The days are gone when businesses used to put up ad hoardings for marketing. In this internet driven era, businesses rely on online marketing. People across the world have access to the Internet and it has become much easier to share things. It might seem like a cake walk for many people when they hear online marketing, but in reality, the online marketing world is tough to navigate. In this online world, the speed of technology and adoption throws unique challenges. So, to master the online marketing mantra and to make the best decisions, it requires proper guidance and clarity.
A witty mind, Sergio Alvarez saw the void in the industry and founded Ai Media Group in 2008. The company specializes in defining, managing, and executing online marketing strategies. It has marketing professionals, business consultants, and technology experts dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help clients succeed. Ai Media’s cutting-edge tools and comprehensive approach provides clients with real-time information and immediate results.
Over the years, the company has grown tremendously and today it is one of the leading firms in the industry. In fact, it was recently recognized by Education Technology Insights as a Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Solution Provider.
Interview Snippet with the Leader of Ai Media Group, Sergio Alvarez:
Q. As per your experience, what kinds of organizations survive and flourish into the distant future?
My experience is that organizations that keep the customer at the center of their strategy and plans will definitely flourish. Knowing the audience is the key and it is not always who/what you might think. So, you need to ask and check in with both existing and new prospects/clients.
Q. What challenges did you face in the initial years of Ai Media Group?
At the very beginning, every company faces challenges; Money, resources, and getting the word out were some of the big challenges. But, we learned that we had something unique and if we could get in front of the right people, our technology was pretty self-selling.
We learned that focusing on companies that had three main ingredients worked best – online commerce, call center or similar, and/or forms submissions. An added benefit was a tie back to revenue and units and the right budgets.
Q. How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.
Talking about our first project, it was pretty successful! We were new and were trying to win a large cable company. I remember, in the meeting, the Marketing VP asked for our driver’s license to make copies saying “if I go down for this decision, we all go down”. It was a little frightening, but funny and we understood clearly that it isn’t just about us being a vendor, someone has to take the risk on us and they are risking their job as well as their reputation. And that made us want to work even harder. They were ultimately our biggest and best client for over 7 years.
Q. What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
Our tool is accessible to our customers; they can see what is happening in real time, so they do give us a lot of input. Some become real products and others just a customization for their specific needs. The biggest thing we hear is that more data is important, but more importantly is the story the data is telling — what should we change? What’s working? And Why?
Q. A company’s behavior is as important as its economic performance or the quality of its products. How do you interpret this saying?
Zig Zigler once said “I’d rather apologize for my price once than my service for the length of our relationship”, and we at Ai Media believe that the company behavior is a combination of our values which include - our people, our technology and our reputation. Our company prides itself on those three things and a culture of doing what we say we will do. We have less than 1% interruption in service and run a 365 24/7 shop.
Q. Is Ai Media Group a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’?
We are definitely a leader in the digital marketing space for sure, but on some aspects, we have chosen to be a follower and wait and see while the tech is working out the kinks at other firms.
Q. ‘Leaders cannot optimize results by themselves; they need employees’ support and assistance.’ How does your company interpret this saying?
This is 100% true. Running a business is a team sport. And that is largely why we are called Ai Media Group – we believe that every person has a key role in our success. We want them to feel appreciated and empowered as a member of the GROUP. And I believe that is one of the reasons why we are successful today.
The Future Roadmap
Talking about the future, with the Blackstone PE backing, there are several scenarios, but the company has a 2020 vision — a vision to have 200 companies under management and meet sales and technology improvement goals.
Furthermore, Ai Media Group sees more partnerships in the future for sales and business cultivation and also technology partnerships to help customers see beyond digital into the offline world and customer behavior.
Meet the Chief
Sergio Alvarez, CEO, and Founder: Sergio has applied his background in psychology and extensive experience in sales as the foundation of his work with Ai Media Group. An early adaptor and innovator in the digital space, he has directed winning teams across the country in digital marketing.
Under Sergio’s leadership, Ai Media Group has been recognized by Google’s Agency Land (Agency Edge) and Dun & Bradstreet’s Hoovers as one of the top ten internet companies. Sergio is often a featured thought leader in trade publications as well as a sought-after keynote speaker. He was hand selected by Google to speak at the US Hispanic Forum about the rise in Multi-Cultural SEM campaigns and was the recipient of the 2016 Latino Trendsetter Award presented by Latin TRENDS.
“Doing what we say we will do – standing by our customers to make sure we share their goals and we have a clear alignment around what is possible and what we need to deliver for their company’s success.”