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Internet Marketing Inc. Thriving in a Competitive Market

Interview with Brandon Fishman, CEO of Internet Marketing Inc.

In this interview with Brandon Fishman, CEO of Internet Marketing Inc. (IMI), you’ll hear about Brandon’s background, what IMI does, and how they differentiate themselves in the rapidly growing digital online marketing space. Brandon is a serial entrepreneur with lots of drive and passion. He has a ton of experience in growing businesses, and expertise in online marketing.

Brandon Fishman CEO IMI

Prior to forming Internet Marketing Inc, Brandon and a partner started, which grew to be the largest condo advertising site in the United States. Brandon and his IMI co-founder, Brent Gleeson, started Internet Marketing Inc. in May 2006. This was just as the real estate bubble was starting to burst. Since then, IMI has grown to over 100 people with offices in San Diego and Las Vegas. In fact, Internet Marketing Inc. is one of the fastest growing full service Internet marketing agencies in the country. IMI represents a number of premier brands including MasterCard, Aria Resort & Casino, Time-Life, AMC Theaters, and Belkin.

Internet Marketing Inc. specializes in providing results-driven, integrated professional online marketing solutions for medium and large businesses across the globe. Like most online marketing companies, IMI is involved in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay per Click (PPC) advertising, but they do a lot more. IMI takes a holistic approach to digital online marketing and also includes content marketing, display and banner advertising, and social media advertising through the likes of Facebook and Instagram, building web sites, conversion optimization, and online PR. A good digital markting agency will ahave great creative skills as well as branding abilities. These are very important factors that an online business needs to get right in order to bring in new custommers as well as keep and retain clients. The White Hat Blog has created an online marketing agency services scorecard that gives readers a detailed checklist of what to look for in agood SEO company if you are looking for a new marketing agency it is worth a read!

Staying on top of the latest trends in SEO is important for businesses to stay ahead of the competition. SEO companies are aware of the different needs of individual businesses so offer tailored services showing they understand the exact requirements of their clients. Larger clients who require seo for news publishers, for example, will expect this individual approach to their needs, this includes things like: optimization of Google News, partnerships for content syndication, migrations from HTTP to HTTPS, audience targeting and analytics, and more!

Internet Marketing Inc. has found a way to differentiate their offering through a sophisticated data-driven approach to online marketing and advertising. IMI utilizes a multi-attribution analytics marketing system which they see as a key differentiator. Regularly checking marketing statistics within your business could be just what you need to know what is working and what isn’t and this is especially important if you want to be successful. Company owners like Russell Brunson didn’t get to where he is by not assessing his marketing methods, and looking to get inside analytic help could help your business to thrive at a quicker rate. With these sophisticated analytics, IMI works to identify the entire marketing sequence in an online transaction, including the Introducer, the Influencer, and the Closer. IMI also does detailed market analysis as part of the engagement process for their clients. They see this combination as a major competitive advantage.

Patrick Henry CEO Entropic

Patrick: Hi, this is Patrick Henry with the Real Deal…What Matters. I’m here with Brandon Fishman. Brandon is the CEO of Internet Marketing Incorporated.

Welcome, Brandon. Glad you could do this with us. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as well as what you did before IMI?

Brandon: I’m originally from Philadelphia. I went to school at Emory University in Atlanta. After Emory, I worked at Deloitte Consulting for about a year and then realized I could never work for anyone else and hated life.

I packed up and drove across country and found that San Diego had a Masters of Real Estate program. I thought I wanted to be in real estate, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.

I started going to USD and made some contacts. I’d always been in the internet space. I had a few smaller internet companies in college and made some contacts out there.

At that point, the high-rise condos were booming. I started a website with a partner called We quickly grew to be the largest condo advertising website in the country.

Real estate was pretty hot back then. I taught myself search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising and all forms of internet marketing.

When real estate started to take a turn, I figured I needed a backup plan. I started an internet marketing agency called Internet Marketing Inc.

As the first company was on the decline, Internet Marketing Inc. was on the way up. Right now we have about 100 employees. We’re based here in San Diego and we have an office in Vegas. We do all forms of digital marketing.

Patrick: Explain to us what digital marketing is, what it encompasses. I think a lot of people hear about SEO, search engine optimization, but I’m sure that there are many things that deal with traditional marketing, public relations, things like that, which also deal with online marketing. Can you give us the gamut of what that actually means?

