Web Wonks was born in a cold damp house in Otaki Beach in 2010. Upon discovering the google individual certification exam / certification, it was clear an opportunity was in the making. With only 20 Google Partners in the NZ, the Google Partner program was next. We had to have $10,000 under management in a 90 day period + two Google AdWords certifications
As of Dec 2018 we had $766,000 under management for the last 90 days. We are fully qualified for all possible qualifications - this puts us in the top 20 agencies in New Zealand (and our focus isn't always ads).
Getting to that number in those early days was no easy feat and there were probably less than 50 people in the country who would have had sat the qualification exams. These exams were $50 each time you sat them (now free) and they took over your computer when you sat them. The research material was over 150 pages, type 10 arial font and had to be printed - these days people can pass one of these tests with common sense and guesswork.
The first year set the course for what was to follow, but it wasn’t plain sailing.Our Current Google Premier Partner Status
The following year, a move back to Auckland saw both Jeff and Jaye move back to their home city of Auckland. It was at 80 Main Street, in Kumeu that the first office was set up - next to a psychic and a dwindling architecture firm (this is GFC era), we battled trucks rumbling computers off desks - all for the princely sum of $400 per month rent.
We were still getting push back on what was the point of Google advertising. Most people saw it as a 'dark art' and money down the drain.
Still today we confront the theft and fraud that occurs in the online industry. We don't apply any mark up on ad spend (20-40% is normal) + we don't have contracts + we don't own your data.
It was then, that the process of building up intellectual property began in earnest. By writing a 15 page checklist for connecting google products together to align meaningful data, the company edged closer to employing someone full time.
We had a long road ahead to showcase the power of Google business products.We Have Long Tried To Combat Bad Practice Through Free Education
In 2012, Web Wonks traded for the last year under the J D McGregor holding company and we made a move to Airborne Road in the Albany business district.
Sharing a space with Airborne Signs (as we have done since then), the first employee came on board and began completing what was then called a Basic Online WOF.
The Basic WOF created a master google account, under the control of the client, with all relevant business products interlinked and focused on conversion (still our core solution - now the Data Health Kit).
We also had what was called a Classic Online WOF, which included Google Search Campaigns. Today we have around 15 core solutions we mix and match to build projects for our clients.
With someone to complete the Web Wonks WOF checklist, the company could begin to scale.Our Full Range Of Solutions
In early 2013 the company was awarded its first funding grant, through ATEED. We were co-funded $4000 to build an online reporting system, which would allow us to template out content to help educate clients about what we discovered about their data.
We really started to harness WorkflowMax in 2013 as our team was big enough to require job management that could scale. We have come a long way since those early days and now use Workflow to the MAX!
Almost immediately we realised the reporting platform required API integration into live Google Data for it to really matter to people - this though would have to wait a few more years and cost much more money to realise.
Jeff and Jaye sold 30% of the company to several shareholding groups that year also. This capital injection allowed a move to a bigger premise in Vega Place, Albany and to employ more operations staff.
It was at this time that the hard lesson of selling a solution that people barely understood, became an issue. Compounding matters was the distinct lack of sales and marketing experience in the company.Our Internal Process Using WorkflowMax
By 2014 the company was enjoying good success with picking up new clients. Our message to the market was starting to be met with open arms - people were looking for a new way of investing into their online brand.
We used the capital injection to promote the business and we engaged in a radio campaign and to employ sales staff. The radio ads drove great brand recognition, but the sales staff were below the standard needed to drive the company forward.
Web Wonks is an approved vendor for the Regional Business Partner Network. These are companies who meet certain criteria, and can be granted co funding for solutions designed to grow internal capability.
By this time, the Operations Team were using WorkflowMax to drive all internal work.Regional Business Partner Website
We continued to build recognition in the online industry as focussed on conversions and delivering a continually improving service. It was here a misstep by the management team was made - one we are proud to acknowledge as a part of our journey, but one that in hindsight had very little chance of success.
