CEO Spotlight: Digital Marketer Bee Founders Bee Cuevas & Hugo Bowman are on a mission to help regional businesses in Australia achieve significant growth
According to a recent study from the Regional Australia Institute, there are more people moving into areas of regional Australia than there are leaving it. In fact, 36 percent of Australians are happy living in rural areas.
A slew of Australians across the country are swapping traffic congestion and pricey houses for an enhanced quality of life in the country. In the wake of the pandemic and the consequential changing values of how we work, the ability to work from anywhere is a huge component of this shift. Compounded by the access to nature and a slower pace, as well as the potential for economic growth in these regions because of people moving from larger metropolitan areas, the opportunities are many. As we proceed through COVID-19's new world, this pattern will expand and brands should follow the national movement.
Currently, brands only spend about 10% of their media budgets in regional Australia, with the vast majority being spent in Australia's major cities. This seems outrageous, considering what these overlooked areas have to offer - a third of the market, and access to a growing target audience.
Not only is there a real chance for smart brands to think beyond the traditional metro media market offerings of the past, but there's a huge opportunity for local businesses to reach a broader and more targeted audience. Digital marketing is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes, but is especially valuable for businesses in regional areas. By utilising bespoke digital marketing strategies and targeting a local audience, businesses can connect with their customers in a more personal and intimate way.
Bee Cuevas and Hugo Bowman know this all too well. As the founders of one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies in regional Australia, Digital Marketer Bee, their team has helped businesses in the Albury-Wodonga region and across Australia achieve substantial growth by placing emphasis on results and profitability rather than marketing metrics.
Bee talks here about the process of creating tailored digital growth strategies that align with opportunities specific to the local commerce landscape and values that resonate with regional Australian businesses.
How would you describe your company to someone who has never heard of it?
Bee: Digital Marketer Bee is a full-service digital growth agency that helps businesses in the Albury-Wodonga, North-East Victoria, and Riverina regions and beyond. We understand the culture, challenges, and opportunities that businesses in regional areas face and work with them to achieve their business growth goals and achieve long-term success.
Along with consulting in marketing and advertising, we provide full-stack services covering everything from developing effective corporate and e-commerce websites to developing marketing strategies and implementing SEO, online advertising, and paid media, which are all geared to boosting sales and increasing profitability.
What are some of the main success metrics for your organisation?
Bee: We believe that when it is personal and the strategy that we craft and implement is personalised, we get the best results for our clients. We also pride ourselves on maintaining exceptional communication along the journey. Through effective communication and providing a completely transparent approach, our clients are fully informed at each step along the way. This helps build trust and fosters strong relationships. We believe this is why our clients like to stay with us.
What mentalities are significant at Digital Marketer Bee?
Bee: At Digital Marketer Bee, we strongly believe that the best outcomes come from making things as personal and individual as possible.
This means creating targeted content and campaigns that speak to your audience's specific needs and interests. It also means using data and analytics to constantly fine-tune your approach and ensure that you are reaching the right people with the right message.
The most successful digital marketing campaigns treat each customer as an individual. By understanding your target audience and what they want, you can create content and experiences that will resonate with them. This personalised approach will improve your conversion rates, foster loyalty, and build long-term relationships with your customers.
What was your background prior to Digital Marketer Bee?
Bee: I was always interested in business. Even from the age of 8, I was selling snacks to my classmates at school. After University, I worked in a fashion apparel business before opening a factory with over 200 employees that supplied large department stores across America.
In 2010, I made the switch to digital marketing, focusing on influencer and social media marketing. I helped brands like Triangl gain worldwide success online.
Hugo: Growing up and continuing to live in regional Australia, I have a perspective that many digital marketers don't have. I love the quality of life in the regions and understanding the people and culture. I want to give back to the community, and offering high-quality services back to regions gives me a sense of fulfilment.
What circumstances gave rise to Digital Marketer Bee?
Bee: After exploring the economic and marketing landscape across Australia, I realised that there was a largely untapped market for high-quality digital marketing services in regional Australia. I founded Digital Marketer Bee in 2017 and that's what I've been focusing on for the last five years.
Many regional businesses don't have a good web presence or online digital marketing strategies. I recognised that there was a niche that could be filled by providing capital city quality digital marketing services to regional areas. Regional businesses shouldn't have to deal with city-centric digital marketing agencies that often don't understand their needs or provide personalised service.
Digital marketing is critical for regional businesses since it allows them to reach a larger audience and develop their enterprises. And I'm passionate about assisting regional businesses to succeed.
What do you think the state of Australian digital marketing is at the moment?
Hugo: Australian businesses are becoming more and more digital. It shouldn't be a surprise that most of them focus on digital marketing over more 'traditional' methods like TV, radio, and physical ad spaces. This is especially true since the COVID-19 outbreak, which caused many brands to move their marketing online.
Even so, you might be surprised by how much of the total advertising budget goes to digital instead of other channels. In 2021, Australia's digital advertising market was worth $11.4 billion, with all types of online advertising growing by more than 10%.
The amount of money businesses spend on digital ads does not look like it will slow down in 2022. This year, digital ads are expected to make up a large part of the total amount spent on ads. If you are still using 'old school' marketing methods, you will soon be left behind.
What sets Digital Marketer Bee apart from the other local marketing agencies?
Hugo: Most digital agencies measure how well their campaigns are doing by using intangible metrics like social reach, engagement, ranking, and click-through rates. That gives them a place to hide because they wouldn't be able to talk straight about dollars in and dollars out when talking about return on investment (ROI). These metrics could be signs of progress, but they are not results for the client.
The truth is that you don't need a marketing agency. You need a partner that focuses on the profitability of your business.
The purpose of Digital Marketer Bee is to help business owners achieve their business growth goals. Our goal has always been to do this. We always try to take brand development to the next level and never settle for mediocre results.
Our team is improvement obsessed and results-focused. And we're always on the lookout for ways to stay on top of our game. Our character defines us and what we do. No matter the project or the challenge, our standards and professional attributes remain constant, ethical, and unassailable.
What achievements with Digital Marketer Bee stand out in your mind?
Bee: First off, I am pleased to see that Digital Marketer Bee has grown from having no employees to having a diverse team of 15 individuals and counting, with more than 110 years of combined experience in web development and digital marketing. Every time we contribute to a company's growth, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
What advice would you give to regional businesses that are still hesitant about digital marketing?
Hugo: Digital marketing is no longer a luxury for organisations; it is a necessity for survival in the online jungle of digital commerce. Digital marketing is essential for reaching your target market, connecting with customers, and growing your business. You don't have to go to the big cities to get help. We're here, and we are more than capable of helping you win, too.
For more information on Bee Cuevas and Hugo Bowman and Digital Marketer Bee, visit their website at www.digitalmarketerbee.com.
Digital Marketer Bee