Matt Van Wagner will be speaking on PPC at Engage 2018, which will take place March 8th, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

I consider myself a business decathalete as I have built my 30+ year career in small companies across a wide spectrum of hardware and software companies, where I’ve been involved in all facets of business management, but primarily as a sales and marketing professional. This diversity of experiences prepared me well to manage online marketing for companies as I have done with my agency, Find Me Faster, for the past 16 years.

2) How has your role at the SMX Conference Series impacted your business success?

I have worked with the SMX Conferences since the very beginning. The primary impact it has had in my success is the vast number of colleagues I’ve met and worked with in planning and presenting sessions. I loved speaking at the conferences, too, as it gave me the opportunity to stop and think about how we actually manage paid search, and in the process, I’ve had some epiphanies that have helped me be a better search marketer. For the past 8-10 years, I have moved mostly into a moderator role, which puts me in contact and discussions with literally hundreds of the best and brightest in our industry. You can’t help but to get better when you get to collaborate on sessions with all these talented colleagues.

3) With Paid Search Marketing getting more complex, how do independent consultants and small agencies carve out a successful niche?

This is a really interesting question because I actually thought that the machines and algorithms would have overtaken us about 5 years ago. Where we try to differentiate ourselves is to take our many years of business experience and apply that to the way we work with clients. We do more strategic consulting on top of the paid search stuff, everything from identifying bottlenecks on the manufacturing floor to how to patiently work to outmaneuver competitors with smarter pricing and promotional tactics, and even how to predict what competitors will do before they do it. We like to work with smaller firms, between $10 and $50 Million where we can develop that strong, long-lasting relationship. Our definition of a good client is one where the relationship ends when the company gets bought or the owner retires.

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