Young entrepreneur brings digital marketing talent to Ottawa tech companies

With over 10 years as a sales and marketing leader, 34-year-old Riaz Sidi has helped over 500 advertising professionals in 30 cities across Canada to sell online advertising to help businesses grow.

The young entrepreneur is the president of his own private company: Riaz Sidi Performance Marketing. Originally designed to help all forms of smaller businesses grow through advertising, he has recently narrowed it down to focus on tech companies.

“We are still helping a variety of different companies but it’s mostly tech companies,” says Sidi. “If you are a tech company and you don’t have the resources or bandwidth to execute your marketing strategies or to even develop marketing strategies, I’ll come in as an embedded agent and essentially build out the marketing strategy [and] work with the team to execute the strategy.”

Since the business’s startup two and a half years ago, Sidi and his team have made over a quarter of a million dollars in revenue.

“We are able to do that kind of revenue because we are the real deal and we are helping businesses to grow and it makes sense for them to invest money into us,” he says.

Sidi explains that his business has no debt, no investors and is completely self-funded through its own revenue.

“I went out and got clients that helped to fund the business,” says Sidi. “So [for example] if I go get a client and charge them $5,000 I take that and put that towards investing in tools, investing in employees, investing in laptops [and] investing in software.”

Sidi’s goal is for his business to develop marketing strategies and help companies execute on it. This includes running advertising on Google, Facebook, running social media campaigns, email marketing, hosting and monitoring their webinars.

“We’d rather become great at helping tech companies than always trying to reinvent the wheel for different industries,” Sidi says. “That’s a smarter approach. I mean, it narrows down the potential number of businesses we work with, but it also ensures that we are experts at what we do and we are constantly training ourselves towards being the best marketing company for tech companies.”

With an abundance of tech companies in Kanata who need a marketing agency focused on their needs, Sidi’s goal is to become their go-to agency.

“There are a lot of people who are digital marketers,” Sidi says. “So you have people in their basements, you have small agencies, you have larger agencies, you have traditional agencies, you have media outlets, you have all sorts of competitors.”

Recent Algonquin graduate from the three-year advertising and marketing communications management program, Dolan Watters, 22, started working at the performance marketing as a specialist last July.

“It’s nice to be working in a field that you studied for and doing what you like,” says Watters. “Right now, we are entering the space of doing advertising for tech companies. We are actually doing our own marketing for it, we are doing our SEM (search engine marketing), we’re doing social posts and things of that nature, but we are also doing networking and going to things like TechTuesdays in Kanata.”

Although every day is different for Watters, his days generally begin by opening his campaign management tools.

“I do my SEM, PPC (pay per click), I do social media advertising, I’m writing blog posts, I’m writing articles. I kind of do a lot of different things and I like that,” Watters says. “[I check] on Google ads, optimizing and seeing how the campaigns are performing [and] seeing where I can improve things. Same thing with my social media, I’ll check on those and make sure they are where they should be and seeing for ways to improve things. It’s just things like strategizing on what needs to improve.”

Watters explains that he connected with Sidi through LinkedIn and stresses on the fact that the best possible way for students to get jobs is to network

According to Sidi and Watters, they are currently working with half a dozen established enterprise level tech companies with a couple hundred employees, and although they cannot reveal who they are they say you would know them if they did.

“I think what makes us different is that we are the best for all big tech companies to grow, we are very focused on helping tech companies,” Sidi says. “I think when people do a marketing campaign they know they are maximizing their chance of success by working with us.”

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