Spotlight

Agency Spotlight: NOODLEWAVE

Noodle Wave exists to serve business decision makers and help them unlock the most valuable asset they possess — their experience and knowledge. 

The team at Noodle Wave then taps into a brand’s story and develops creative ways to share it with the world. 

Founded in 2010, Noodle Wave Media has been using content to drive leads and tangible business results for small- to medium-sized businesses for over a decade, all while scaling from a remote working model. 

What started as a one-man show has grown into a full-service digital marketing agency hyper-focused on creating data-driven, unique solutions and strategies for clients.

We sat down with Founder and Marketing Director of Noodle Wave, Roy Chong, to talk about how his agency has evolved and how becoming a Citizen of Republix will propel the agency’s growth even further. 

Why did you start Noodle Wave Media?

When I started Noodle Wave 11 years ago, the idea of leveraging content to build a brand identity was still in its infancy and it was really only being done for huge companies. I saw an opportunity to help small- to medium-sized businesses create content to develop brand equity and visibility online. 

When I shared the idea of launching what I called a “content marketing agency” with a friend, the friend replied, “Who’s going to search for that?” Honestly, I didn’t know, but I really believed I was on to something.

Everyone thought I was even crazier when I decided on a distributed, or remote working, model. Really, I couldn’t afford office space and I knew there were a ton of talented people out there who were working from home. I felt like if you can show results in a digital world, you don’t need an office for credibility no matter how big you get. 

It turns out, I was right on cue as businesses began to embrace storytelling and so many professionals started to pivot to freelancing.

How would you describe the digital marketing landscape today?

Very fragmented. The advent of the Internet space has allowed companies like us to thrive in an environment where there was a need that wasn’t being met. At first, there weren’t enough of us. Now, there’s a lot more people who can do elements of what a full-stack digital agency can do. I think that’s a good thing. But, at the same time, at the influencer level, you have people creating almost micro-agencies for themselves, which fragments the industry even more. 

It’s also hard for clients to discern who’s good and who’s not. Everyone says they’re in marketing. With Noodle Wave, instead of trying to serve every vertical, niching down and building some core domain expertise in the healthcare vertical has helped to set us apart. I think more agencies will have to focus on a niche. 

The future agency model is changing too and in order for the agency to survive, there needs to be some consolidation. Groups of agencies have to band together, which is what I love about the Republix model. Republix recognizes how fragmented the industry is and that “we’re better together.”

What’s your agency’s mission?

Noodle Wave’s mission has always been twofold. First, we serve decision makers at small- and medium-sized businesses and help them unlock their knowledge. It’s that wisdom and experience that are the most valuable assets to their brand. Our job is to help business owners recognize that and find creative ways to use their expertise to drive sales, leads and growth. 

Secondly, on the internal side of things, I really believe Noodle Wave is meant to nurture talent and grow people. We help map out a pathway for each team member’s career growth and provide them with the opportunity to come into the mix and solve problems. As long as we’ve had an impact on that person’s growth during their time with us, we’re doing our job and the agency is serving its purpose. 

Why do your clients love working with you?

I think it’s because we’re obsessed with providing our clients value. We’re very proactive in solving problems for them — sometimes, before they know it’s a problem. For example, as the COVID situation began to unfold, our healthcare clients were navigating a time of uncertainty in their businesses. In order to get ahead of the messaging, we quickly crafted patient-facing letters and digital consultation landing pages, so they could keep providing value to their patients. When they eventually had to shut down their offices, we had everything ready to go for them to pivot, before they even asked us for support. 

All of this stems from us really caring about our clients’ businesses. We try to replicate the feeling of them having an internal team. We’re super accessible and we’ve set up communication channels, account managers and a team of people who are actively involved and communicating with them. 

Some of our clients have worked with larger agencies in the past. When they’ve come to us, they’ve enjoyed the high-touch, boutique feel, as opposed to a large agency in our vertical where things can sometimes be templated and very cookie cutter. We’re bringing them creative ideas and authentic, transparent dialogue around their marketing campaign and the growth of their business. 

Why do your employees love working for you?

As a fully remote agency, we’re big on work-life harmony and flexibility. I’ve always told people, if you need to do something in the middle of the day, whether it’s going to a yoga class or taking your kids to an appointment, do it! As long as our team members can manage their workload and get their deliverables done, we’re not going to micro-manage them or lock them into strict business hours. 

I also think a lot of people resonate with the culture we have. The first pillar of our culture is servant leadership. This style of leadership acknowledges that your role as a leader is to serve your team, which creates openness and positivity at every level. Our other pillars are humility and hard work. We hire people who will put in the work, while offering their talent in a humble, shared way, so that everyone can feed off that energy. 

Lastly, communication and our collaborative spirit are huge. There’s always someone to field ideas off of and everyone has input. Overall, these kinds of cultural things help everyone thrive in a remote environment. 

What does it mean for Noodle Wave to be a Citizen of Republix?

It’s a big milestone. When I started Noodle Wave, I knew that at some point I’d need to bring in a strategic partner to really scale the business. This reflects that moment. It’s a huge achievement to start from nothing and now be in the company of other like-minded agencies.

Personally, I don’t have a ton of agency relationships. We’ve been kind of growing in our own world in isolation. Having other agency leaders in a community to collaborate with is a nice change for me from a leadership perspective. 

From a business standpoint, we get to work with agencies who have their own resources and specialties. We can share resources and collaborate on different projects. This trickles down to our clients. We’re able to offer them a wider scope of services and a larger knowledge pool that will benefit their campaigns. 

Another thing I’m really excited about is the technology component that Republix is building.

Why do you think the Republix model is right for today’s marketing industry?

I think the Republix model is brilliant and so timely given how fragmented the industry is right now. Republix built something to bring agencies together to solve this problem. Clients now have access to top-tier talent, strategies and solutions in one place. 

I also think that agency leaders need to be in a community more than ever. Being in a leadership position can be isolating. It’s a lot of responsibility. Having a collective community where everyone’s interests are aligned will help agency leaders continue to grow.

What message do you have to potential or existing clients now that you’re a Citizen of Republix?

In our pursuit of continually adding value to clients, there’s no better way to do that than to be in a community with other agencies who share the same goals. Our own wisdom and skills are merging with those of our fellow Citizens to create a collective brain trust that supports clients’ businesses. Being a part of this unique agency model gives us access to resources from a huge range of specialties, allowing us to maximize results on every campaign. 

To learn more about Noodle Wave, please visit https://www.noodlewavemedia.com/.