Our Process

We want to develop exciting, successful, and fulfilling relationships between our team and yours. Our process ebbs and flows depending on your unique needs, but these facts align with our values and lead to strong relationships.

Research First

Our projects start with research because strategies and tactics that are informed by research work better than concepts that come from guessing. If you don’t see the value research provides yet, we’re happy to discuss this reality with you, but if you are certain you don’t need research, we aren’t the right fit for you.

Thorough research builds a strong foundation for your organization. It doesn’t matter if you need us for a rebrand, a redesign, an audit, a brand voice, PPC, SEO, Local SEO, training, or what — research is where we start together. If we don’t know you, your customers or clients, and your competitors, how can we help you do better?

The types of research we perform will depend on your industry and where you are in the lifecycle of your business. We’re also happy to review research that you already have, and then supplement as necessary.

We do not organize or host focus groups for our clients because they either breed ‘group think’ or fall victim to a situation where ‘the loudest guy in the room’ wins. They are a broken system for determining what clients and customers want, and they result in scattered information, unclear direction, and very few truly actionable items.

What do you get out of research? You get the answers you need to ensure you are giving your audience what it wants and needs — you’re getting the foundation you need to improve and grow your business.

We’re Economical, Not Commitment-phobic

We rarely recommend long-term engagements during the proposal stage of a project. We’re hesitant to lock our team and yours into a lengthy engagement before our projects start because our ultimate goal is to empower your team to manage your brand and your marketing in-house. With our strategic direction and training, bringing that work in-house is typically much more economical for your team.

There are exceptions to every rule, of course! We have worked with some clients for years, but our roles have evolved over time to suit changing needs — as is the case for our work with The Shaw Conference Centre.

The Honesty Factor

We tell the truth, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts, because great things can come from facing uncomfortable truths.

Before we began offering a comprehensive set of services, we often partnered with other agencies to provide SEO and PPC solutions for their clients. One of those times, we put together a report that was direct and addressed the shortcomings of a project that stemmed from not having proper analytics access, and directing traffic to pages that provided poor user experiences.

Our agency partner replied to the report with the following:

“I find that the best way to move forward with clients in a positive way and continue the relationship is to frame the shortcomings as opportunities for improvement. While I don't doubt that all your closing thoughts in the document are factually correct I wonder if you'd consider revising for tone and tenor.”

The tone of the report was friendly, but the facts were clear. The project was not a success. What the agency was really asking was for us to sugarcoat their project’s failure. We do not compromise our integrity in this manner, so we could not present the client with anything but the honest, direct truth.

There is no place or purpose for double-talk in client relations.

Delivering bad news isn’t fun. It’s frustrating when we have to tell potential clients that their award-winning web design agency neglected the site migration process and that recovering from a huge loss in traffic and authority will take a long time and significant financial investment to correct. It’s upsetting when we see that the SEO “agency” you hired did irreparable damage by building you a scary low-value link profile that will definitely get you nailed by a Google penalty.

We will tell you the things that are tough to hear, and then be there to help you navigate a path to success.

Project Flow

We don’t use an account manager/project manager model at Kick Point. We tried it, and it didn’t work out — you can read a bit about that in our story. When your project begins you will be assigned two project leads (who can never go on vacation together), and they will be your main contacts going forward and you will work with them to lay out the schedule for your project.

Your communication needs may be different and we respect that, so we offer you a lot of autonomy in this regard. We simply ask that you tell us your preferences for frequency and method of communication — and always, always tell us when you go on vacation — in order to keep your project on schedule.

Often, our clients are going through periods of significant change — and we’re honoured to be a part of this. Making change successful is as thrilling as it is challenging! Establishing a change management plan with your team is an important part of this process. Change is scary and having a comprehensive plan that guides your organization and creates champions for change reduces anxiety and eliminates roadblocks to change.

You will always own the documents we create together. Your analytics program is just that — yours! It’s mind boggling to us when we start talking to a potential client and their previous agency or freelancer controlled their analytics and never granted them access. Reporting dashboards, software accounts, social media accounts, and anything else we access or set up on your behalf will always belong to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you design and develop websites?

Yes, we design and develop websites in-house. If you have less than $15,000 to spend, we will work with a customized theme — which gives you less control over appearance/options/fancy things, but you still get the important benefits of a data-driven, SEO-sound, impactful marketing website.

Our most recent web projects have ranged in price between $18,000 – $140,000.

Do you provide workshops/seminars/training/coaching programs?

Yes, we’re of the “teach a person to fish” school of thought! Get in touch with us and please tell us what type of education you and your team are looking for.

Do you give talks/presentations on brand/digital marketing/SEO/social media/fantasy football? Do you deliver keynote addresses? Will you be on a panel?

Yes. Being active in the global marketing community is very important to our team. Our team members have spoken at many conferences on a variety of topics — and we always craft new talks and slide decks in order to ensure your attendees are getting valuable, unique content. Review our past speaking engagements here, and get in touch with us to discuss your conference or event here. Dana DiTomaso is also available to deliver keynote presentations.

Will you manage our social media? // Will you tweet for us? // We need someone to manage our social accounts, do you do that?

No. We are not an economical solution for your social media management needs. Ultimately, we encourage you to manage your social media accounts in-house. You (or someone on your team) has more knowledge and a deeper connection to your organization — we’re happy to provide the tools and education to prepare you, but we will not tweet, post, or snap on your behalf. Rules are made to be broken though! If you need short-term support, or want some hands-on coaching, we’re open to that so please get in touch.

I need an SEO audit. Will you please include the results of an audit in your proposal and tell me how much it will cost you to fix what you find?

We do not do this. Lots of companies will though! We believe that this is a form of spec work that devalues our expertise and gives the marketing industry a bad rep. Our audits are comprehensive, utilize an expensive suite of tools, and take time for our team to put together because we focus on insights and recommendations to move forward smartly. Of course, when you contact us, we do investigate your website, and look for red flags, but we will not audit outside of a contracted relationship.

Can you please send me pricing for SEO // a new logo // a social media strategy // a website // an audit?

Because we don’t have packages or template solutions, we cannot provide pricing information without receiving details from you about your company and your goals.

I don’t know how much to budget for this. Can you tell me what we need and how much it will cost?

This is tough. A question we typically ask of all of our potential clients is, “how much money do you have set aside for this project?”

The purpose of this question is to give us an understanding of whether or not we can realistically help you, or if we need to recommend an alternate partner. If you cannot tell us “how much money you have set aside” we will provide a predicted range for you to review before moving into a proposal stage, in order to ensure we do not waste our time or yours.

I need high quality links. How many links can you build me in the next month?

Sigh. If this is your line of questioning, we are probably not a good fit for you. Link building is an Olympic marathon, not a sprint. Our response to this question is typically: “Can you please send us a few examples of the high quality content you have prepared that you need links built to?”