THE INNOVATION LAB BLOG IS A PLACE FOR INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERSHIP, COMPANY NEWS, TOOTING OUR OWN HORN, AND GENERAL INSIGHTS.

The Birth of PML

Philly Marketing Labs is an Internet Marketing Agency dedicated to helping Mid-sized companies maximize their Web marketing and Social-Search footprint.

From 2002 through 2010, we worked with startups and small businesses under the brand of Team and a Dream. We helped build new technology businesses. We provided teams to these startups to help with market research, technology development and Internet marketing. Fast forward to March, 2010. Our work had begun to shift. We were excited to be working with some bigger companies on their Internet Marketing initiatives. There were a lot of differences between working with established businesses vs. working with startups. In particular, when a company already has a stream of sales, it is easy to see if your marketing efforts are having an impact or not. We were having an impact with measurable ROI.

Original 5 PML Team Members
The original five PML team members on a brainstorming break

In a strategic brainstorming session in August, 2010 five of us gathered to discuss the future for our company, which we had started calling NewCo. We looked inside ourselves. We were a technical bunch. Skip Shuda had a BS and MS in Computer Science. Bechara Jaoudeh is always dabbling with the latest tools, tweaking analytics and tracking results for clients. Another was a programmer and analytics geek.  And so it went.

When we looked closely at our new focus, we were able to boil it down to three things:

1) Conversion Architecture. There are specific things that are proven to work in Internet Marketing. The science of Landing Page Optimization is grounded in an understanding of how different types of people approach a Web site or interact with a brand online. Over the years, we’ve embraced the work around Persuasion Architecture, Integral Theory’s Quadrants and Landing Page Optimization from the team at Marketing Experiments.

2) Actionable Analytics. Knowing how to segment data effectively and measure the right things is central to good Web Analytics. Our work with larger clients opened our eyes to the power of making Web analytics actionable. Developing recommendations from deep insights in the analytics is a hallmark of our work today. A big nod to Google Analytics Guru Avinash Kaisuik is in order as well. We’ve reviewed much of his seminal work on Web Analytics in building our own practices.

3) The Human Element. This is where the magic really happens. The intersection of psychology, anthropology, sociology and network theory is a pretty cool place to work. The cerebral cortex of the collective human race is forming right before our eyes! Social channels are mixing with the already knowledge-rich Internet to create conversations that no-one could have anticipated a decade ago. We follow the work or Psychology and Social Media Scientists like Robert Cialdini and his book on Influence, Michael Wu and Dan Zarrella on this front.

The Human Element keeps us guessing. And so there is an experimental component to all real Internet and Social-Search marketing efforts that push the boundary. You have to integrate thoughtful experimentation, insightful analysis and an understanding of human nature to be successful in this world. Marketing Labs seemed to fit the bill.

At the end of the day, we are people too… which leads us to the last element of our new brand. What common theme seemed to capture who we were as a group? Philadelphia – or Philly – is a great city and our (adopted in some cases) hometown. Steeped in the experimental and scientific work of Ben Franklin, the revolutionary spirit of the USA’s founders and the workingman’s competitive ethic that allowed Rocky Balboa to stand up to the world’s Goliaths, we felt that Philly captures many of the values our team holds dear.

In an embrace of our hometown of Philadelphia, we are now Philly Marketing Labs.