Zach Robbins – Founder and CEO at Leadnomics

Question everything, and seek deeper understanding of the motivations behind your company’s purpose, what your customers need, and what makes your team happy. You can always find ways to improve over the baseline.

Zach Robbins is an entrepreneur, whose lifelong interest in advertising, data, and technology led him to found Leadnomics, a digital marketing and technology company, in 2007.

Zach’s formal education in technology began with part-time engineering classes at the University of Michigan when he was just 14. A short while later, during undergrad at Rowan University, Zach gained exposure to digital marketing while media buying across a variety of industries. He quickly noticed both a need and opportunity to increase user engagement and client return on investment. That became the inspiration for Leadnomics.

Zach is an expert in performance marketing, website optimization, lead generation, and marketing technology. He is a member of the leadership organizations YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) and Summit Series. Outside of work, Zach enjoys fitness, food, and traveling—recent trips include Japan and Morocco.

Under Zach’s leadership, Leadnomics was ranked by Inc. as the 48th fastest growing company in America in 2011 and the 26th fastest growing company in 2012. Since then, Leadnomics has moved to its new, larger Philadelphia headquarters and added a second sales office in New York City. This year, the company is on track to grow 50 percent over 2014 and has grown from its successful business service roots to add a partner advertising network, suite of SaaS technologies, and an insurance agency concept.

Where did the idea for Leadnomics come from?

While in college, I was buying media online and becoming increasingly frustrated with levers beyond my control. I could pay for traffic and optimize the campaigns, but once the user was sent to the client’s site, I lost control over the user experience.

Leadnomics early on, and still today, is about improving the customer’s experience from the initial click to the sale. We aim to be better at matching expectations to provide a more beneficial experience to both the user and the service provider.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

I wake up at 6:30 a.m., check email, and make sure there are no fires to put out. From there, I grab a coffee and go straight for a run or a high-intensity interval workout if I have time.

After that, I shower, get ready, and go into the office where I’ll assess the prior day, make a list, prioritize the items that can and need to get done, and plan what has to be pushed to the next day or beyond. I have a 10 a.m. stand-up meeting with our management team to ensure progress is being made — and that there are no blockers holding the team back.

Productivity, for me, has always been about evaluating what can get done today and determining the best path forward for the things that can’t.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’m diligent about letting things go after enough effort has been expended — a delicate balance exists between pursuing an endeavor enough and spinning your wheels. Sometimes cutting bait is the best way forward.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Summer landscaping taught me that even the longest, hardest days do end.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

The company was founded over seven years ago while I was still in college, so there are a lot of things that I would do differently. Comparing now to then, I’d say that if we had figured out our prioritization processes then, we might have been able to avoid some painful lessons in the earlier days. Having crystal clear direction on what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we’re going to execute is key to having great consensus and keeping folks motivated and engaged.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Question everything, and seek a deeper understanding of the motivations behind your company’s purpose, what your customers need, and what makes your team happy. You can always find ways to improve over the baseline.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

We relentlessly pursue how we could be doing more of, or better with, what we already have or what’s already in market. Marketing something a slightly different way, or utilizing a smarter tactic, is the difference between hearing “yes” or “no” during a purchase decision.

We also employ the idea that working smarter is not always about working “harder.”

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We had to pivot out of a failing revenue line. One of the industries we were offering services in was fledgling, and we saw the writing on the wall. We successfully pivoted, but it took a lot of hard work and sound strategy.

What is the best $100 you recently spent, and why?

We recently held a working lunch where everyone came prepared and was organized enough to get stuff done. The scenery change allowed us to think just a bit differently.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

This runs a very wide spectrum, but most notably, Ralph Waldo Emerson at a young age and entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel.


Twitter: @zachbrobb