EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a five-part series highlighting this year’s finalists for Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. The winner will be announced at the Blue Sapphire Gala on Saturday, June 1.
Goebel Media Group, founded by Nick and Lauren Goebel, administers full-service web design and Internet marketing from North Columbia Street office space.
Since establishing the full-time business in 2008, the web wizards continue servicing the local community whenever possible.
Recognition as a top-5 small business by the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber says keep up the good work.
“I feel like we are in good company. It’s definitely an honor to be in that group, and it’s exciting for us having built what we built and being recognized on this level,” Nick Goebel said.
Goebel Media offers a 25 percent discount to non-profits and churches.
Web and graphic design, email marketing, web hosting and social media management are a portion of the services.
The couple recognizes how the web attracts people.
“Milledgeville is in that process of trying to reinvent itself. We used to have all this industry. Now, we are trying to explore other avenues. The website might be the first impression people get of the community,” Lauren said.
Goebel Media developed area clients like the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce sites creating a uniform brand. Lauren’s Chamber Ambassador and Nick’s Leadership Baldwin roles help understand problems the community faces.
“We want to solve small business problems. That’s our mission statement,” Lauren said. “We try to donate our time to not only put these websites up but also continually maintain and update them.”
An upcoming revamp of Milledgeville Main Street’s sight is next on the radar.
Goebel Media pulls from a vibrant college labor pool as well. Currently, two Georgia College students help the business.
The company is laying the groundwork for more tech business, keeping the college labor pool here.
Goebel offers entry-level work for businesses of the future.
“It’s an exciting time to be a technology company here. There aren’t a lot of companies that can use people straight out of college,” Nick said. “We are one of them and are excited to have our two Georgia College guys. We wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing without it.”
Lauren agreed invaluable training readies students for the industry and maybe they won’t leave town after graduation.
“I feel like they get a lot out of their experience, and hopefully, it will turn into a career for them,” she said.
Goebel Media Group sees traditional marketing becoming steadily more ineffective.
Nick said all local businesses could benefit from better web footprints. This generation looks online for services.
“The businesses that provide services to those college kids really need to be online,” he said. “They grow up looking for things on search engines.”
Email newsletters and user-friendly web pages will become the required standard for most business owners. Lauren wants the town to realize Internet power.
“It’s cheaper than printing out 10,000 flyers, and it’s there always,” Lauren said. “I think Milledgeville needs to embrace the web.”
The Goebels were 21 when they started. Now 28 years old and parents, they learned from upstart peaks and valleys.
According to Lauren, 2012 was the first year everything went right.
“There is a lot of scary risk involved. You just have to be willing to take those risks if you are going to be successful,” she said.
Growing cohesive branding plans for Milledgeville and Baldwin County economic development are stated goals. Nick said the media group’s skill set could help make the area stand out.
Both owners value the one-on-one relationships that don’t end once a web site goes live. Educational evolution is beneficial and necessary as well.
“We are always learning new things,” Nick said. “Hopefully, we can bring a lot of that here.”
Goebel Media Group will work whatever long-term marketing strategies they can touch via keyboard.
When the town wins, so does everyone else.
“Technology is a huge part of the world right now, and I think that’s what makes our company unique is that we can help businesses tap into these tools that make them more successful,” Lauren said.
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