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Meet Peter Bohenek and Craig Cooke of Rhythm in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter and Craig Cooke.

Peter and Craig, please share your story with us.
Rhythm traces our roots to 1996, when the Internet was still in its infancy and dial-up was the only game in town. During this formative time in digital history, two musicians named Peter Bohenek and Craig Cooke launched RhythmNet.com (now Rhythm) – building websites to promote and sell music online.

It turns out that a great song – from hooks to harmonies – has more in common with digital marketing than you might think. We know from experience because our agency was born in a music studio, not a boardroom. Our first tools were guitars, not whiteboards. Our founders were artists’ first, businessmen second. And this musical background still influences Rhythm’s approach to this very day.

RhythmNet proved to be an early Internet success story and the company was soon helping not just musical artists, but businesses spanning many verticals to harness the power of the Internet to reach and engage audiences. RhythmNet expanded its capabilities into creative areas beyond website design and development such as packaging and media manufacturing. The company also created a proprietary Rich Internet Application technology years before apps grew in popularity.

More than 20 years later, Rhythm is still jamming. Today we offer a variety of digital marketing services, from web and SEO to email and analytics. We also continue to grow year over year, expanding service offerings, adding new clients and hiring amazing talent. But at our heart we’re still two guys with guitars – only now Craig and Peter are part of a larger ensemble of professionals who consistently create effective brand experiences that engage people and move brands up the charts.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The marketing industry is not for the faint of heart. We got into the business knowing that we were in for a roller coaster ride, not a leisurely spin on a merry-go-round. This industry is constantly evolving, with almost daily advancements in technology, new marketing channels and tactics, new devices to design for, constant algorithm changes, etc. Many of the struggles we’ve faced play into these constant changes and staying ahead of them. Education and knowledge sharing is key. Our team members across all pillars are encouraged to continually keep up with the latest advancements and to share knowledge of new offerings, platforms, channel changes, technologies and requirements with other team members. This free flow of information has enabled us to consistently make the right recommendations for our clients.

The pace of growth we have experienced also brings its own struggles. There are the obvious challenges of expanding physical space and infrastructure, but most significant of all is the introduction and assimilation of new people into the agency. We’ve tried very hard to build a positive and supportive work environment that encourages personal and professional growth. We also make it a priority to have fun together outside of the office environment with regular company outings.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Rhythm – what should we know?
We don’t claim to do it all. Instead, we do two things really well – We build a brand’s digital infrastructure and we grow their business through integrated marketing solutions.

In our 20+ years, we’ve found that many brands struggle with developing the proper infrastructure to support their digital marketing efforts. Rhythm takes a deep dive to understand a brand’s business, their products and services, customer personas and behaviors, sales cycles, sales goals and more to create a solid marketing foundation. We then create effective brand experiences on an ongoing basis by integrating all the digital pieces – web, CRM, email, SEO, PPC, analytics – to deliver growth.

What sets us apart? Our true investment in the clients we work with. We want to have lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with our accounts in which both parties are truly vested in seeing each other succeed. We take the time to understand the organizations we work with – their business goals, their products and services, their customers’ wants and needs, their obstacles to growth and more. Having a detailed view of our customers’ business allows us to better design integrated marketing solutions that succeed in the marketplace.

Our three pillars – sophisticated strategy, experience design and elegant technology – work together applying insights and data to create effective multi-sensory brand experiences across consumer touchpoints and channels. Many agencies focus solely on design and the technology used to deploy solutions, but they lack the strategic expertise to achieve short-term and long-term goals and objectives. Other agencies may combine strategy and design, but lack the necessary technical expertise to execute capabilities. Rhythm’s three-pillar foundation and experienced team members bring everything to the table – strategy, design, and technology – to create solid, effective experiences that deliver – if not exceed – client expectations.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our innate passion to help businesses succeed. We are truly invested in the brands we work with and ultimately – their success is our success.

We are most proud of our team – many of our team members have been with Rhythm for 5, 10, 15+ years. And while each team member naturally brings a different set of skills, experience and expertise to the agency, we’re fortunate to have a company culture that encourages the spread of new ideas, technologies and strategies. Rhythm’s team synergy is a huge reason why we’ve not only been able to grow, but to sustain our growth.

Of course, we’re also extremely proud of the work we’ve created for our clients. Not only have we produced successful, award-winning work across a variety of digital disciplines (web, apps, email, SEO, media), Rhythm continues to excel in a variety of industry verticals – from healthcare, automotive to retail to B2B.

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Image Credit:

In the ‘personal photo’: From left to right: Peter Bohenek, President of Rhythm and Craig Cooke, CEO of Rhythm back in the day rockin’ it out.

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