Bowler Hat are a Birmingham based one-stop-shop for B2B digital marketing. With a mission to simplify digital marketing for businesses of all sizes, they offer comprehensive strategy with a formidable array of experience in their market.
Marcus Miller heads up the team as Owner and Strategist. Focusing on constant innovation, data-driven research and meticulous planning, he’s a font of knowledge - and yes, he does like to wear the odd Bowler Hat!
Bowler Hat offers an impressive variety of services, how do you classify what you do?
We work with small and medium sized businesses and our goal is to help simplify digital marketing for our clients. We really want companies to understand what the best forms and tactics are and what they should be doing. After letting the company know where best to focus, we give them tactical expertise.
An example here is Google Ads. Many companies try and fail to get results from Google Ads. Most often this is due to problems with the strategy or set up of the account. The platform is not at fault, it was just not leveraged correctly. The business then writes off Google Ads and looks at other tactics.
We can analyse the set-up, look at how it was implemented, and then advise on the best course of action.
Your client testimonials report an absolute faith in your insight and expertise, and they should! You’re a heavyweight in the industry. How did you get started?
I finished a computer science degree in 1999. This led to working at a small e-commerce start up, developing websites and order processing systems. These were the early days, so there were no reliable off the shelf systems and almost everything was hand coded in PHP and ran on a typical LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP) stack.
After the development work was done, the question would soon become “how do we get more traffic? How do we get more customers?”. From there, I fell down an SEO and search marketing rabbit hole and I’m still here 22 years later!
You’ve witnessed the digital revolution from the beginning essentially! Would you say that this awareness of the ebb and flow in trends is what separates Bowler Hat from your competition?
I’m a big believer in focusing on improving Bowler Hat, rather than looking at what others are doing. I have a lifetime of digital marketing experience and aim to bring this to small businesses. We want to enable world class digital marketing for small businesses so that they can compete with the big boys.
My team and I have a combined 50 years of experience - so we definitely have the skills and experience to help small businesses generate big results! I personally have 22 years of working in search optimisation, I’ve seen the birth of Google Ads, and have experience from huge brands to one-man-bands.
At Bowler Hat we have a more holistic approach and meld classic marketing strategy with modern digital tactics. This is all wrapped up in the philosophy of simplifying everything, so the customer can get the best possible results.
You’ve certainly got the expertise of experience Marcus! Is there anything you would have changed ?
I’m definitely one of those people who just tries to do everything. This isn’t a good strategy for running a business. So, advice for my younger self would be to focus more on training and delegation of tasks. This is how Bowler Hat works now, but it took a while to get there!
You’ve come from a very analytical background which you’ve implemented into your process. How does Bowler Hat measure the success of content and overall marketing efforts?
To measure success it’s important to be finely attuned to the customers goals. We focus on who the customer is, what steps they must go through to become a customer and determine what needs to be measured at all stages.
This is a highly customised approach and is different for each client - we aim to figure out what success looks like and then strive for it!
So your approach will ultimately vary depending on whether the customer needs SEO, PPC, Web Design or Content strategy?
The services we provide all depend on the company and the industry they’re in. We need to be able to come up with exactly what is trying to be accomplished and perform an opportunity analysis of that company. Different strategies all depend on the size, and how mature the company is. We can focus on a range of strategies, from organic or paid search, to website traffic.
The main point here is that there are many variables. What works for one company in location-A, may not work for the exact same company in location-B. It’s important to do the research, figure out what the best approach looks like, and create a marketing plan.
With your knack for keeping on top of shifts and trends in the industry, have you seen a particular change in the market recently
Digital marketing in general is moving closer and closer to pay to play. The paid elements are taking a bite out organic search and the results of organic search.
That’s fascinating. Is this reflected in the content strategy that you provide for your customers? Do you try to steer towards something specific?
It really depends on the customer and what marketing they have in place. For some customers the content strategy is upper funnel and informational. This is designed to raise awareness and get a first touch with a potential client. For other businesses, the content strategy may be lower funnel like Case Studies, Testimonials etc.
The key takeaway is that there is no one-size-fits-all content strategy - it needs to be carefully considered for each business.
VidOps is a visual content service (obviously). We love to ask what types of visual content you recommend to your clients. Is there anything in particular?
We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes and have seen video help in many different ways. From typical adverts on TV, remarketing via Youtube and detailed explainer videos for complex software products.
One video type that Bowler Hat always recommends to clients is customer testimonials - these can really help boost conversion rates at the bottom of the funnel.
So it’s safe to say it's a key pillar in your strategy planning at all levels. One quick question before we finish up. Can you explain why video is so valuable to your clients?
When it comes to video it’s all about what’s right for that business and where video fits in. Are they at the top of the funnel? Or do we want to show a customer how the software or product works?
At Bowler Hat we’re all about finding the right medium that will best suit the campaign.
We’ve loved having you to chat, Marcus! Bowler Hat are going from strength to strength and we're so glad to be along for the ride.
VidOps are changing the game with our platform-based visual content creation and delivery. Are you ready?