SEO, Paid-Search Education Crammed Into Enterprise Business Model

Directive Consulting, a global enterprise search marketing agency, will launch a full-learning management system that educates the user through practical templates, tools, approaches for SEO and paid search, and conversion rate optimization.

“Hopefully it will change the way people think about SEO and its role,” said Garrett Mehrguth, president and CEO at Directive. “We’re hoping they learn it’s really about the brand rather than the website.”

Mehrguth believes the key is making the brand visible -- not the website. He said the focus in 2020 will be on strengthening the brand.

To accomplish the task, Directive engineers are building a software tool, Discoverability, to analyze the process of discovering a brand -- not just its website -- in search results. It will measure success and waste.

Another project is a research database that includes data and every available API in the search marketing industry. It scores 30,000 companies across 30 verticals to determine how brands rank, and measures success based on the average spend and the keywords they use to rank in search query results based on the worth of the keywords.



Clients such as Allstate will receive these tools for free, but the tools will remain available to non-clients for a fee. In the past, Directive has worked with Cisco and Samsung.

The goal for Directive is to become a resource for enterprise in-house marketers. Mehrguth says he was inspired by advice from his soccer coach, who told him to be good at everything and great at one thing.

In the future Google -- using artificial intelligence -- will have the ability to “cut out agencies to increase their revenue by about 50%,” he said.

It will become more important to show the value of the agency model as software and bidding becomes increasingly automated.

Directive, which launched in February 2014, employees about 50 agency reps, and on average, each supports five enterprise companies. Some are in the mid-market. Most of the employees are located in the United States, but some are international, with one employee now based in Armenia. Another, who is participating in a “work in travel” program where he will travel the world managing accounts, is now based in Chile.

The agency has hired employees from brands and taught them how to become more successful, then sent them back into the corporate environment to give them a fuller perspective.  

“My friend and I bootstrapped the company with $20 while in our early 20s,” he said. “From there we had small accounts like Hookah shops and pool cleaners. We tried to turn everything into a case study, and stay humble and hungry. It grew naturally.”

Every year the company has nearly doubled revenue. This year, Mehrguth estimates annual revenue will reach between $7 million and $8 million, with a goal of reaching $15 million 2020.

The agency’s headquarters are in Irvine, California, and Austin, Texas.

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