Since 1998, the digital agency Immersion Active has been building Web site and digital marketing campaigns for a broad range of clients. About five years ago, though, founders David Weigelt and Jonathan Boehman decided they needed to narrow their target, less out of response to the economy and more out of a desire to dig deeper into their work. They turned their focus to the Baby Boomer market and found their work to be more rewarding, but growing, as well.
“Choosing the market wasn't really that hard,” David told me. “The 50+ market is the largest, wealthiest, fastest-growing, and most underserved group online. So many agencies out there were trying to reach them by cohort affect – they think hippie generation and VW buses. But that’s not the majority of this generation.”
David admits that while he was excited by the potential of this shift in business, not everyone shared his enthusiasm. “We literally went from a hip agency to one that’s doing Internet marketing for older adults.” The switch has made recruiting more challenging, but the projects more interesting. “In contrast to a lot of other agencies, who really just become order-takers for clients, we’re seen as the experts in this area. We’re doing more strategic, higher caliber work now. Plus, because our clients tend to be very purpose-driven, the work is all the more rewarding.”
Then there’s the growth: Last year, Immersion Active experienced 200 percent growth and was named to the Inc. 5000 list.
Equally worth noting is that Immersion Active accomplished this while becoming debt-free in the past year. David said that since their start, they’ve known that the financial management would be both critical and best handled be someone else. They hired an accountant, who then advised them to get an American Express Gold Card. “We put everything on it – office supplies, travel, media buys. We probably average around $20,000 per month. Being able to track our charges online and, knowing that we have to pay it in full at the end of the month, has helped us be more fiscally responsible and get us to where we are now – debt free.”
If you have advice for other business owners on how to maximize Card usage to better manage cash flow, please e-mail me at marcy @ openforum.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @marcyshinder, and follow OPEN Forum @openforum.For information about David Weigelt and Jonathan Boehman (Cardmembers since 1999), and the Frederick, MD-based Immersion Active, visit www.immersionactive.com. For more of David’s insights, particularly on marketing to the Baby Boomer generation, he and Jonathan have published Dot Boom, a book for developing boomer marketing strategies.