Integrity Search: Placing organisations online

Founded by entrepreneur Kristin Atkinson four years ago, Integrity Search was setup thanks to support from Teesside University’s DigitalCity. Kristin told BQ about how he got the company off the ground.

Taking advantage of the growing demand for companies to be active online and reap the benefits of search engines and social media, Kristin launched the agency to help companies make the most of the digital world.

He told BQ: “Integrity Search helps businesses grow and profit from ‘search’ and ‘social’.  We specialise in SEO, PPC, social media & ecommerce.”

It was his previous job which inspired him to setup the firm, as he said: “I worked for a major PLC that wasn’t concerned with the outputs and ROI of search marketing had on their business unlike we do.

“I borrowed a relatively small amount of money from one of my best friends to get the company off the ground and here it is today.” 

As well as receiving support from DigitalCity, Kristin sought support from as many channels as he could to ensure the business grew to its full potential.

He added: “My parents had a background in owning and running their own business so for me it was a logical progression to start my own business following in the family footsteps as such.   

“This coupled with my business management degree and initial guidance from friends who were also in business gave me all the support I needed.

“Along with opening up a branch in London, the biggest challenge I now face is once we have reached a certain level, is taking the business to the next level.”

Speaking on the benefits of being a start-up, he continued: “The best thing about being a start-up back in 2010 was being my own boss and being in control of my own ‘work life’ and my own ‘career’ destiny. 

“The worst thing was the 15 hour days I worked for 2 years when I first started out on my own!”

Ensuring the company offered something a little different from the majority of digital marketing agencies, Kristin thought long and hard about the company’s unique selling point.

“It’s an integrated approach with a focus on the outputs of the services we deliver. 

“Unlike most digital marketing agencies, we take full responsibility and accountability for delivering successful and profitable online marketing campaigns for our clients.”

After getting the company off the ground and then expanding into London, Kristin has shown that there is scope for digital start-ups in the region to grow on a national scale.

Alongside several contractors, the firm also employs seven full-time members of staff and was nominated for a Northern Digital Award earlier this year. 

BQ will continue to monitor the company’s progress as it continues to make an impact in the ever-competitive digital marketing industry.