Eric Harbottle is one of those rare individuals who has always had a clear idea of his ideal career. As you’ve seen from the majority of our member spotlights, most folks either go to college for one thing and pursue another, or are absolutely clueless about what to even major in. We’ve all been there.
But after growing up in the farmlands surrounding Oshawa, Ontario, Eric felt no need to deliberate over his career. Business was his groove, and the nearby Durham College had a good program for it. He enrolled and thus began his journey down the business and marketing path.
After graduating, Eric plunged into the workforce. If you read our volunteer highlighting featuring Sarah Taylor, then Eric’s first few career moves are going to remind you a lot of hers. ‘Tis the life of a marketer, one might say.
Eric began working for phone book companies as a directory advertiser. He worked with the Telus directories for a few years, which was a smaller, third-party business contracted by the massive telecommunications company. Before long, the company was bought by Yellow Pages, but thankfully Eric was able to stay on. In fact, he stayed on for a long time. 13 years, to be precise.
As technology steadily became more prominent over those 13 years, so did the biggest tech company in the world: Google. Eric’s company evolved and realized they needed a Google expert on staff. Who got the spot? Eric, of course.
As you will see, Eric’s expertise with Google plays an important part throughout his career. Even today, he can boast of Addison Marketing’s Google Partner status.
In 2014, Eric decided it was high time for a change.
He explained his mindset at the time like such:“Coming through school and into the business world, one thing I’ve always enjoyed was helping the SMBs – the small/medium businesses – with marketing navigation and advising them on how to grow their businesses.”
But to fulfill these both, Eric needed to branch out. And what better way to do that than starting his own business? That’s why, in 2014, Eric founded Addison Marketing Solutions.
“My primary motivation,” he explained, “was to develop relationships with small business owners locally and help them market their businesses properly. I saw a gap in the market where there were a lot of larger marketing agencies at the time, and I felt that I wanted to have more of a personal touch and personal relationship with the business owners. And I think they wanted that, too.”
So what does Addison Marketing do? In short, if you’re a small/medium business, Addison’s goal is to be hired as your marketing consultant and, as a result, work with you to discover the best use for your marketing budget.
Because when you hire Addison as your marketing consultant, you’re not just hiring one marketer. You’re hiring a whole team.
“Let’s say you had a business,” said Eric, “and you were looking to hire a marketing manager. Well, paying their salary would cost you about 60 to 80 grand a year. And then you think of us. You hire us at $1,000 a month, which comes to $12,000 a year. And there’s nine of us. We’ve got a Facebook expert, a Google expert, three website designers, a social media manager, a content creator, and there’s an SEO person. So, you know, for less than a third of the cost, you can hire an entire team who will work their tails off to make sure you get a good return on your marketing dollars.”
Talk about getting the biggest bang possible for your buck. And, although I just listed a plethora of services provided by Addison, it’s not everything they offer. In addition to being a professional marketer, Eric is also a business consultant.
“That was another motivating factor for starting my own business,” he said. “Not only did I want to be their marketing consultant; I wanted to advise them on how to spend their marketing dollars. If you imagine a financial advisor, you’d go to them and say, ‘Here’s my money. Where’s the best place to invest it to get the best return?’ I look at myself in the same way, just from a business’ marketing perspective.”
In that way, Addison Marketing is like your one-stop destination for marketers and marketing brokers. But despite their bulletproof business model, Addison still had to make the uphill trek when starting up.
“It took us about two years to get to a point where we weren’t cash poor,” said Eric. “We’ve been around for 8 years now, so we’re steady. But those first two years were a struggle to get off the ground and become a legitimate business.”
That can be a lesson to all of us: No matter how strong and original your business model, getting off the ground is always going to require hard work and determination.
And one more thing every great business has is a great name. In this case, you might be wondering, “Where’s the ‘Addison’ part come from?” Well, don’t worry because Eric explained.
“I have three daughters and Addison is my oldest. So when I launched the business, I decided to name it after her. So whenever someone comes into my business, I tell them that they’re not just representing my business, they’re not just representing my reputation, but they’re also representing my daughter’s name. And it’s very important to me that the clients we work with understand that because it’s that personal to me.”
Now that’s a business I could put my trust in. And to think that they’ve got great services and a reputation to match them in quality. Businesses like that don’t come around every day.
So if you need a marketer, you know who to call.
Written by Peter Wilson