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Joining forces after their years studying together at Boğaziçi University, Cenk Gümüşçüoğlu and Melih Dinçer followed their hearts right into founding their company, Karbonat. The hybrid advertising agency in Turkey offers a complete roster of services. As Cenk explains:
“At Karbonat, we carry out above-the-line and digital services for our clients. From TV campaigns and online communications activities, to social media presence and digital campaigns, we offer the complete experience.”
Cenk and Melih both studied tourism, but despite their experience in the industry, they were searching for something more. “It was most likely the success of our teachers in marketing, who left us well-rehearsed in the field of marketing,” Cenk says.
That education has paid off. Karbonat has worked with more than 70 brands in just over five years, with clients in Istanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli and Kayseri.
Exciting brands, talented team
Cenk describes Karbonat’s first few years as a time of rapid growth. “The close to 10 years of experience I had in the sector, and the interest shown by brands I previously hadn’t had the chance to work with in the agency, helped us grow in a short space of time,” he says. “We were meeting new brands, doing pitches and presentations almost every week.”
In parallel, Cenk and Melih took on the role of HR to ensure they were hiring the talent needed to deliver a high standard of service and creativity to their clients. “We write up a job description and conduct our employee search based on this,” says Cenk, explaining Karbonat’s recruiting approach. “As an advertising agency we aren’t able to use traditional advertising channels as much as other industries, therefore recommendations and introductions are important for us to find the right people for our team.”
Since its foundation, Karbonat has grown to a talented team of 33 employees and aims to expand this figure to over 40 by the end of 2016. Says Cenk:
“We are making a conscious effort to bring in talented, more unique people to the team. Despite the sector being in a constant state of change, it is founded on talent and creativity. We are more and more inclined to use technology in our lives, but it is essentially people who offer the inspiration to imagine what technology can do for us.”
Evolving goals, stronger brand image
For Cenk, goals come in different shapes and sizes, but always evolve with the business. The Karbonat team has achieved varied success in reaching the revenue, brand and sector goals they’ve set over the years — learning and growing throughout the process.
However, the most important milestone for the brand has been a physical measure: moving office. “From a brand image perspective,” Cenk says, “this was definitely an important milestone.” Previously based on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, Karbonat’s move into an independent office building in the well-known business area of Levent in the European side of the city was a memorable step.
Digital and advertising go hand-in-hand
In the world of advertising, it is imperative for agencies to be familiar with digital technologies and keep up-to-date with the latest developments in order to offer their clients the most innovative and effective services. Against this backdrop, Karbonat strives to be competitive in one of the most digitally geared industries in existence. Cenk explains:
“We use technology in our client proposals and use the latest platforms and software in our customer relationship management as well. The expansion of the cloud and the SaaS market has allowed growing brands like ours to use this software legally to meet our needs and at the same time ensured that, as users, we are always a part of the development process of this technology.”
The Karbonat website — which launched together with the company in 2010 — is an important part of the brand’s digital toolbox.
In fact, Cenk states that his company uses the website to facilitate introductory meetings with clients. “Our website is an invaluable treasure for us — one which is always up-to-date, acting as a kind of almanac,” he says. “Whereas some agencies are preoccupied with creating fancy websites, we decided to design this as a portfolio. Since our foundation we have used it in the most effective way possible.”
Finding a global partner in GoDaddy
Besides karbonat.com, Cenk has registered a number of different domains. This part of Karbonat’s online strategy keeps the company flexible and prepared for emerging opportunities. Cenk highlights that a domain gains meaning through what you do with it.
To register multiple domains and easily manage the domain portfolio, Cenk says that Karbonat turned to GoDaddy — a relationship spanning seven years. Why did he partner with GoDaddy to kick-off the brand’s online journey? Cenk puts his decision down to one simple fact: “I believed that when it came to domain buying, selling and transfer, GoDaddy represented the global standard.”