Member Spotlight: David Vibert & DAVID.MARKET
THRIVING THROUGH A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Over a year and a half has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic rattled the entire world. And though it feels much longer, the many phases of this pandemic, (from complete shutdowns to mass vaccination and the endemic phase we are approaching), have created new norms. While most of us are thrilled to mingle with our friends and family again, nothing will be quite the same, especially in the workplace. Businesses have adopted new policies and management structures, and remote work has reached new bounds. As experts agree, the pandemic only expedited the workforce’s already ongoing trends, and many companies already had a leg up. Inadvertently, they were pandemic proof. One of those companies, is DAVID.MARKET, whose company, for the past year and a half, has grown and expanded.
Tell us about your company.
DAVID.MARKET is a digital marketing and creative agency based out of Sunset Park. Since 2017, we’ve grown from a one-man consultancy into a small full-service agency that employs three full-time employees and two part-time contractors. We are a small, tight-knit team. We work closely with creative brands to jumpstart their brand growth.
We’re lifelong creatives who came up through the art and music worlds who also have 20+ years of combined digital marketing and business experience.
We specialize in helping e-commerce, D2C, and B2B brands grow their brand visibility, scale up their web traffic, and convert that attention and traffic to increased sales, leads, and long term brand growth. We do this through an established process where we drive traffic via paid advertising, organic placements, and help clients create well-designed websites that speak directly to their brand’s target audience and convert that increased attention to customers and brand evangelists. We aim to work with our clients as long term partners, and we pride ourselves on cultivating productive, collaborative relationships. ourselves on professional, creative, high-quality projects and services.
Our teams’ expertise and extensive experience in several different areas allows us to offer a wide range of complementary services all working seamlessly together towards one common goal: helping grow our clients’ businesses.
How has COVID-19 affected your business and how did you adjust?
I am based out of Camp David and Sunset Park, but DAVID.MARKET works on a distributed team model, where we collaborate completely remotely. This and our small team size allows us to work closely with companies all over the country and world and to react and be nimble. Being based in Brooklyn where I live also allows me to meet several of our clients in person. We’re big fans of Basecamp’s writings about remote work – so our day-to-day life changed very little. It was of course hard not to see our clients in person for a long-time, even with Zoom, and to work in person at Camp David alongside other creatives, but our main focus switched to helping our clients ride out the pandemic, across various business models and that became our main focus, and we feel good about the results.
[ DAVID.MARKET IN THE WORK LOUNGE ]
What challenges do you face managing a fully remote team? Any lessons to share with other people considering this approach to business?
I structured DAVID.MARKET’s business model around an all-remote model from the beginning after having a lot of experience working in hybrid models, and reading a lot about remote and distributed teams. The founders of Basecamp’s books on this have been really helpful in informing my approach.
We work in an asynchronous manner. The major challenges are what you’d expect in many businesses: keeping everyone on the same page as to our priorities and deadlines over the middle term. To that end we use a carefully selected project management software as our home base, have weekly team video calls and are ready for any impromptu calls when we need them. Communication is key and we’ve established a pyramid of communication that everyone seems to understand and can use to engage with the rest of the team and receive feedback on a timeline appropriate to the individual priority.
As a small business owner, how do you sustain yourself and a work-life balance?
With difficulty, but with a focus on boundaries. When you’re a small business owner you always feel like you should be working, but at the end of the day, your family deserves your time and attention as well, and you just don’t do good work when you’re tired and burnt out. It’s always better for me to get up early and bang something out than stay up late.
Coming back to Camp David post-vaccine has been a great help in having a separate place to work that isn’t home or a cafe.
Outside of work, what types of activities are you involved in?
During the pandemic I went all in on cycling and have entered some road and track races. You can find me in Prospect Park doing laps basically every day! I also have been doing volunteer political organizing work for several years which has led me to work with several exciting political clients through DAVID.MARKET. Our team are all now seasoned professional marketers, but we all came up through the independent music scenes – specifically indie, punk, and hardcore – in our local communities and have major commonalities there. We’re getting older and have family responsibilities now, but we still try to be involved.