Brandon: We really look at everything as a holistic approach to marketing. Search engine optimization is a piece of it. Lately, content marketing is a bigger piece of it, where you’re producing your own content, engaging with bloggers and making that content viral.

There’s the media side of it. There’s pay-per-click advertising with Google. There’s display, with banner advertising. There are now social media ads, which is becoming really popular. We’re seeing the spend go up dramatically with Facebook ads. Now there are Instagram ads as well.

We also build websites. We have a whole creative team. We do conversion optimization and online PR. Pretty much all forms of digital advertising.

Patrick: In your marketing materials, you talk about being strategic, data-driven marketing strategies. Can you describe what that means?

Brandon: I would say one thing that makes us different in how we’re strategic is we pretty much put analytics first with everything. We use what’s called a multi-attribution analytics marketing system.

What that means is most agencies give all the credit to the last click in Google, which typically ends up being the branded search, the click right before the conversion happens.

We start looking at all the clicks on a behavior’s journey from the very beginning. What is the introducer on the marketing sequence? What is the influencer? What is the closer? Our technology allows us to do that.

We also take into account market insight and research when we’re putting together a lot of our strategic plans.

By using the insight and then by looking at the analytics differently than other people do, it allows us to be more strategic about what we do.

Patrick: How big is the market for something like this, for your services?

Brandon: The actual size of the market is growing every day. If you just look at how TV budgets are shrinking, digital marketing is growing. It’s in the hundreds of billions, as far as the advertising marketing globally.

The only thing is that there’s a lot of competition. Almost every day there’s a new internet marketing agency popping up. We’re fortunate enough to have a lot of strong employees and it really is a people game. If you have the best talent and space, and you’re able to do well for your clients, then you can grow with those clients.

Patrick: Yes. I’m a huge believer in putting together the best team that you possibly can. That sounds like that’s the key differentiator in your space.

Brandon: It really is. Anyone can do this type of stuff. It’s really about having the right people.

We use recruiting firms. Right now, we only recruit the top talent away from other agencies all around the country. We pick people to move out here. If you have the best talent and they’re willing to keep learning, then you’re going to pretty much have the edge.

Patrick: That’s great. Are you hiring now? Are there people who you’re looking for, particular skill sets?

Brandon: We are. We’re looking for specific technical search engine optimization strategists. We’re always looking for people who have a lot of talent on some of the new things, like social media ads or anything to do with Google pay-per-click as well.

Patrick: Do you need capital for your business to grow or are you self-funded? How do you think about that?

Brandon: We funded this business from the first business. Then about three years ago, we took on a $2 million investment from an angel investor.

As of next month, we’re actually going to be buying him out of that investment and doing a share buyback. We’re getting an SBA loan to be able to do that, which I didn’t even know existed until a few weeks ago. It’s very inexpensive money and allows us to get our equity back.

Patrick: Your cash flow must be pretty good then?

Brandon: Yes.

Patrick: That’s awesome. Do you see this as a cash flow business? I wouldn’t call it a lifestyle business, because it sounds like you’re scaling it. You have 100 hundred people.

Is it something that you take public over time, or sell it to a bigger agency, or is this something you think you can grow?

Brandon: It’s something that we eventually sell to a larger global agency. Most people in our space do eventually want to sell. We eventually want to sell, probably in a five-to-seven-year timeframe.

Patrick: Tell our audience something about you that people don’t know.

Brandon: I’m divorced. I have a five-year-old boy named Dylan. I would say something interesting is that I used to day trade for a living. I day traded my way through college and grad school and was pretty successful at that.

I’m a pretty good poker player. I’ve done very well in the World Series of Poker and have some pretty high finishes in that.

Patrick: Is there anything that I missed out on about your company that you’d like to highlight for our viewers?

Brandon: I would say that companies can be a lot more fun at 30 or 40 people. When you get to 100 people, it gets pretty stressful.

For you to take that road, try to find a way to manage the stress. For me, I enjoy golf and getting out, doing different stuff. It can be pretty hectic.

Patrick: That’s awesome. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this and letting us know about yourself and your company.

It’s an exciting space and an exciting company. It’s definitely one of the fastest growing companies in San Diego, for sure, and I think nationwide as far as internet marketing. Check them out. It was great being with you. Thanks, Brandon. I appreciate it.

Brandon: Thank you.

I hope you enjoyed what Brandon has to say, as much as I enjoyed interviewing him! What is your experience with online marketing? How’s it working for you?

Patrick Henry Entropic

This is Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, with the Real Deal…What Matters.