PointClickSwitch Baltimore, Maryland
“Without the Internet, our business wouldn’t have been plausible.”Phil Croskey, Co-founderPointClickSwitch has been experiencing 125% annual growth.link www.pointclickswitch.comWhen they founded PointClickSwitch in 2010, Phil Croskey and his partners Jason Schwartzberg and Paul Clary had one goal: give the people of Maryland an easy way to shop for third-party energy providers. “We provide a marketplace for customers who are looking for a way to reduce their utility bills,” Phil says. From their Baltimore headquarters, they sought to educate and empower citizens who never even knew they had a choice. Phil understood that to get the word out about PointClickSwitch, they needed the power of the Internet.
PointClickSwitch uses AdWords, Google's advertising program, to raise awareness of their service. “AdWords has really helped us get that message out,” Phil says. Location targeting in AdWords allows them to target the specific geographic areas where their service is available and makes it easy to target new areas as they expand. They supplement AdWords with YouTube videos to instruct and inform their audience, and they use Google Apps for Work to collaborate and innovate from anywhere. PointClickSwitch also relies on Google Analytics to pinpoint where their website traffic is coming from and how to get the most from their advertising budget. “The data that's provided to us in Google Analytics is huge,” Phil says. “It's key to us.”
Today, PointClickSwitch is providing information and options to more customers than ever. “Eighty-five percent of customers we come across do not understand their utility bill. We’re changing that,” Phil says. They have five full-time employees with plans to hire more, and will soon be operating in nearly a dozen states. “Watching this business that we've built grow is one of the great joys of my life,” Phil says. With over 80% of their traffic coming from the Internet, PointClickSwitch will be able to continue helping citizens from all over the country save money. “It helps us reach our customers, bottom line,” he says. In an industry where knowledge is power, that means everything.PointClickSwitch has been experiencing 125% annual growth.link www.pointclickswitch.com
G3 Group Baltimore, Maryland
“Google is the driving force behind our clients wanting to get online.”Anita Schott, CEO30 years in businesslink www.g3group.comFrom the first time she connected to the Internet in 1990, Anita Schott was fascinated by the commercial possibilities of the web. She introduced digital technology to G3 Group, the printing agency she founded in 1984, which helped the business grow even as the printing industry slowed down. In the following years, Anita’s pioneering vision helped transform G3 Group into a digital-marketing company. She takes in stride her biggest challenge of leading by example. “The marketing on our site becomes the model for what we recommend to clients,” explains Anita, who therefore needs to stay on the cutting edge.
With 90 percent of their marketing budget going online, G3 Group has plenty of opportunities to practice what they preach. “We use so many products from Google, it’s crazy,” Anita reports. These include Google Apps for Work and AdWords, Google’s advertising program, which helps them generate 75 percent of their web-design leads. And what’s good for business is often good for clients. “We recommend Google Analytics for 100 percent of the sites we work on,” she says. “And we have one client who liked what we were doing with AdWords, so we modeled the same thing for him.”
These days, Anita says, “All of our clients know the importance of the Internet and they come to us with that in mind. They want more traffic, more exposure, and more clients. And it's become so much easier to describe all the tools we can use to get them there.” Looking ahead, Anita hopes to turn even more of her focus toward online. “We want to be leaders in online marketing. We do a lot of web development, but we see that as a necessary step to marketing the site and bringing in customers,” she says. In the three decades since founding her company, Anita still hasn’t lost her passion for the web and its possibilities. “I feel like the Internet has been an economic revolution.”30 years in businesslink www.g3group.com