A spring 2018 course in the McKenna school incorporated an internet marketing company called BlitzMetrics into its curriculum this semester until the partnership was terminated a month ago.
Individuals involved with this internet marketing company explained its purpose and functions.
“Our mission is creating jobs and opportunities for young adults - no charge to them,” Dennis Yu, BlitzMetrics’ cofounder and chief technology officer, said to The Review.
Yu explained that BlitzMetrics is made up of two parts: an internet marketing agency that works with clients and a training program that provides educational courses and mentorship. The young adults who participate in the program, he said, attain certification and then receive pay to work on projects for BlitzMetrics. The company’s clients, he said, enable on-the-job training.
“We believe that a formal education alone isn’t enough - students must get real-world work experience beyond just internships,” Yu said. “They need meaningful roles with structured mentoring and a goal-setting process.”
The profits BlitzMetrics generates are invested back into the training, with the company functioning as non-profit, despite its status as a for-profit C corporation, Yu indicated.
Yu provided The Review with eight different internet links in address to questions posed to him. One of these links was to a video from 2017 of Yu lecturing at StartCon, a convention for startup businesses, which he said might be “the best was to understand what we do.”
“This is a magician showing you all of his tricks,” Yu said in the video.
At this conference, Yu explained how his “dollar-a-day” strategy can improve a startup business’ image of authority. By paying a small fee to Facebook, a business can have Facebook increase the reach of a particular post to a small, targeted demographic through a practice called boosting.
Yu said that careful strategy should go into picking what posts to boost and picking who to boost them to.
“The LA Times reached out to us [for an article]. Why? Because they saw that we were in the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and all these other places. Why? Because we boosted those articles to people that work at the LA Times,” he said.
Another way to improve credibility Yu mentioned at the conference is to share detailed information about the business’ processes, so that potential clients see the business’ expertise.
“The way you get around marketing and advertising and shameless self-promotion is you make it […] education,” he said.
Yu also commented on how interpersonal business relationships can be enhanced.
“I believe in ways of igniting these relationships by [using] the media and by sending gifts, but doing it at scale, so people feel like they’re, and they are, getting love.”
The video, with a title that begins “Let’s Talk Growth,” can be found on StartCon’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
Two Saint Vincent students received a firsthand look at BlitzMetrics.
Former and current sophomore marketing majors Tanner Laycock and Jacob Morrow were students in the course which used BlitzMetrics, Internet Marketing, and transported Yu from an airport to deliver a lecture at Saint Vincent on Feb. 16, according to Morrow.
Morrow said he accepted an invitation to travel to a BlitzMetrics workshop in Phoenix, Arizona a few days after Laycock accepted one in Orange County, California with Yu.
The destination of these trips were BlitzMetrics workshops, Morrow said.
“I thought it was an amazing opportunity to be able to see [Yu] in action with the workshop and the whole team, working together,” he said.
Several people working for large businesses paid to attend the workshops, Morrow explained, and were eager to hear from the presenters.
“They hadn’t heard any of these techniques before,” he said.
Morrow said he attended the workshops, which were Tuesday though Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM, dined out with the BlitzMetrics team these evenings and relaxed with them over the weekend. He said he stayed at the large BlitzMetrics headquarters, where Laycock currently resides.
Laycock withdrew from Saint Vincent and began working for BlitzMetrics, saying he currently lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with Elliot Drake, director of personal branding; Logan Young, cofounder and Yu.
Laycock reported he is currently the director of marketing systems at BlitzMetrics.
“A typical work day doesn’t exist,” he said. “I have emails and responsibilities, but we have a lot of fun too.”
These responsibilities, he mentioned, include managing specialists, project managing clients and maintaining relationships for himself and others in the company. As for the fun, Laycock said they are “constantly” going to the gym, eating out, golfing and “just enjoying life.”
He also said that, this month, he will be an international speaker about personal branding, digital marketing strategies and other topics, traveling to Calgary, Canada; Bologna, Italy; London, England; Brazil; Hawaii and more.
“You name [a place], I’m probably going,” he said.
Laycock explained three reasons he made “an abrupt decision” to join BlitzMetrics.
“I get to learn and be mentored by some of the most successful and humble minds this world has to offer,” he said for the first.
The second reason, he said, was to have the chance “to be at the very top level of business and skip years of failure.”
“So many people would pay tens of thousands of dollars to hang out with these guys [we do business with] for a couple of hours, and I get to do it through Blitz for free,” he said.
The third and most important reason was to be a part of “for-profit-for-purpose” business, which he believes is “a new wave of business about to burst to the scene.”
“We only align ourselves with individuals and companies who want to make this world a better place,” Laycock explained.
He also commented that BlitzMetrics’ mission to empower young adults to be entrepreneurs led to his hiring, adding that his desire for success, mindset, work ethic and background.
Yu did not coerce Laycock into leaving Saint Vincent and working for BlitzMetrics Morrow said. In fact, Morrow said that he himself talked to Yu about his own future with BlitzMetrics, and Yu advised him to stay at Saint Vincent.
Yu said that Laycock was the first student in one of their programs to drop out and join BlitzMetrics full-time and that their goal is not for students to drop out and join the company.
“We advocate that students do their schooling and work at the same time,” Yu said.
“I’m back here, happy for Tanner,” Morrow said, “not regretting my decision, but not regretting Tanner’s either.”
Morrow said that, in addition to being friends and former roommates, he and Laycock were business partners.
TundraSEO was an internet marketing business for clients who wanted their businesses to appear higher on Google’s search results which Morrow said he and Laycock created last year.
Morrow said they ended this business and began another called JETClean, a valet laundry service. While Laycock is no longer a part of this business, Morrow said, it is “going pretty good,” and can be found online at gojetclean.com.
“[JETClean] was our only focus before BlitzMetrics came along,” Morrow said. “People love it.”
The Internet Marketing course used online materials from BlitzMetrics which are free to students, according to Bo Liang, the course’s instructor. She also said that students could get a paid internship through BlitzMetrics for at least 20 hours a week.
Students said that Yu brought prizes, such as selfie sticks, ring lights and Amazon gift cards, to his lecture, and awarded them to students who answered. Liang said she was given prizes to give to students for positive performance in the course.
“Some of them got 25-dollar Amazon gift cards just to make videos,” she said.
Morrow said it is unfortunate this program was canceled at Saint Vincent.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity for anybody that thinks they want to be an entrepreneur or even just have a job,” he said.
Laycock said his time working for BlitzMetrics has been a catalyst for his continued improvement in marketing, networking and seeing businesses holistically.
“I’m not an expert yet,” he said, “but I’m definitely going to be soon!”
The differing opinions of students in the Internet Marketing class will be covered next week.
The events leading up to the dissolved association between BlitzMetrics and the McKenna school was covered in an article last week, which can be found at stvincentreview.com.
Photos: dennis-yu.com; tundraseo.com