Big Daylight’s Bright Idea

TRAVERSE CITY – "Equal parts rocket-science and ditch-digging." That's how Big Daylight describes its online search marketing strategies. What is Big Daylight? A burgeoning TC-based Web company that's nabbing national-level clients with a focused promise: to steer clear of "cookie cutter, smoke and mirrors, nickel-and-dime" SEO pitfalls.

"The SEO industry gets a bad rap," says Sarah Mackenzie, co-founder of Big Daylight.

"Our mission is to remove the smoke and mirrors and help people understand where their money is going."

Mackenzie works with her colleagues, Nick Perez and Nick Nerbonne, to promote a partnership approach for their online marketing clients. "Our services are incredibly flexible," says Mackenzie. "We take a holistic approach to online marketing – we don't nickel and dime clients on services that 'aren't included.' Clients want to know what they're paying for, so we deliver a high level of client interaction."

Big Daylight's service docket includes search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns, social media marketing, and web analytics, but before any service is onsidered, Mackenzie says the staff first looks to understand businesses needs and then prescribe the appropriate optimization methods.

Mackenzie started Big Daylight with Nick Perez, a fellow online marketing veteran based in TC. Both Web gurus have worked their SEO magic in agency and in-house company settings, giving them a unique insight that serves a wide variety of clients.

Recently, the two moved into a partnership with FINE design group, a web design and digital branding company with offices in San Francisco and Portland, whose principals – founders Kenn and Steve Fine – are also Michigan natives.

Joining forces with FINE Design Group was an essential move in securing a wide range of clients for Big Daylight, says Mackenzie.

"FINE offers world-class digital branding and design to world-class clients," she says. Count among those on FINE's extensive list: Apple, Robert Mondavi and Norton software. "They are a leading company, and the fact that they've chosen to partner with us is an honor," she says.

According to Josh Kelly, Managing Partner of FINE Design Group, the feeling is mutual: "In working with Big Daylight, our team has been impressed with the way they de-mystify online marketing and show real results. Integrating their core capabilities and talent more fully into our company adds significant depth to our clients' overall digital strategies."

After merging into the partnership with FINE design group of California, Big Daylight expanded once more, bringing aboard Nick Nerbonne, former web specialist for Crystal Mountain.

Today, Big Daylight, in conjunction with FINE Design Group, is working with local Michigan clients like Traverse Legal, Brownwood Acres, and Britten Banners, as well as West Coast and national companies, such as Auberge du Soleil, Global Gourmet Catering, Chateau Montelena, DISH Network and – though the group is tight-lipped on naming names before the contracts are locked – a few more giants look to be in the works.

"We're excited about our growth and the positive response we've gotten so far," says Mackenzie. FINE currently already has four full-time employees working from their Traverse City office, and looks to hire a fifth this summer.

So what is Big Daylight's goal for the future? "To grow intelligently," says Mackenzie. "We want to create case-study level work for each client," she says. Translation? She wants all of her clients to receive such high-quality work that their business could be featured in an exemplary case study. BN