Onovative Louisville, Kentucky
“There isn’t a marketing or advertising channel that comes close to what we get from Google Search and AdWords.”Michael Browning, Co-founder80% of Onovative’s sales come from Internet leads.link www.onovativebanking.comKentucky natives Michael Browning and Clay Turner know a thing or two about business. When they decided to leave their careers in marketing and finance in 2014 to start Onovative, a banking-communications software company, they saw a chance to shape the future by learning from the past. “We want to solve some of the industry's most frustrating problems with technology,” Clay says. By cleverly combining marketing automation and a customer relationship management (CRM) system with a communications platform, Onovative gives financial institutions a smarter, easier way to communicate.
Onovative harnesses Google tools so that their small business can make a big impact. AdWords, Google's advertising program, allows them to target specific products and offerings, while also controlling when their ads are shown. “We learned that people tend to search for products like ours at certain times during the week, so we schedule our ads to only show during those peak times,” explains Michael. They use Google Apps for Work, including Gmail and Google Drive, to communicate and share information securely. “It’s very easy for a small business to use and comforting to know that all of your information is protected like it’s supposed to be,” says Clay. Onovative especially relies on Google Analytics to gain valuable insight into where their customers are coming from and what they are interacting with on the site. “Other businesses ask us what our secret is. It's really Google Analytics,” Michael says.
Onovative now has nine employees with plans to hire more, and their client base has been doubling every quarter. They are committed to helping financial institutions of all sizes to better serve their customers and hope to double the business by the end of 2016. To do so, they know who they’ll turn to. “The number one reason for our marketing growth is Google,” says Michael. “Google is the only marketing channel that connects people with solutions when they have a question in their heads. There isn’t a marketing or advertising channel that comes close to what we get from Google Search and AdWords.”80% of Onovative’s sales come from Internet leads.link www.onovativebanking.com
Mint Julep Tours Louisville, Kentucky
Mint Julep Tours
“You can directly equate at least 30 percent of our growth to the tools and advantages that the Internet has established.”Sean Higgins, Co-founder & Owner84% of customers find Mint Julep Tours on the weblink www.mintjuleptours.comAt Mint Julep Tours, they believe that “the purpose of fun is to have some.” Led by this motto, Sean and Lisa Higgins started offering tours of the Kentucky Bourbon TrailⓇ, Kentucky Horse Farms, and the City of Louisville in 2008. “The inspiration was to create a family-oriented business focused on entertainment and showing people what makes Kentucky so great,” Sean says. Mint Julep Tours is dedicated to Kentucky’s two big industries: bourbon and horses. With custom tour experiences, they guide visitors through the state’s rich legacies, from the Maker’s Mark distillery to the Kentucky Derby, and help turn Louisville into “Napa Valley for bourbon.”
Due to the economic recession, 2008 wasn’t an ideal time to start a business, but Sean credits their online presence as “the catalyst to really help us grow.” Today, that growth adds up to 70 percent annually, which Sean attributes “almost exclusively to our people, unique services, and who we are on the web.” He traces much of that growth to Google and AdWords, Google’s advertising program. “AdWords allowed us to directly target those interested in our marketplace,” he says, and tools like Google Analytics and Search helped them plan around big events like the Kentucky Derby and annual Bourbon Festival. YouTube gave them a place to create unique video content that “ultimately drove visitors toward us.”
Sean sees partnerships as paramount in Mint Julep Tours’ growth. Like the distilleries and horse farms that are integral to their business, “we couldn’t have done it without them or Google,” he says. Now, Sean is looking to online tools to enable their next round of growth. “I hope to provide more of a self-service model as we progress. I’d like to move more to the web to let people get what they want, when they want it.” These efficiencies will let Sean and his team focus on creating amazing experiences that people want to share with the world, and it all feeds into their online presence. “Word of mouth is of more value than anything else, and that conversation is now happening on the web.”84% of customers find Mint Julep Tours on the weblink www.mintjuleptours.com