With the reporting system not doing what it needed to for our clients, we applied for and were granted funding by Callaghan Innovation. This funding equated to roughly 25% of the total investment Web Wonks made into its new venture - My Data Rank.
This platform was to pull to live data from Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Google Search Console and display the top 5 issues that needed to be addressed.
You can only laugh at the way life turns out. We now use Google DataStudio to display clients live data - Google built the same product we envisioned (without the ranking part). It goes without saying; they built the better product.
Sadly this was a fraught exercise which was seriously underfunded, pressured to deliver results far sooner than would have ever been possible, and generally drained resources from Web Wonks.
The silver lining to the cluster fudge was the learnings that came from it.
2016 was the year we turned our attention to embedding our internal knowledge around end to end Google solution architecture. With the release of Google Tag Manager and Enhanced Ecommerce for Google Analytics, we started implementing some of the first deep dive retail / web analytics data mining and campaign activation.
This was also the year we picked up some large corporate and big box names. With these larger datasets came the ability for us to really start generating BIG results.
As a rule we don’t publicly talk about who our clients are. We think bragging about all the companies we have worked with and continue to work with, is trying just a wee bit too hard. Instead every client is our most important client - it’s a one to one relationship regardless of size.
2016 saw the evolution of our staff, with long standing staff members moving into new positions, along with the development of smarter internal processes.Meet Our Wonderful Staff
In 2017 the company began the long and slow process of up-skilling our Retained Client Services' Team, which has come to be called the Insights (INS) Team. Up until this point our focus had been on geeking out on data and working with all types of businesses. What was missing, was a mature approach to taking our clients along for the journey with us.
Most of the relationships were held with our CEO / Founder Jeff, which wasn't the best for the company or our clients. We observed how traditional consulting firms managed client relationships and infused those ideas, with a focus 'towards' knowledge transfer and broad education for our clients.
Web Wonks has a complex internal process that reinforces our company motto ‘Alway Impart Value’.
These days Jeff has no direct project management and our INS team are independently skilled project / account managers.Take A Look At Our Current Teams
After many years of false starts, 2018 heralded the creation of a full developed Sales (SAL) Team. We have discovered it isn't good enough to have a sharp tongue and a sales pitch, companies respond to real knowledge and a genuine approach.
We are fortunate that we don’t have crazy sales targets - in fact we are quite mild in our growth ambitions. We simply want to have a good conversation from the outset and that means we take the time to train our sales staff on our flagship DHK product and the other solutions we offer.
We are a pretty good natured bunch and can take the mickey out of one another. Our staff christmas parties are normally pretty tame affairs, though there are a few dark horses among us.
The catalyst for long term success has been sparked. With clear reporting visibility over all aspects of the company, we are highly productive and deeply experienced in delivering real value to our clients.Check Out Our DHK Solution To Get Stated
2019 saw a fully resourced team, along with a full middle management team in place for the first time in Web Wonks' history. This was particularly exciting for us, as it meant that each job had a person to take care of it, and the CEO could now focus solely on the growth of the company, and on ways to impart more value to our clients.
Web Wonks continued to collect large e-commerce/corporate clients, and retain almost 100% of existing clients due to our humble approach of having a good old catch up with our clients on a regular basis, providing genuine insight into the client's web data, packaging this up and delivering it to our clients in a way that is easy to understand, and best of all delivering highly effective results.
2019 was a wonderful year of growth for Web Wonks and the team.Why Dont You Touch Base And Join Us On The Journey This Year
Phew, what to say about 2020? Well, it was as crazy for us, as it was for everyone else. We were so so fortunate, to be in a growth industry when the pandemic hit and have saw our business grow 40% in 2020.
We hit 100 monthly clients under management, a massive milestone and one we are very proud of. Our brand has really grown in strength and is recognised nationally as being the first choice in digital marketing.
We are strapped in and ready for the rollercoaster of 2021 to start!