Homegrown Business: Skylar Media Group by President Kyle Kotack

Skylar Media Group is a digital agency that offers solutions to achieve business goals. We spoke with the President of Skylar Media Group, Kyle Kotack, to learn more about this digital powerhouse.

Skylar Media Group

What is your business called and what does it do?

My business is Skylar Media Group and at Skylar, we show up, and we get it done. We are an integrated digital and creative agency that’s so much more than media; we’re partners, collaborators, and champions for our clients and we embrace challenges with the drive to deliver real results. Our powerhouse team of over 25 is dedicated to building strategic plans and creative branding for forward-thinking clients.

What made you want to do this work?

I’ve always had an interest in the power of effective advertising as it is fascinating how through strategy and creativity, we can positively influence an audience as they make decisions ranging from purchases to philanthropy to recreational choices and more.

I’ve been drawn to creativity and creative people my whole life; however, I am not a “creative” myself; I would consider myself more of the strategic type, and I love being immersed in the process. I built a creative agency to bring on thoughtful, strategic, and skilled people who want to create awesome work, and in the meantime, I am able to contribute and see that work become a reality through the work of our very talented team.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

One of the frequent challenges we see when companies try to communicate to their audience is that they often try to be too many things to too many people – trying to satisfy everyone. At Skylar, we help businesses that need assistance articulate their unique selling proposition – their niche and where they offer value. By honing in on the specifics of what a business should be communicating (and how), while at the same time minimizing the white noise to focus on what really matters – Skylar works hard so that our clients are able to effectively communicate that specialty.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We don’t serve a specific vertical, although mid-sized businesses are often the best fit to get the most value out of Skylar. While we do work with businesses in progressive industries such as energy, health and automotive, we often find ourselves working with industry leaders who are often the first in their vertical to take the first step into an advanced world of communication, marketing and technology. Our world has become primarily digital, and while strong integration can be a key to successful marketing, there remain many industries still operating the same way they did 20 or 30 years ago. That comes from a lack of need (they remain successful despite their lack of progression), a misunderstanding of the effectiveness of the digital environment, and the power that data can offer.

Taking that first step into the digital environment, or communicating in non-traditional ways (search over flyers) can be a big step for some businesses, even today. Others have taken that step but are lacking the resources and know-how to make advancements in this area. We offer a path forward that minimizes commitment, maximizes resources, and allows for growth from exceeding smaller KPI’s to more substantial business goals. By finding ways of achieving a return on investment immediately (or at least as early as possible), we are able to scale faster without putting a strain on our clients, their internal team, or their stakeholders.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

As a digital agency, we work with many clients where we act as their marketing agency “down the hall,” aligned not only on short-term needs but long-term goals. The many extensive relationships we count among our clients are not just a source of pride but act as the foundation of our business. The more immersed we are, the more advanced integrated solutions we are able to propose and implement; by aligning tech, digital strategy, marketing and communications, they are able to focus on business planning and operations while we support their needs on a holistic level.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

Skylar Media Group is based in Vaughan, Ontario, but our team is spread as far as Nova Scotia, while our clients stretch from coast-to-coast. As most of our clients are Canadian-based, our Florida office serves our US and international clients.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

The best question or inquiry a prospective customer could ask a marketing agency is, “prove to me that you understand us and our business.”

Outside of the tech and data work we provide, much of what we do – particularly with regards to our creative work – can be subjective. Think of all of the times you’ve thought to yourself – “I really like that ad” – but a day later can’t recall who the ad was for. That demonstrates memorable but ineffective communications. The trick is to have the audience not only say that ‘they like’ our client’s marketing but to be impacted and influenced at the same time. That only comes from having a strong understanding of a client and their goals, as well as their audience and their pain points. I’m confident in saying that if you’re working with an agency that doesn’t understand your business, they likely aren’t effective for you, regardless of how talented they are.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part: when our work is out in the world, works as intended, and accomplishes our client’s goals.

The worst part: when the work doesn’t perform the way you would like it to. It happens! There are times when the plan and strategy are formidable and based on solid data, but for some reason don’t execute as intended. We typically evaluate and reevaluate in order to pivot the strategy. Every time something doesn’t work out, there’s an opportunity to learn from it and try something else – and I’d like to believe that if we don’t get it right the first time (the rarest of occurrences, I promise), we will not give up until we get it right.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I can’t share any of my top 10 since this is a family pub, so here’s a dad joke for you:

“How did the dad know his daughter would be a great marketer one day?
Her first word was data.”

What are your social media channels?

You can connect with me on LinkedIn.

Check out Skylar Media Group on:

LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

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