Dana DiTomaso is a partner at Kick Point, a digital marketing agency based in Edmonton, Alberta that offers a range of services from analytics to brand strategy and social media solutions. Founded in 2012, the enterprise has achieved a balance of growth and work-life, according to DiTomaso.
“For Kick Point, it’s been enormously exciting to grow,” DiTomaso says. “For the first couple of years, we were hovering around 3 to 4 people, and then in early 2015, we started growing quickly and doubled in size in the past year. We don’t quite want to grow that quickly in 2016 as training is such an important part of what we do and we want to make sure that everyone who joins us has the time to learn and grow into their role.”
DiTomaso describes Kick Point as having a flat corporate structure with “eight of us in an open-concept office.” The doubling of the number of employees has led to balanced growth for the agency.
“Our larger size (but not too large) meant that we were able to work with a different size of customer — larger organizations who have an in-house team but needed that outside perspective on their marketing,” DiTomaso says. “We’ve signed on some very exciting clients in the past year, including the Edmonton Eskimos (Canadian Football League), Amerisleep, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions. Plus a few that we have NDAs with. But they’re equally cool and challenging for our whole team.”
DiTomaso personally considers the opportunity to speak at MozCon multiple times as being one of her greatest achievements as a Kick Point Partner. “I’ve spoken at MozCon, one of the largest digital marketing conferences in the US, every year for the past 3 years and will be back again this year,” DiTomaso says. “MozCon has a very high standard for their speakers and I’m beyond flattered that they continue to ask me back. Being able to speak to audiences about how we feel marketing should be done is something that’s very important to me.”
Work-life balance is emphasized at Kick Point and is, to a degree, required. For example, those who are part of the Kick Point team must take a “mandatory minimum three weeks of vacation time per year, plus half-day Fridays from June-September,” according to Kick Point.
As DiTomaso puts it, “Work-life balance is also important to us, so we are committed to actual flexible schedules and making sure that people are taking ample vacation time. We currently request a minimum of three vacation weeks per person, plus extra time off between Christmas and New Year’s. Once a year, we give each of our team members a $750 bonus to help them go on vacation, so long as they unplug and get off the internet for at least four days in a row.”
Short-Term and Long-Term Plans at Kick Point
When DiTomaso was asked to discuss the short-term and long-term plans she has for Kick Point and for herself as a Partner, DiTomaso focused on Kick Point.
“Short-term,” she said, “we’re moving the agency to taking on more clients who require help with a complete digital strategy. Many of our clients have an in-house team and are doing a little bit of everything, but don’t have the experience to sit back and answer the question “is this working?” We help these companies establish what’s working and what isn’t, then create a complete digital-first marketing strategy and either help them implement it or train their team on how to implement it.”
“Long-term, we’d like companies to understand the value of digital-first marketing,” DiTomaso says. “There is still the perception that it’s cheap and/or easy to do well and it’s neither. There are very few ‘tricks’ and a lot of hard work that goes into it, just like any other marketing strategy. We’ll be there once companies truly start to understand what digital-first actually means and stop trying to put billboards on Facebook.”
Dana DiTomaso is known for being a strong advocate for women in business and technology who serves her community as president of the Advertising Club of Edmonton and as the co-leader of Ladies Learning Code Edmonton. She was born in a steel mill, and now has more than ten years of marketing industry experience in which she has demonstrated a steely-eyed focus on helping clients achieve a complete digital strategy.
Photo of Emma Butler, Art Director at Kick Point, and at right Dana DiTomaso, Partner and Co-owner at Kick Point, courtesy of Dana DiTomaso.
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