Justin Shimoon is the founder and CEO of AffinityClick Inc., the makers of Hushed, a top-five grossing iOS/Android app for over five years.
Justin’s love for technology and marketing started at an early age and followed him through his years at university. After graduating from Carleton University with a degree in electrical engineering, as well as a minor in telecommunications, Justin didn’t waste any time before jumping into the internet marketing industry. In 2000, he founded his first company, Sitebrand, a digital marketing company. Sitebrand helped companies personalize the online experience with relevant messaging. Behind Sitebrand was a team of seasoned personalization experts. At the time, Justin didn’t know it, but this company would help him develop as a leader and CEO, which would become invaluable later in life as he started additional companies.
During this tenure as CEO at Sitebrand, Justin developed his leadership style, fostered the development of close to 40 employees at the company’s peak, and became an expert on digital marketing and the ever-evolving industry. As Sitebrand quickly grew and established a major presence, Justin evolved into a prominent business leader in Ontario, Canada. Tasked with growing a team and developing a positive work culture at an early age, Justin embraced the challenge head on and ever since, he has been intentional about professional development and challenging himself to become a better leader each day.
Today, Justin uses the experiences and lessons learned from his first startup companies to shape his decision making skills at Hushed. Considered a leader in the VOIP telecommunication space, Justin and the team at Hushed have built a successful company with over seven million downloads, 500 million phone calls, 1 billion million text messages, and utilized in over 45 countries. Despite the large-scale adoption by Hushed users, Justin is most proud of the 4.5 star rating on the Apple App Store, with over 1,000 reviews.
Justin is quick to share that it was the culmination of hard work and the ability to predict which features users would want that allowed Hushed to grow to the level it has. For Justin and the team at Hushed, the excited lies in knowing they have only just scratched the surface. While Justin remains engaged in the VOIP industry and working to make Hushed the worldwide leader, he is also passionate about the technology startup scene in Canada. Justin enjoys learning about emerging technology like artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency. His curiosity and drive to always learn is infectious to those around him
Justin has started this website to serve as an outlet to share his thoughts around leadership, marketing, and how startup founders can create a product and culture scales. Throughout his journey as a founder, Justin has learned valuable lessons that he hopes to share with his employees and others that are in similar stages in their career.
Named to 40 Under 40 list
Recipient of the Wes Nicol Award
Anyone within the marketing world understands there is a substantial difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing. Studies have shown that most consumers will use their digital devices to research and look at reviews before purchasing a product online. Most everything happens on a mobile device these days which is precisely why companies produce apps and create mobile-friendly websites.
Consumers want the convenience of shopping online and being able to do everything at the touch of their fingertips. This is why digital marketing has become such a vast wave of marketing over the years. But, it is true that there is still a place and time for traditional marketing in this world.
Traditional marketing deals with print ads, outdoor advertising such as billboards, direct mailings and postcards, and television commercials. Although so much has been digitized nowadays, there are still a large number of people who watch television with commercials and buy magazines that include dozens of advertisements. The super bowl is a huge advocate of traditional marketing because there are so many views that watch specifically for the commercials.
The problem with traditional marketing is the costs associated with it. The cost to print an ad and make a commercial that will reach a targeted audience can be substantial, especially to small businesses that don’t have the capital to do so. Although these are marketing tacts can work wonders for companies who have the money to do so, digital marketing has created solutions to the ongoing cost problem.
Analytics can be utilized in digital marketing and assist in targeting specific audiences and their needs. It creates a way to use your dollars towards digital advertising that gains interest which serves as a metric you can measure very quickly. Many businesses are adopting these tactics to further their marketing tactics without spending big money.
Although digital marketing is starting to take the reins in the marketing world, that doesn’t mean that traditional marketing is out. There are many different industries where digital marketing is key including the automobile, travel, and fashion industries. It essential to figure out your marketing budget and what is going to work best for your company and target audience. There are many ways to market products, but the key is finding the best tactics for your budget.
When starting your business or figuring out your online marketing strategy, two techniques come into play which is push and pull marketing. There are significant differences between the two that any good marketer will understand before determining which is best for their current strategies. Pull marketing, in the simplest of terms, are tactics to get your customers to come to you. Push marketing is the complete opposite where companies take their products directly to the customers.
Push marketing works as a promotional tactic for companies to be able to push their products at their current and potential customers. Push marketing comes into play once your business has spent a fair amount of their budget on their online strategies, thankfully there are many different techniques to utilize.
One technique to use is Google in-market audiences. In-market audiences are defined as a specific audience of people researching for a particular product or service. These consumers are ones who are also comparing products across Google. Being able to target this audience through Google ads and search tactics can serve as a great way to reach your potential audience of customers interested in your particular goods and services.
Banner ads are another growth strategy for businesses to use for an affordable pay per click in getting their name out there. Companies can utilize banner ads on websites that are closely related to their products, buy ad space, and get their information out there. Similar audience campaigns can be a great tool to meet a larger goal to help expand your business. With the similar audience campaign, you can take a look at the similarities and differences between users you have converted from your site and see who’s behaviors align from the new list that you can reach out to.
Facebook is also a way to utilize a target audience which is labeled as behaviors and demographics. If you can target the correct audience, Facebook is able to work well for your strategy. The behaviors and demographics are defined by the audiences shopping preferences and credit card use, as well as what their needs are. There are many other aspects that you can tap into as well, which makes Facebook a reliable tool if used correctly. Twitter works the same way in creating Twitter ads, being able to target your audience based on demographics and behaviors.
With these strategies, businesses are able to reach out to new audiences rather than continuing to tire their existing customers with continuous information and new products. Each tactic can be utilized well to create that extra push in order to generate new sales and scale your business.
Great leadership and leadership skills are not always something you are born with. Many times, to become a great leader you must be willing to learn and hone in on the skills that will make you the best you can be. Leadership profoundly impacts the performance of an organization whether it is positive or negative. The best way to create that positive performance impact is by learning what makes a great leader and how you can inspire and empower your employees.
One crucial aspect of leadership is the many different leadership styles that are out there. The style you choose is heavily dependent on the type of organization and employees you have in your business. A good leader understands the differences between being a boss or manager and being an inspiring leader. Instead of treating employees as if they were your subordinates, you give them the tools to create alongside you, encouraging each person to participate in a team effort and bring their specific skills to the table.
Communication is an essential part of being a good leader. This goes along with motivating that team mentality and effort. There are many different ways you can monitor the growth of your team and team members, but the best way is through communication. Understanding the personalities of your team and their different styles of work ethic is crucial to measuring their successes and how to make sure they aren’t falling behind. Learning how your team handles different situations and the overall mood depending on what is happening either within the organization or personally, can create that window of trust and openness.
Along with understanding leadership styles comes the utilization of those styles within your team. Sometimes, depending on the situation, you will need to adjust your leadership style to address what is going on with your team or within the organization. Being blunt about numbers or making time to converse with your team as a whole to start each day are two completely different styles of leadership that come into play to handle certain situations. The switch between styles will help to understand problems, motivate your team, and handle difficult issues as they arise.
To be a good leader, you must immerse yourself within the organization. Creating a team effort atmosphere helps to let your employees know that you are in this together and do not feel they are lesser than you.