Oakville co-founder of Burlington business receives Google award for second year in a row

Original Story Oakville Beaver
By David Lea
An Oakville entrepreneur has been recognized for his innovative work with Google’s prestigious Search Excellence Award for the second year in a row.

Google Search Award 2015

Eric Rodgers, co-founder of Burlington-based Direct Access Digital, was one of 12 people across North America to receive the annual award, which honours excellent work and strong leadership in search marketing among Google’s partner agencies.

“We are extremely excited,” said Rodgers.

“Google themselves mentioned they never expected anyone to be selected more than once. It is very unusual, but it comes down to the level at which we are operating compared to the other players in the Canadian marketplace. That’s what we were told. I did end up receiving it, but I am only as good as the team here at the company.”

Founded in 2011, Direct Access Digital is a digital-performance marketing agency, which Rodgers said has evolved into one of Canada’s leading boutique agencies.

The company currently serves mid-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike.

“Really what we do with any kind of business is just help them accomplish business objectives through the online channel,” said Rodgers.

“Whether that means selling refrigerators or signing up credit cardholders, if it can be completed online we help businesses grow and operate at a significant improvement…We do that through a lot of paid search marketing activities, like running ads on Google, Bing, Yahoo as well as banner ads, videos on YouTube, that sort of thing…We help them plan out their year, map out their strategy, work on their website.”

Rodgers said the award selection involved nominations by Google representatives and a deep audit of the client accounts of each nominee.

Rodgers said the place where his company shines is getting his customers the largest number of subscribers for the least possible money.

“It’s really just going at the opportunity for digital with a 100 per cent scientific approach,” he said.

“Our company is composed of stats majors, computer programmers, and a lot of really mathematical type people as opposed to advertising people. That’s kind of our distinction. What we focus on is always accomplishing a business objective and we are able to show potential clients and existing clients that there is truly more that can be done.”

Rodgers attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., where he received a bachelor’s degree in business.

He has worked in the digital marketing field for the last nine years, falling into this line of work at the age of 18.

In 2011, Rodgers co-founded Direct Access Digital with long-time customer acquisition expert Don McNeil.

“It was a true start-up. It was just my business partner Don and I. We rented out 100 square feet, didn’t take a salary for half a year,” said Rodgers.

“We were able to get our first employee and then our second employee. We are almost at 30 people now, working with some really big names. It has been really intriguing.”

He said Direct Access Digital tries to maintain that small company feel, stating they still have a pool table in the office and beer in the fridge on Fridays.

Rodgers said his company is continuing to expand.

In about six weeks Direct Access Digital will be adding a new larger office location near the Appleby GO Station in Burlington.

He said the company is always looking for local talent and anyone interested can visit 5360 South Service Rd., Unit 100, Burlington, Ont.