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Justin Shimoon

Leaderhip & Digital Marketing

About Justin

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
Digital Marketing Trends

Digital Marketing Trends

The business landscape is changing at an increasing rate, so companies must be willing to adapt or else they’ll be left behind. This is especially true for digital marketing. Here are 4 of the top trends that you should be aware of as you plan for 2019 and beyond.

Augmented reality
With the proliferation of smartphones, everyone has a computer with them everywhere they go, which gives them access to the internet from any location. Augmented reality provides information via the internet based on your location and what you’re trying to accomplish there.

One example that has been used is navigation apps. Not only do they help guide you to your destination, but they also provide information about all the streets and points of interest along the way.

For businesses, augmented reality could open many new possibilities for connecting with their customers. For example, location-triggered ads can help create more individualized and effective marketing.

Machine learning
Machine learning is a relatively new approach to computing that has been taking industries by storm. It allows a computer to learn similarly to the way a human would via artificial intelligence software. By feeding a machine learning system with enough information, it can find useful patterns and make valuable predictions. This gives companies the power to anticipate customer behavior and plan for shifts in the market.

Conversational apps
The ability to speak with devices with conversational language is becoming more prevalent. Analysts predict this type of interaction will soon surpass typed text searches. Apps such as Google Assistant and Alexa provide a wide variety of functions that make them basically a virtual assistant. As these apps gain better ability to understand spoken language, companies will need to tailor their marketing efforts to respond to this new consumer behavior.

Content becoming more interactive
As devices become more powerful and internet bandwidth grows, people will increasingly turn to video content rather than text or still images. Not only is video content an engaging medium, but live video streams create even more of a captivated and loyal audience. In live streams, the target audience can interact with the presenters in real time. This provides a powerful way for a brand to connect with the audience and convert sales.

The Best Cities for Startups

The Best Cities for Startups

The cities that startups call home determine the type of funding, performance, talent and market reach entrepreneurs have access to. Wondering which city to move to in order to guarantee startup success? Let’s dive into the list and determine which cities offer the best in each of these categories.

Bangalore, India
As India’s very own Silicon Valley, Bangalore ranks as the 11th best city for startups. Though it is lacking by way of startup experience and funding it makes up for in performance.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
When it comes to a ranking by performance, Amsterdam outranks Bangalore as one of the best places for startups that are both efficient and productive. Though one of the top-tier cities for startups, Amsterdam comes in at number 19 in terms of talent.

Chicago, Illinois
Once home to the industrial revolution, Chicago is now a popular location for startups to get their bearings. The windy city comes in at 20th place in terms of market reach for startups.

Sydney, Australia
Coming in at 10th place for funding, Sydney is one of the more lucrative choices for startups looking to grow their business. However, when considering performance, Sydney ranks at 20th place.

Toronto, Ontario
Ranking 5th for its level of market reach and coming in 12th for its funding, Toronto is one of the best choices for entrepreneurs looking to build their startups. Despite this, Toronto is ranked in 18th place for startup experience and performance, as well as attracting talent.

What Singapore lacks in startup experience, it makes up for in talent. As Singapore ranks in 1st place for its access to talent, it is one of the most compelling cities for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Seattle, Washington
It’s no coincidence that Seattle is home to top-tier tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft. Ranking in 3rd place for its access to talent and in 6th place for startup experience, Seattle is one of the highest-ranking cities across the board.

While the secret to finding startup success is multi-faceted, location plays a major role in whether a small business will fail or thrive. Entrepreneurs should carefully choose what city to build their empire in if they hope to truly make an impact.


Organizing an Email Marketing Campaign

Organizing an Email Marketing Campaign

Whether you are a new company or an existing one, email marketing should always be a key component in your monthly branding strategies. With everyone continuously moving towards a paperless world, email marketing has become a tremendous way to connect with customers. Just think about all of the stores you visit, whether online or in person, always asking for you to provide them with your email. Sure enough, once you’ve signed up, you get that “welcome” email just minutes later.

Many different elements should be included in a successful email marketing campaign. But a few necessary tweaks will help to move your particular campaign forward in a positive way. Try incorporating these useful tips in your next email marketing campaign and see the difference for yourself and your business.

Catchy Email Subject Line
One way to grab the attention of your reader is with a catchy title, or in this case, an attention-grabbing subject line. Your clients and customers get tons of emails each day that they will need to sift through and find the important ones. Putting a subject out there that catches their attention will hopefully ensure someone to open the email based on a spark of interest.

Graphics and Content
Adding graphics to an email can grab the reader’s attention differently. Images in email are a lot easier to scan through and look at, rather than lines and lines of dense text. You only have so many minutes or even seconds of your client’s time, so the faster you can get them hooked on what you’re selling, so to speak, the better.

Designed for Multiple Platform Viewing
A high percentage of users open emails on their mobile device or tablet, rather than a desktop computer. One huge detail that needs to go into putting together these emails must be multifaceted and work on desktop computers and mobile devices. Most email marketing software will give you the option to preview your content before you send it out, to make sure the display is correct on all platforms.

Specific Point to the Email
Since we are dealing with the limited amount of time our readers and clients have, there must be a particular point to the email you send out. A call-to-action in the details and body of the email itself. Make sure there is a reason the clients and readers should pay attention to the particular email, don’t waste their time with an unimportant email.

Email marketing campaigns can be a huge asset to a companies business flow. An overall great way to reach out to your customers and clients. Being sure that once you’ve grabbed their attention, you give them meaningful and essential information.