“Biz Buzz” with Kirk Williams from ZATO

Kirk Williams                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Owner of ZATO
Website Address: https://zatomarketing.com

Each week on “Biz Buzz”, our host David Sillick talks to business experts in the community. This week he sits down with Kirk Williams from ZATO.
ZATO is a Paid Search Marketing Micro-Agency specializing in eCommerce PPC on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.
To learn more check out https://zatomarketing.com.

How did you get started in the business? 

A lot of those things are actually interconnected. So I did not go into marketing. I did not do any sort of business degree in any way in school. I actually started with theology. So I was in my masters of theology program and I was working overnights at Target back stocking toys and soap bottles and whatever it might be and then I’d catch a little sleep, try to try to hit the books hard the next day, and basically said, “I will take whatever comes along next.” Famous last words. And I got into marketing. I had a friend who was at a tiny little retail company in Louisville, Kentucky, and started doing the marketing there and then got into PPC, found out that I just loved it. I loved the pay per click marketing aspect advertising on Google and Bing ads. And from there, I realized if I get a few little clients by myself, a friend had a business, ‘hey could you helped me,’ things like that, right? Started that side hustle and realized at some point that I might be able to do this by myself. I might be able to quit my full time job and do this. And it was at that time also that we opted to move closer to family up here in Billings, Montana. So my wife’s family is from here. And kind of made all of those big switches at the same time. I just had a kid, right? I did everything you’re not supposed to do by the business analysts which is do all those huge changes at the same time. But I did it and it worked out pretty well because we’ve been around for about nine years now.


What’s the story behind ZATO? 

The name used to be really kind of a boring — it was a conglomeration of my name and my wife’s and it had “marketing” and “creative” in it and that kind of thing. Sounded like pretty much every other agency ever. And, determined, I wanted to find a name that went along with what I had done a lot of time in which had been studying biblical Greek, so the ancient language of Koine Greek. And one of the words which means like “to seek out, to search” is Zeteo. And so I shortened that, pushed that into ZATO. And so it kind of has a couple of meanings. It’s a nod to my seminary years and it actually means “search” which is ZATO. So ZATO is a paid search agency. We focus specifically and only on the paid search offering which would be Google ads and Microsoft ads and then the different channels that can be housed within that. We had actually expanded a little bit into social, I’d given that a try, and just decided that my focus was Google ads. That’s where my knowledge base was, that’s where I had done a lot of writing and speaking on Google ads, and I just kind of wanted to keep us laser focused on what I knew, what I could hire for, what we could do really well and keep it real lean. So that’s the route we chose to go, and I love it.


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