lot of value, particularly as an early adopter. 

Fast forward to the fall of 2016. While servicing clients and building my practice, I met with an old colleague from my days in Ottawa. He was now working at a start-up in Montreal, developing and selling an online tool that helps location-based businesses manage their local listings (online directories). It includes a function that allows users to collect online reviews and respond to them, a form of social media listening. 

The fit was there. However, after using the tool, I quickly saw that our niche as a reseller would be smaller independent retailers, professionals, clinics, and other small business operators. 

So, I onboarded the tool into my consultancy, but I spun out the service into its own business not long after. And that’s how 10|20 Marketing was born. 

Our ideal client runs a business, specializes in that service but doesn’t have much time to focus on marketing – or doesn’t have the know-how. We focus on foundational business elements, such as directory optimization (crucial for local business owners), website design and development, SEO analysis, paid media execution, and social media management. Our core service is directory management – or local listings management – which is a $99 per month per location service and is a very effective way to bring awareness and new leads to a business. 

Working with small businesses is not something we take lightly. But, we understand that business is tight, and we don’t want to add stress to our clients, just comfort knowing that their most basic marketing needs are met on their terms. So, we keep our prices low, our heads down, and we execute. 

We also support small business owners in other ways. For example, our Owner Stories series is a way to allow them to highlight their business, with no strings attached. We offer free consultations as well. So again, we do what it takes to support small companies with no obligation to buy. 

We’re very proud of the work we do. It gets results and, ultimately, helps people who are like us with their challenges. Marketing isn’t easy, but an agency should make it easy for clients to get into a program that works for them. That’s the niche we fill. And we’re very proud of it. 

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Mark Goren owns 10|20 Marketing, an agency designed to help small business owners enter into low-cost marketing programs with little to no friction. Some of his most significant accomplishments have come from showing local business owners that little wins can add up to big ones when you work through an online marketing strategy. 


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