Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Inside The Mind Of . . . Adina Zaiontz

Last updated on April 25th, 2018 at 04:15 pm

Headed by director and founder Adina Zaiontz, Napkin Marketing is a Toronto-based marketing firm specializing in web design, social media marketing, SEO, digital advertising, email marketing and marketing videos.

The team’s experience comes from Fortune 500 brands such as Yahoo! Canada, Rogers Media, HP Canada, CIBC, and many other small and medium-sized businesses.

Prior to starting napkin marketing, Adina worked at Yahoo!, most recently as the Trade Marketing Manager for Yahoo! Canada. In her role, Adina managed the B2B marketing effort behind Yahoo’s multi-million dollar media sales and search business. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Adina worked for Rogers Media and Glacier Business Information Group, two of Canada’s largest B2B publishers, developing trade and industry specific websites for construction, mining, health and safety, and manufacturing magazines.

What’s a recent example of a client you marketed successfully?

Adina Zaiontz: Take our Gabila’s Knishes case, where we had a one-hundred year old company come to us and some of their branding looked about one-hundred years old as well. We came up with a refreshed logo for them, social media presence and strategy for them, so that they can tell their story and talk about their knishes, the history of knishes, all the different ways you can prepare knishes – both traditional and new and innovated ways.

It was about getting their product out there in a unique way, getting their story out there, and getting customers exited again. For every company it’s different, but we help them through that journey.

Offer an example of creative problem solving…

Adina Zaiontz: We worked with an accounting firm who came to us because they weren’t getting a lot of customers or leads out of their website.

What we had them start doing is blogging about different topics but not all the articles are about them. A lot of the articles that they get SEO traffic out of are articles about their customers. For example, we interview – and part of our job’s with the writing – some of their clients, and we prepare a newsletter for them.

One of the articles we featured was on one of their clients, an architect. They talked about income tax issues for architects, and how this accounting firm helped this architect. Lo and behold, they started getting other calls from architects.

So many businesses have untapped stories inside their business, where they’ve helped a certain client.

There are many ways to get noticed online, but one of the best ways is with content marketing – having blog posts about that product, and making sure your website is optimized.

For this client, content marketing and blogging worked really well for them. I think they were surprised by their own success.

What do you notice are marketing problems you need to fix?

Adina Zaiontz: I think some of the typical examples would be building a site without a strategy, or with SEO as an afterthought.

Recently, we started a Google AdWords campaign to bring traffic to a client’s site. It worked great. They got a lot of traffic, and got sales out of it, but they have to keep paying for advertising because their website wasn’t built with good SEO practices.

Sometimes a company will build a website fast and cheap, but it won’t be good. With this company, they had their website built very fast. It was actually a good looking website, but the SEO was neglected. As a result of that, they end up spending a lot of extra money on advertising, when they are missing out on a lot of organic traffic they could get for free.

Even ourselves, as an agency, we don’t do a lot of online paid advertising, because we have fairly good SEO.

There’s definitely a place for online advertising, because it gives you that extra boost. In competitive industries paid advertising is necessary. But, a lot of companies neglect the content marketing, which can give them ongoing, free, targeted traffic. That’s a big neglected thing for a lot of companies.

Also, when you build a website, you have to think how it will convert to sales. Just having a website doesn’t mean you’re going to get customers. There’s a lot of things you have to put into a website to make it convert better. For example, even having an ebook offer, webinar offer, something that will help that website into leads.

You should also avoid building a website with many fields to fill out, just to get information. That’s not a friendly website.

What’s unique about Napkin Marketing?

Adina Zaiontz: If you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. A lot of times, many agencies will promote one certain strategy – like, they are a PPC (pay per click) agency, and they will always push PPC.

We are not like that. We look at every client uniquely and holistically. We’re not just going to try to sell you a service you may not need.

Maybe your answer is not digital marketing. Maybe you need to get out and go to trade shows for your industry? We can help support you in that. We do trade show display design. Maybe you need a direct mail campaign.

We really approach each client uniquely, and suggest an integrated approach depending on what their need is. We think strategy first. We aren’t thinking of the tools first.

Plus, I have 20 years marketing experience. I come from a corporate marketing background. I was in the shoes of my clients, where I was a marketer for a business. I’ve experienced the challenges and pressures that they have, where they are responsible for delivering sales or leads to a sales team, and I’ve worked on the agency side.

How does rapid progress in technology affect what you do and how you keep up?

Adina Zaiontz: You just have to be really in learning mode all the time, because there are so many changes.

We also try to partner with leaders in digital space. For example, we are a Mail Chimp partner, and we get called on a lot to work on email campaigns because we are listed with Mail Chimp. We are also a Google partner, so we get to hear about Google’s technology development.

I also am just passionate about the industry, and always have been a marketing geek. Like I told my employee the other day, I go on Facebook just for the ads. I take screenshots. My daughter makes fun of me because we share a family photo iCloud account, and half my photos are ad screenshots. If I see an interesting ad, I take a picture of it. It could be something we may be able to apply to clients.


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Dave Gordon
Dave Gordon
Dave Gordon is a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in more than a hundred publications globally, over the course of twenty years. More about him can be found at