Pop Quiz, Monday with Michael Laps

Michael Laps

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Michael Laps

What is your job role?
Co-Founder, Strategy Director

Tell us about your company?
Yoghurt Digital is a digital marketing agency specialising in conversion optimisation, UX, biddable media, and SEO. We’ve built our entire agency on intimately understanding our client’s consumers and their online behaviour, balancing smart data insights and inspired strategy to help them meet your goals.

Data doesn’t lie. When you look at digital marketing campaigns through a data lens, it’s very black and white. What sets Yoghurt apart is that data, not opinions, drive our campaigns. We don’t just THINK things are working – by looking at data, we KNOW things are working. For us, it’s not a set and forgets scenario.

We use data as our compass. When we implement new strategies or onboard new clients, we don’t just give them access to the data, and we talk them through how they can interpret it, so their campaigns and results are transparent.

What do you love most about your job?
Impact. Ultimately, we started the agency because we wanted to help companies grow and scale. We love seeing the impact that we can have on the lives of the people we work with, and because we have a methodology that’s applicable to any industry, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing the outcomes of our work with companies of all shapes and sizes.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Again, impact. Our work directly affects the lives of other people. There’s also an enormous snowball effect, so being results-focused and consistent is absolutely critical. And because we take the time to get to know all of our clients on a personal level, we tend to go above and beyond to make their lives easier – as you would for anyone you care about. The human aspect of what we do can’t be ignored, and that’s what motivates us every day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Where to begin… We have an incredibly multi-cultural agency, with people from lots of different backgrounds and all walks of life. But what binds them all together – and what inspires me most – is their passion and dedication to their craft, their hunger to learn and up-skill themselves, and their desire to do the best they possibly can for our clients. They’re genuinely excited to see the impact their learnings have on performance, and even more excited to see the impact that the performance improvements have on clients. It’s a cycle of motivation that inspires me immensely and an attitude that, regardless of title or tenure, every professional should aspire to.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Our team didn’t know each other when they started at Yoghurt, but they’re now friends both inside and outside the office. As a result, there’s no shortage of team bonding time. We have lunches in the park, after work drinks at the pub, we play video games on a Friday afternoon, have movie nights at the office, and have quarterly team building events. We also have lunch n’ learns, where someone on the team will teach the rest of the team a new skill or strategy.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
When you’ve worked at agencies for as long as I have, you understand that sometimes even when you do your absolute best for a client, it might not work out. There are often factors outside of your control that dictate the performance figures, which can lead to a client moving on.

Those conversations are always challenging and rarely pleasant. You might be dealing with someone who’s frustrated and disappointed, so it’s important to have compassion while still standing up for the team and the strategy (but only if appropriate). These are tough situations that, thankfully, aren’t a regular occurrence, but are nevertheless one of the more challenging aspects of the role.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
It’s absolutely critical to communicate regularly, communicate effectively and document everything. When clients are engaging us for multiple services, there are often lots of different campaigns running across multiple channels. Things can get messy and confusing if there isn’t a streamlined method of communication and proper documentation.

We sound our client’s summaries of every major meeting and phone call we have with them, so there’s an official paper trail that can be referenced if need be. We also use shared project management software that gives both parties the visibility and transparency they need in order to stay on top of the various projects that might be running concurrently.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Be a sponge. The digital marketing industry is incredibly dynamic, with new technology, channels, strategies and tactics becoming available every single day. If you’re not willing to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry and how this affects the work you do, you’re already falling behind.

Find people you can learn from and bounce ideas around with. Explore what others in the industry are doing. Go to meet-ups. Read articles. And finally, when you’re ready, start to develop your own voice and put it out there, because what you have to say might make all the difference to someone out there.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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