Interactive marketing firm likes customer potential, talent pool

SAUSALITO -- Internet marketing firm BusinessOnLine is expanding into Northern California by opening an office in Sausalito.

[caption id="attachment_22786" align="alignright" width="160" caption="Thad Kahlow"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22785" align="alignright" width="156" caption="Rich Roberts"][/caption]

Headquartered in San Diego with an office in the Washington, D.C. area, the company serves Bay Area clients Sybase and Lithium, among others, and wanted a closer presence, according to CEO Thad Kahlow.

"We'll have a team of seven to 10 by the end of the year. Our growth over the last two years readied us for expansion," he said.

BusinessOnLine may be one of the few Internet companies to span two generations. Mr. Kahlow's father founded online sales engine Shopping Cart at the dawn of the World Wide Web, and his son became an expert in search engine optimization.

"With our background in SEO and expertise in social media, we're in the best position possible to serve clients with online marketing," said Mr. Kahlow.

BusinessOnLine launches websites, marketing campaigns and programs for its clients and tracks results, testing and analyzing user response to optimize the effect.

The Internet has proven to be a powerful marketing tool.

"Demographics and physiograpics are still powerful analytical tools, but we've added 'webiographics' to the mix. How does each individual use the Web? Through what device are they connecting and from where? What are their expectations? We gather this data though online testing and our own analytical methods," he said.

Honeywell, Sybase, the Red Cross and Rail Europe are among BusinessOnLine's clients, which generally have revenues in the $50 million to $500 million range. The company has a presence in 120 countries.

[caption id="attachment_22782" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="BusinessOnLine's new North Bay office in Sausalito"][/caption]

To extend the BusinessOnLine methodology in the Bay Area, Mr. Kahlow has hired Rich Roberts, a 20-year veteran of the marketing industry, to head the Sausalito office. Jonah Hillman, another digital media expert, will act as director of strategy.

The company is currently hiring, specifically looking for expertise in the areas of social media, web analytics and search engine marketing.

"The talent pool here is terrific. We looked at locations throughout the South, East and North Bay before settling on Marin," said Mr. Roberts, who lives nearby. "This is a great central location from which to take care of our clients and develop new ones."

BusinessOnLine is about to sign a large North Bay company as a new client, although Mr. Roberts declined to say more than that it's in the "educational space."

"Just yesterday I was talking with this potential client while lunching on a deck overlooking the Bay. I thought, what could be better than this," said Mr. Roberts.

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