Quirk Digital Agency
“We were ahead of our time. We worked out how to get companies to the top of Google but everyone was like ‘why would we want to be at the top of Google?’ We were just too early I guess.”
When Stokes launched Quirk in a dorm room at the age of 20, he admits he had no instinct for timing. “I thought the market would wake up to the power of e-marketing about six months after we started. As it turned out, that change took years.
But when the turn eventually happened, all the pain, hard work and sleepless nights about paying salaries paid off. Quirk found itself in exactly the right place at the right time with a foundation and track record of real experience. As Stokes puts it, “We were more ready than anyone else.” The tipping point came in 2007.
“Of course, by that stage other marketing agencies had also wised up to e-marketing but I think what made us different is that we were born digital. We were digital natives from birth so we were never trying to retrofit the Internet into our existing marketing ethos.”
Today, the market has moved on again, which means Stoke’s job remains keeping the company relevant. “In ten years’ time, digital agencies won’t exist. Even now, I really don’t believe clients are looking for a ‘digital agency’ and a ‘traditional agency.’ What they want is a trusted partner. At the moment, we’re a full service digital agency with a little bit of non-digital stuff, but we need to grow that. That’s where our future lies. There — and in Africa.”