by James Runkle
Founder and Principal of Drummond St. Strategy
Crafting creative, innovative and inspired marketing strategies.
Even in the Mile Square, the key to being found starts online.
Hoboken is a destination for restaurants and bars, and when I first moved here twenty years ago, I had to ask people (in person) for recommendations to find the best ones.
Now, platforms like Yelp and Hoboken Bar Network enable me to see comprehensive lists of options, read numerous personal reviews, and find my way to the establishment’s website to experience it before I go.
As artificial intelligence becomes more integrated into our lives, one day you and I may have algorithms choosing where we eat and drink! Which means for businesses, it’s more important than ever to clear a digital pathway to their doors.
Whenever food and technology share a place in a discussion, I think of my friend, Dan Scalco. Dan is a brilliant digital marketer with an entrepreneurial life force—who also is really into home-delivered meals.
1333 Hudson Street
JR: Even busy entrepreneurs have hobbies. What’s yours?
DS: I devour content, both digital and print, about small business owners, case studies, and best practices. My passion for #startuplife is always there.
In fact, my best advice to other entrepreneurs is to be a voracious consumer of other entrepreneurs. Tim Ferris, The Moz blog, sumo.com. Also, always reading biographies of business leaders. Inspiration is everywhere, and you never know when it will strike. Keep your eyes and ears open, and you’ll find yourself learning from the most unexpected (and often most effective) places.
JR: I mean . . . your other hobby.
DS: That sounds so ominous. On top of work, I like to have some hobbies that also tie-in with my love of digital marketing. One of those hobbies is a food blog called Food Box HQ, where I review different meal delivery companies.
JR: When you’re not doing digital marketing, you relax by doing digital marketing?
DS: Having the blog is twofold. First, it allows me to have fun. Second, it lets me test out new digital marketing strategies to see if they work in a test environment before implementing with clients.
JR: This is really a calling for you. Have you always been an entrepreneur?
DS: I have always had that spirit. I remember a big moment of realization when I turned twenty-one and went out with my friends to the local bar. I remember looking at all the people in the place and realizing that I didn’t want to just be someone paying at the bar… I wanted to be the one who owned the bar. Even at that age, I knew I wanted to run a business and be in charge of my own destiny.
Dan’s formula for high performance
- Always get at least 7 hours of sleep
- Eat healthy and exercise regularly
- Supplement your brain with such nootropics as Mind Lab Pro
- If you can’t deliver 100% white-glove service, don’t take the client
JR: But, you’re not a bar owner.
DS: No. I gained a proficiency in a lot of technologies that, I didn’t even realize, add up to digital marketing. I had been doing graphic design, web design, and development, and I learned how to combine all these skills to help businesses use the Internet to market themselves.
I had just moved to Hoboken at the time and saw a ton of small business owners who had great ideas but weren’t really sure how to take their business to the next level. I quickly realized that my set of skills could help them. And Digitalux was born in 2012.
JR: What’s the biggest secret about your business?
DS: Digital marketing isn’t only for big business. Businesses of all sizes can use the Internet to grow their brand and increase leads. We work with many local, small businesses right here in Hoboken. You don’t need to spend a huge budget to get results, either.
JR: Is Hoboken a good place to run a business?
DS: Hoboken has a small town, community vibe that I fell in love with. It has the perfect balance of smart and fun residents that give it a unique energy. Not only that, but the small businesses here are one of a kind. They really care about working together as much as possible to make Hoboken a true business community.
My personal favorite is being able to walk everywhere for everything I need. In almost any other town, you have to jump in a car and spend up to fifteen minutes just mailing a letter. Now, I’m within walking distance to the bank, post office, and every imaginable mode of transportation to get me where I need to go for client work or meetings.
JR: Any challenges?
DS: Parking. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear that answer.
JR: What’s your everyday strategy for success?
DS: Practice what you preach. The number one way I bring in leads is through search engine optimization (SEO)—the practice of getting a website to rank higher in search engine results (SER).
It doesn’t matter if a person is searching for “digital marketing strategy” or “best Thai food.” The search starts online. That’s where customers go, and that’s where your business should be.