Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 24 2017 Contents THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 24 • 195
A trusted partner for local
Hickey acquired Digital Elder in 2011
after recognising an opportunity to help
organisations improve the effectiveness
and reporting of online ad campaigns.
He built the business with business
partner, Simon Tropea, who runs its day-
to-day operations while Hickey drives
Digital Elder's brand development and
Hickey believed that too many
organisations struggled to maximise
the potential of Google Adwords. They
wasted marketing budgets on generic
adwords; relied on monthly online
advertising reports that were dated and
had poor transparency; did not track calls
from online campaigns; and measured
costs-per-click rather than costs-per-lead.
Hickey, a successful entrepreneur,
had 10 years of experience in digital
marketing, corporate sponsorship and
business-development strategy. His work
spanned the government, hospitality,
sporting and advertising sectors in
Australia and overseas.
Prior to establishing Digital Elder,
Hickey had a key agency and national
brand-management role with the
NASDAQ-listed ReachLocal Inc. --
Google's largest global strategic partner.
Few Australian digital marketing experts
understand Google Adwords and search
engine optimisation (SEO) techniques
better than Hickey.
'I knew there was a smarter way
for organisations to market online,' he
says. 'Too many marketing firms were
developing client campaigns based
on lead quantity rather than quality,
which ultimately led to advertising
waste and poor decision-making. We
wanted to develop real marketing leads
for our clients and provide maximum
To that end, Digital Elder invested
heavily in the creation of the Reporting
Portal -- a unique dashboard that gives
insights on online campaigns. This
technology provides Digital Elder clients
with real-time data on an organisation's
entire online marketing performance,
enabling it to adjust campaigns quickly
and minimise advertising waste.
'Reporting Portal is one of the most
effective reporting platforms of its kind
in the world,' says Hickey. 'It integrates
with all the main search engines, helps
organisations know where customers are
coming from and what they do on a site,
and is beautifully designed and easy to
use. It's a terrific tool for local councils to
measure digital marketing campaigns.'
The Reporting Portal is one of several
Digital Elder products. The company's
full suite of digital marketing services
includes Digital Elder Page Builder and
Slashdot Web Development (web design
services), HumblAbode (a property
listings service) and 24/7 Digital Media
Hickey says: 'We do everything from
designing Google search and pay-per-
click (PPC) campaigns, to designing
Google Display ads, re-marketing/
re-targeting strategies, digital video
advertising, website creation and SEO.
Our biggest asset is the quality of our
integrated campaign strategies and the
thought our team puts into them'.
Digital Elder is achieving strong industry
validation. The business became a
Google Premier Partner in 2016, and it
made the prestigious Business Review
Weekly's list of Australia's fastest-growing
small enterprises in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Digital Elder is doubling its
revenue each year, and more than 200
organisations and over 20 advertising
agencies use its services on a recurring
basis. Some of the country's best-known
brands rely on Digital Elder for their digital
marketing campaigns and reporting.
From humble beginnings, Digital
Elder now employs 30 full- and part-
time staff, and has seven offices around
Australia. It opened its first office in the
United Kingdom in July, and is considering
expanding its Reporting Portal service into
the United States, via Google.
Developing a larger presence in
the Australian local government sector
is a priority for Digital Elder in 2017,
says Hickey. 'We passionately believe
councils can transform their advertising
campaigns and boost their marketing
results through digital campaigns.
'Digital marketing helps consumers
who are searching for information online.
It also helps councils that want to reach
consumers cost-effectively, know exactly
where each dollar is being spent, and the
return on that investment for residents.'
To learn more about Digital Elder,
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