Mitt Romney campaigned on the idea that “America has got to champion small business.” Well, that’s exactly what White Shark Media, Inc. has been doing for the past year by helping small and mid-size business owners with their advertising efforts in this struggling economy. As a matter of fact, over 1,000 U.S.-based small business owners have been helped in 2011-2012 alone. This is mainly due to the efforts of talented young Nicaraguan employees.
White Shark Media Inc. is a digital marketing agency with offices in the U.S., Denmark and—most recently—Nicaragua. Actually, the majority of our operations are now based out of our Managua offices, where we now have more than 50 team members. We aim to grow to 100 staff members next year.
Due to our expansion plans, we’re always looking to hire talented individuals who can help us reach our ambitious goals.
Our core competence is contributing value to small businesses in the United States, Canada and Europe who are in need of professional assistance with their online advertising strategies via channels like Google, Yahoo/Bing and mobile devices.
The whole concept of developing Nicaragua to become a future key player in Central America’s online advertising space originated a couple of years ago when my partners and I (all of whom are from Denmark) wanted to expand our business and capitalize on the fast-moving online advertising industry in North America. This industry accounted for more than $37 billion in ad revenue in 2012 alone, according to eMarketer
Considering the tremendous current volume of competition in the U.S., and after thoroughly researching the market and its needs, we came up with the winning formula. By having a strong operation in Nicaragua consisting of talented Nicaraguan employees who are fully bilingual and have undergraduate and even graduate degrees in marketing, we were able to deliver world-class service to U.S. clients at a very competitive rate.
Setting up our business in Nicaragua has been quite a challenge at times. We started out in 2010 with very little equipment, sitting in a small office with just a couple of chairs, no network or employees. All we had was our online experience from our Danish ventures. But we attracted some great hires in the early stages of the company’s development, which helped us to grow from a small Google AdWords Partner to a company that now offers Bing Ads, Google Mobile Ads, website services and very soon, SEO.
An emerging market and fast-moving industry
Online advertising is still in its birth phase in Nicaragua in comparison to the U.S. or Europe. Quick research done via Google’s targeting tools tells me that the reach (via Google AdWords advertising in Nicaragua) is only 40,000 consumers in comparison to 189 million in the United States.
However, I have faith that this will change in the coming years and that Nicaragua is going to experience a shift toward becoming much more digitalized once Internet usage becomes cheaper and more reliable here. Especially considering that Latin America is already one of the world’s fastest-growing regions when it comes to digital ad spending (estimated to reach nearly $35 billion in 2012).
From call center agents to advertising professionals
After living in Nicaragua for two years, it is a joy to see how some of my employees have grown into highly-professional marketing experts that now give advice to help seasoned U.S. business owners grow their businesses. Especially when I know that most of our employees, prior to becoming members of the White Shark Media family, were underemployed because there were no other career opportunities they could pursue locally.
Employees such as Cynthia Luna or Tony Diaz, who have both been with us from day one and are coming directly from jobs in the call center industry, are now working in management and senior-level positions. Both are fully-certified and work closely day to day with our dedicated Support Team in Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Trust is a key factor for development and growth
In WSM, from the very first day, we have been focused on training, certifying and constantly educating our staff to be one step ahead of the market and be up to par with the newest market trends.
I believe that many other companies with a Nicaraguan presence unfortunately do not value their employees in the same way we do—either by underpaying them or by limiting their career and growth opportunities. Nicaragua is most definitely an emerging country with tons of potential, however I believe that foreign investors and companies need to have more faith in their employees here to tap into their true potential.
This is what we decided to do a couple of years ago, and it has helped us succeed into becoming the biggest Google Certified Partner Company in Central America.
Gary Garth is Co-Founder and CEO of White Shark Media, Inc. He is responsible for guiding the company’s strategy and growth. He has over 10 years of experience in online marketing, sales management and executive leadership.