Helps clients market themselves online
Portsmouth, N.H. – September 13, 2010 – In the wild frontier of the digital marketing industry, Kirk Communications(www.kirkcommunications.com) is pursuing a strategy that emphasizes acting and thinking globally and locally.
“The world is flat in many ways,” said Nate Tennant, co-founder of Kirk Communications. His 25-employee company, which began operations less than five years ago, is spread out between Portsmouth, New Delhi, India and Luxembourg. He said the company’s business model has matured quickly by embracing the social media revolution, which enables Kirk to be lean, quick, and cost-effective for clients struggling to figure how best to maximize fast-growing communication sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
“I had a pretty good idea that everything would be going digital,” Tennant said about his mind-set when the company was started. Yet even he has been amazed by the so-called social media revolution. “I still kind of shake my head and can’t believe it. I don’t understand this stuff from a technical perspective.”
Tennant and co-founder Anoop Rohera, who oversees the 18-person New Delhi operation, utilize a wide cross section of talent to provide what they call integrated marketing solutions for the digital age with social media programs, public relations, Web site design and development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click analytics and advanced 3D animation.
The employee in Luxembourg is signing up European financial sector clients, while the New Delhi office works on Web development, design and other technology-related projects, as well as client-requested research. Tennant, who visits India three to four times a year, said 85-90 percent of the firm’s work is digital marketing services, while the rest is devoted to more traditional public relations.
As an example of the shifting landscape, Kirk offers the labor-intensive service of spreading client communications into the seemingly infinite blog universe. Such a task for a marketing company was inconceivable five years ago, but it’s a fundamental imperative for businesses serious about social media utilization and wanting to get that all-important first page recognition on search engine portals such as Google.
“If a company starts to get people linking from Facebook, your page rank jumps, and Google looks at your site,” Tennant said
Tennant said that even during a down economy, revenues have jumped for the private company, and he expects 60 percent growth for 2010 and continued high growth in the foreseeable future. Kirk Communications’ client portfolio includes local and global entities such as Ipswitch, Inc., IDG, Optimize Interactive, SDL Structured Content Delivery division, Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center, SeaNet Technologies and Animetrics.
One of its recent clients is the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire. Tennant said this project was a case study in how to optimize the school’s Web site to generate interest and awareness about the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs — in a highly competitive arena of college admissions.
“They (WSBE) were completely absent in search optimization,” Tennant said. Kirk’s search engine overhaul helped increase online traffic to the unique offerings such as hospitality management, a part-time MBA program, and its one-year MBA program.
“After focusing on (search engine optimization) for several months, we have noticed an exceptional increase in the ranking of many of our search terms,” said Elena Maltese, WSBE’s director of communications. “We are now on the first page for several of our top terms, whereas before the (search engine optimization) campaign we were getting lost due to bad positioning.”
There are three distinct advantages to the Kirk approach, Tennant explained — project speed to market, cost effectiveness and innovation. “Because of our cost model, we can try out new technologies in social media without leading to great expenditures for clients,” he said. The recently formed spin-off company Jungle Torch offers what Tennant said is the next generation of accountability to better measure and track social media utilization and search engine optimization.
Ironically for a company that has employees in India, the company has no clients in the world’s second most populous country. Despite a booming economy and a growing youth population comfortable with mobile technology, Tennant said India’s business community has been slow to embrace social media and is more inclined to traditional marketing.
“Creating a true Indian business entity was a gamble of time and money,” said Tennant, who believes Kirk will be correctly positioned to penetrate the Indian market as American companies such as Ford and John Deere set up operations there. “It is ready to change radically and dramatically.”