Mastering Digital Domains: An Insightful Conversation with Colton De Vos

Mastering Digital Domains: An Insightful Conversation with Colton De Vos

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, it’s the innovators and forward-thinkers who lead the way.

This week on Marketer Interview, we’re thrilled to sit down with Colton De Vos, a Marketing Specialist at Resolute Technology Solutions, whose multifaceted expertise spans inbound marketing, web development, SEO, and more.

With a career dedicated to blending technology and creativity, Colton offers unique insights into driving leads, enhancing sales, and navigating the complexities of IT services marketing.

Join us as we explore his journey, strategies, and the tools that power his success.


Colton, can you share with us what initially drew you to the marketing field, particularly the digital realm?

Absolutely! I started out building websites about 15 years ago with Resolute and on a freelance basis.

After taking the Creative Communications course at Red River College, I found I enjoyed many marketing aspects and decided to combine that with the technical knowledge and experience I already had to specialize in digital marketing.

Reflecting on your early days, what pivotal experiences or projects shaped your understanding of marketing?

Working with various companies and clients of different sizes, it’s fantastic to see the breadth and diversity that goes into marketing campaigns and strategies.

Reflecting on the early days of marketing and communications, some of the things that stand out to me:

  • Hearing my first radio spot on the air – what a feeling!
  • Having press releases picked up and seeing the incoming flood of Google News alerts for the company name
  • Learning how to work with clients with different communication styles to interpret not only what they are asking for but also what they need to meet their goals
  • Hosting webinars and seeing the work involved, from promotion to webinar tool selection to following up with leads afterward
  • Seeing the many channels involved in massive campaigns, including messaging strategy sessions, focus groups, working with multiple marketing vendors, and creation and distribution of marketing materials like billboards, TV ads, radio ads, online and social ads, and print features

You’ve mentioned your passion for inbound marketing. How do you approach the challenges of capturing attention in an overloaded digital world?

The benefit of inbound marketing is that it allows you to appear where your target customers are already looking rather than reaching out to them cold. That way, you can connect with prospects at various stages of their buyer’s journey, and they opt into your communications, which is essential for engagement.

Setting yourself apart in a competitive space is challenging, even with inbound marketing. Companies must compete for online visibility, email inbox priorities, search result rankings, and, most importantly, the time and attention of leads.

One of the ways our inbound marketing has gained traction despite this competition is to focus on less apparent opportunities that can still significantly impact the business.

We generate targeted traffic by ranking for less competitive and longer-tail keywords in our website content. Then, if prospects are interested in engaging, we offer several ways for them to take the next step themselves, including booking a consultation, requesting pricing, asking a question through the live chat, or downloading a case study or guide for further research.

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With your expertise in SEO, what key strategies do you believe are crucial for businesses looking to improve their online visibility today?

Rather than trying to rank for highly competitive search terms nationally / internationally, see which keywords should be targeted locally. While there is less search volume, there are also fewer competitors.

Filling out and optimizing profiles on Google MyBusiness, Bing Places, review sites, business directories, and other high-authority sites is a great starting point for increasing and managing online visibility.

If unsure where to get listed, businesses can use free versions of SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to see where competitors in the same space have built valuable backlinks and create a link-building plan to target ones that make sense for their organization.

Lead generation is vital for any business. Can you discuss an innovative approach you’ve implemented that significantly impacted lead generation?

At Resolute, we continue to try new things and then build upon what’s worked well for our business regarding lead generation. By focusing on local SEO, search-optimized content, and building more conversion opportunities on our site, we’ve seen a continual increase in inbound leads.

Some areas that have led to more leads include adding a live website chat, tying marketing automation tracks to all content downloads and form fills, and clear call-to-actions and trust elements (Google reviews, client logos, etc.) to pages where leads are making their decisions.

Sales and marketing are often seen as two sides of the same coin. How do you align your marketing strategies with sales objectives to ensure cohesive growth?

I work with the sales team to determine what makes a lead qualified and try to get them to that point or filter them out before they reach the sales queue. That way, we aren’t scheduling sales meetings with clients that aren’t fit for our business and vice versa.

We also have regular business development meetings that incorporate marketing, sales, and business leaders for better cohesion. Another area of aligning sales and marketing includes creating sales enablement materials for meetings with prospects and current clients to highlight new service areas, the benefits of intended projects, and other vital areas.

CRM systems are integral to managing customer relationships. Can you share how integrating CRM into your marketing strategy has transformed customer engagement for you?

CRMs are a powerful and efficient way to stay organized on current opportunities and client needs and manage the relationships and tasks ahead. We’ve found it helpful to have a central place to keep ongoing notes on client successes, challenges, and asks.

With full integration to Outlook, you can copy emails automatically into the client section of the CRM without manual copy-and-pasting, set follow-up reminders, notice when deals have been sitting too long, and easily manage opportunities through the sales pipeline at a macro or micro level.

Social media is a dynamic platform for marketers. What trends are most influential, and how do you leverage them?

Since our business is B2B, we do most of our social media marketing on LinkedIn while still posting to other social channels to keep our audiences up-to-date with what is happening in the business.

We typically use social media to promote new content posted to the Resolute website, community sponsorship, highlight new hires and advancements of employees, and a mix of industry-related content.

One trend that has taken off is expertise-based insights featured by social platforms on recent events. For example, LinkedIn asks an IT company to comment on a recent cyber hack or, as a marketing professional, to comment on using generative AI to optimize content marketing.

These types of social commenting by a professional or company can lead to engagement with other professionals and companies asking the same questions but lacking expertise in the area.

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Content marketing is about compellingly telling a brand’s story. Can you share a campaign you’re particularly proud of and its impact?

I ran a financial services-focused ABM outbound campaign with a series of touchpoints (emails, calls, LinkedIn messages, and activities) that doubled the industry averages for engagement rates (opens, clicks, and responses).

In part, the success drew from copywriting the email subject lines and body content. Still, primarily, it was successful because the company drew upon what it knew best, IT best practices in a specific domain, and translated that to website content and case studies that aligned with the audience we were targeting.

We spoke on specific experiences, such as lessons learned from modernizing a core wealth management platform and how to create strategies for working with fintech at different levels of business that spoke specifically to the challenges faced by upper management in IT for this industry.

With the rise of chatbots and marketing automation, how do you balance personalization with automation to maintain a human touch in digital interactions?

Chatbots and marketing automation are great ways to filter out who is and isn’t interested, provide additional information, and get the conversation started while passing the communications baton to be picked up by an actual human.

I like to keep automated messages (whether email or chatbot) contextual to how the user is engaged, so if they are interested in strategy info, the next messages they should receive in the cadence should also be strategy-related.

Then, if a user engages with any of the emails or messaging to the point they are qualified, it’s best to continue that conversation directly rather than by bot.

Finally, please give us a rundown of the indispensable tools and software in your daily marketing activities and how they contribute to your success.

Adobe Creative Suite – advanced design, graphics, and video for a variety of use

Canva – Quick template-based designs for social graphics and web content

Ahrefs – Search dashboard for link building, keyword tracking, and website monitoring

Active Campaign – Marketing automation and email newsletters

Pipedrive – CRM for tracking customers, deals, and sales activities

Google Suite – Search Console, Analytics, MyBusiness

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