In June of 2009, Sarah and Iain Bundy found themselves embarking on two incredible adventures. Pregnant with their first, they found themselves on the verge of not only becoming parents, but also business owners.
With Sarah’s 18+ years of successful sales and marketing experience and Iain’s 15+ years of working in the financial industry for some of Canada’s most respected investment firms, creating a company was inevitable. This was a dream team for success and Sarah, a 12+ year digital marketing veteran, knew what market she wanted to make her mark in.
All Inclusive Marketing was Born
For 3 years, the Bundys worked side-by-side growing their business; making mistakes, hitting milestones, and getting some wins. Their adventure in both business and family were expanding.
After their second child, Sarah and Iain were able to start hiring a team. They believed their team needed to be more than their knowledge. Like them, they wanted to surround themselves and their clients with people who believed in the same values as they did. People they could trust to take care of their business and clients with the same care they would.
D.I.G.G.ing the AIM Way
Over the past 10 years, Sarah and Iain have built a company that leads with ethics and innovation to provide a digital marketing experience like no other. They succeed at this by focusing on thought leadership, higher performance, personal connection and world-class expertise. Also known to their team as D.I.G.G.
Delight: Going above and beyond to provide a superior experience to clients, partners, and team at every opportunity.
Innovate: Proactively put forward new ideas to help drive improved results.
Growth: Individual ownership of personal and professional development, quality of relationships, and overall results.
Give Back: Personal and company time and resources to push the industry forward and help others in need.
Sarah and Iain have assembled an outstanding team of experts. This team shares their vision and are a vital part of moving AIM forward as a global leader in servicing the performance and digital marketing world. These experts have the knowledge and established relationships in a variety of locations across the globe to seamlessly serve clients’ digital marketing needs. Thanks to this, AIM has had the privilege of working with brands from all over the world, including North America, Latin America, The United Kingdom, the Middle East, the South Pacific, Scandinavia, and the Pacific Rim.
Throughout the years, Sarah has had an extremely successful track record with a variety of prestigious industry recognitions for her contributions. She is recognized as an expert in performance marketing by the New York Times and is listed in the Top 50 Industry Players and Most Influential Affiliate Marketers of 2018. AIM has had the honor of taking home the 2016 “Company of the Year” award in the province of British Columbia out of 400,000 small businesses, and even the 2018 Global Excellence Award at the PMAs in London for setting the standard of excellence in affiliate program management worldwide.
Click here for a deeper look at the awards and accolades Sarah and her team have achieved since 2009.
A Look Back – Interview with Co-Founder, Iain Bundy
So, here we are in 2019 and Sarah and Iain have defined and grown what All Inclusive Marketing is today. They did this together, and although we have heard from and been inspired by Sarah’s story over the last decade, we don’t often get to hear from the other half of the powerhouse husband and wife team. Therefore, today, we wanted to celebrate AIM through an interview with AIM’s other founder, Iain Bundy, who acts as AIM’s CFO. Here are some questions we asked Iain as we celebrate this day.
This year we celebrate AIM’s 10th Anniversary. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that?
Iain Bundy: “A lot. When we started this company Sarah and I never thought it would grow to what it has grown to today. There have been many factors and decisions we’ve made throughout this period that have contributed to what AIM is today. It’s been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve learned so much more about business and relationships that I don’t think I would have if we hadn’t started AIM. Also, to think that AIM was started by a newly expecting mom and dad makes me proud that through this rollercoaster ride we’re still enjoying every up and down of it together.“
What made you start All Inclusive Marketing? Where did you draw inspiration in order to start and build this incredible business?
Iain Bundy: “So many factors contributed to us starting AIM. I think we’ve both always been entrepreneurs at heart and like to do things against the grain. We left our “corporate ladder” careers to travel the world before we started a family. Through that period, we learnt a lot about different cultures, people and really enjoyed the opportunity of being together 24/7. Knowing that we wanted to start a family, Sarah and I made the decision that I would continue with my finance career while she would take care of the kids and a couple of clients from home to help support the family. She did such a great job with our first couple of clients, that through referrals from them, I had the opportunity to leave my career to work with her within our own company too.“
What were some significant challenges you’ve had to overcome and how did you get past them?
Iain Bundy: “Raising and juggling children while starting a business comes with significant challenges. Patience and communication helped us overcome this along with a lot of support from family, friends and each other. Another challenge is that you are always thinking of your business, as there are people (team members, clients, partners, etc.) relying on you to make decisions. Sometimes those decisions are hard and can weigh on you and brought up during times when you’re trying to relax, so there really is no off time. We’ve tried to overcome this by making sure we focus on our family during family time and have hired great people whom we trust to solve and make those decisions without us needing being involved at every level.”
You were pregnant with your first when you initially started and then pregnant with your second before hiring staff, how much harder did that make things?
Iain Bundy: “To be clear I wasn’t pregnant 😉. However, I was right there beside Sarah each step of the way. I think this still comes down to open communication, collaborating and listening to each other carefully, which is something we try to instill within our team today. Yes, just like any new mom and dad there were challenges with the lack of sleep, stress regarding finances, understanding who was responsible for what, etc.
However, we kept those communication channels open and knew when each person needed a break or support. Also, knowing that we couldn’t manage everything ourselves with a second child helped us to let go a little and hire smart and capable people to take good care of our clients. So, in the long run, it didn’t make it necessarily harder but pushed us to move forward as a company and team.
What is your favorite thing about building this business and working together?
Iain Bundy: “Working together is one of my favorite things. We’ve traveled to places, Thailand, Bahamas, Nashville, New York, etc. which we wouldn’t have been able to do together if either of us were in our previous careers. It really is like having a third child, we’re always talking about how to nurture its successes, learn from its failures and what we can do to make it better and stronger each day. We’ve also learnt a lot of each other’s skill sets; I’ve become better at business development and partnership strategy and Sarah has learnt to understand financial strategy and operational processes. Also, when one of us is having a hard or stressful day, we truly understand the situation that the other person is going through and we can relate, emphasize and support them more when needed.”
What do you see as the biggest accomplishments since your start in 2009?
Iain Bundy: “Still being in business is a huge accomplishment. 9/10 business fail within the first ten years, so the fact that we’re still growing a profitable company is something to be proud of. Also knowing that we wouldn’t be successful without the people and culture that we’ve collectively built into this company, and it’s a piece to be celebrated, especially for a totally remote team. We get asked all the time how our company can thrive with an entirely remote team and I always answer that it’s the culture we have. The people we work with genuinely care about AIM, our clients, partners and the other team members so they hold themselves accountable to each other and support each other like family.”
What other CEO’s or business leaders do you look up to and who has inspired you to have the work ethic that you do?
Iain Bundy: “Richard Branson. He has a work hard, play hard attitude that believes you should do what makes you happy. If you’re not happy, then you should be doing something else. His holistic approach to life and business is inspiring.”
What is the best piece of leadership advice you have received?
Iain Bundy: “Listen carefully. Most of the time people are trying to think up something to say when they should be focused 100% on listening. When we listen attentively, we truly get to understand what the other person is trying to tell us, and we can help solve their problems better, faster and with a much stronger trust factor than without that “seek first to understand” approach.”
Where do you expect AIM to be in the next 10 years? In what ways do you expect to grow?
Iain Bundy: “We’ve laid a good foundation over the past 10 years to successfully grow and scale into the future. I believe by following our core D.I.G.G. values we will continue to grow and scale while still taking immaculate care of our clients and team along the way.”
To all who’ve been on this ride with us, thank you. Thank you for your support, knowledge, and partnership. We appreciate all the relationships we’ve made throughout the years and look forward to many more to come.