I had the opportunity to meet and interview Steven Kent (@proteadigital) in December. Steven took me up on my offer to interview anyone that donated $50 to my Movember fund and I was glad he did. After meeting with Steven and learning about his business I found out that he really knows his stuff.
Steven is the Director and Owner of Protea Digital Marketing, which provides integrated digital marketing services to small and medium sized businesses. Steven started Protea in November of 2009 after spending a few years at an email marketing company. Now he serves as an outsourced marketing department for small to medium sized business primarily focusing on pay per click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) services.
Originally from South Africa, Steven came to the Triangle to attend Duke University where he studied public policy. After finishing his degree he spent a few years working for an enterprise software and business process consulting company. During his tenure he was able to travel around the world working on projects in far away destinations like Malaysia.
I asked Steven how much of the marketing role he performs for his clients. He told me that the dose most of the work himself and hires graphic designers when he needs design work and or developers for custom applications. He likes PPC and feels that, “basically it works, very controllable and targetable,” for his clients.
We discussed how PPC works for B2B companies and Steven’s view was that it helps with company and brand discovery and awareness as well as keeping potential customers interested. One of his biggest successes has been being able to demonstrate results on PPC campaigns that can drive revenue upwards of 55%.
I asked Steven what some of his challenges have been. He stated that it’s hard to find people that understand the technology as well as the marketing aspect. “You tend to find people that are one way or the other.”
Steven believes that being ethical in marketing is critical. There are too many horror stories of how businesses hire digital marketing consultants and have nothing to show for the costs. Steven’s approach is to do quality projects and do them well. There are too many companies that cut corners or don’t perform in a good way. He’s also not afraid to turn down business if the company does not have a quality product or service.
I also asked Steven where he sees Protea in the future. He wants to grow his business and sees a need in 10-15 employee sized companies that done have web marketing expertise. Protea can offer them top quality we marketing at an affordable price.
I want to thank Steven for his donation and time. I enjoyed meeting him and learning more about his business and background. Needless to say if you are a small company that needs web marketing expertise, especially in PPC and SEO, Steven is a great resource.
Disclaimer: Steven donated $50 to my Movember Men’s Cancer Raising Fund based on my offer to interview anyone in the Greater Raleigh Area that donated $50. I in no way received any compensation for the interview.