Unveiling Success: An Exclusive Interview with Julie Wang, BC Business 30 Under 30 Winner and Founder of Tiny Planet Digital

Julie Wang is the founder of Tiny Planet Digital and the winner of BC Business's 30 Under 30. Learn how her leadership has led her company to inspiring new heights.
Julie Wang BC Business Top 30 Under 30 winner 2024

We are thrilled to announce our very own founder, Julie Wang, has been recognized as one of BC Business’s 30 Under 30. This prestigious recognition program celebrates and honours outstanding individuals under the age of 30 who have demonstrated exceptional achievements and contributions across various fields and industries within the province of British Columbia, Canada.

Julie’s journey is marked by a remarkable blend of entrepreneurship, leadership, and a profound dedication to making a positive impact. From the inception of her own agency to her influential presence as a speaker and industry leader, Julie has consistently pushed boundaries and inspired those around her.

Beyond her professional endeavours, Julie’s passion for marketing is matched only by her commitment to giving back to the community. Her initiatives, such as the Sustainable Growth Contest and various mentorship programs, exemplify her vision for fostering positive change and empowering others.

As Tiny Planet Digital continues to thrive under her stewardship, Julie remains steadfast in her pursuit of excellence and innovation. In light of this recent accolade, we had the privilege of sitting down with Julie to delve into her journey, her passion for marketing, and what drives her forward in the ever-evolving landscape of the industry. Join us as we uncover the insights and inspirations behind Julie’s extraordinary accomplishments and what led to her inclusion in the BC 30 Under 30 2024 list.

Tell us a bit about what inspired you to pursue a career in marketing.

As a kid, I was always fascinated by the psychology behind commercials, especially the short ones that captivated so much attention. Over time, that curiosity grew into a passion for marketing as I reached university. While I was in school, digital marketing was still on the rise and changing constantly, which was really interesting to witness. 

While I was in school, the rise of digital marketing caught my attention. It was a rapidly evolving landscape that offered endless possibilities, and I was eager to be a part of it. What really excited me was the opportunity to create comprehensive online campaigns that leveraged multiple touch points to deliver a message. On top of this, the way digital marketing democratized the industry, making impactful marketing accessible to smaller businesses. As you can see, nowadays, small businesses are able to generate reach and online success like never before.

Can you share with us the journey that led you to found Tiny Planet Digital?

I was inspired by my interest in digital marketing and technology, and I wanted to address a significant gap in the digital marketing world.

What stood out during my early experiences was a common challenge faced by small to medium enterprises (SMEs): the fragmented approach to digital marketing. Companies often sought out specialized agencies for specific tasks—be it running targeted ad campaigns or crafting websites—yet struggled to weave these separate efforts into a cohesive digital marketing strategy. This disjointed approach left businesses without the full-circle advantage that a unified digital marketing funnel could offer.

Our goal at Tiny Planet Digital is to act as the bridge, adopting a technology-first strategy to simplify digital marketing for SMEs. We strive to bring all the pieces of the digital marketing puzzle together in a way that makes sense, ensuring our clients can excel in the dynamic digital world.

Our mission is to serve as integrators, employing a technology-first approach to demystify digital marketing for SMEs. We aim to connect the dots, ensuring all pieces of the digital marketing puzzle fit seamlessly, enabling our clients to thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

What are some of the most significant challenges you’ve faced as an entrepreneur, and how have you overcome them?

The COVID-19 pandemic hit just when Tiny Planet Digital was finding its stride and taking off, marking one of our most significant challenges yet.

Initially, it seemed daunting, yet, as we navigated through, an unexpected silver lining emerged.

What appeared to be a dire time for businesses globally turned into a catalyst for digital transformation. The pandemic accelerated the shift towards online platforms, opening new avenues for growth and opportunity. It was a reminder that sometimes, what seems like a setback is actually a setup for a breakthrough for us as digital entrepreneurs.

During this period, our team doubled down on our efforts, reaching out to sectors heavily impacted by the pandemic, such as hotels and hospitality. This strategic pivot not only helped us survive but thrive, turning the hospitality industry into one of our key focus areas through the pandemic and beyond.

The journey taught us the importance of adaptability, resilience, and the power of staying connected with our clients’ evolving needs.

As a recipient of the BC Business 30 Under 30 award, what does this recognition mean to you personally and professionally?

Receiving the BC Business 30 Under 30 award is a significant milestone for me, both personally and professionally. When I first embarked on the journey of founding Tiny Planet Digital, my focus wasn’t on recognition; I was driven by a desire to make a positive impact. However, along the way, I’ve learned invaluable lessons through the inevitable mistakes and challenges that come with entrepreneurship.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this journey has been the ability to use my business as a platform to support initiatives I deeply believe in, particularly in mentorship and community outreach. Through programs like mentoring youth and newcomers, as well as providing free services through our Sustainable Growth Contest, I’ve been able to give back to the community in meaningful ways.

Being recognized alongside such inspiring individuals on this prestigious list is truly an honour. It serves as validation that the work we’re doing at Tiny Planet Digital is making a difference. This recognition is not just about me; it’s a testament to the dedication of my amazing team and the vision we’ve collectively set out to achieve.

What sets Tiny Planet Digital apart from other marketing agencies, and what do you believe has contributed to its success?

Well, what really sets Tiny Planet Digital apart from other marketing agencies is our holistic and consultative approach to digital marketing. We don’t just focus on one aspect; we look at the entire landscape and how different channels can work together in synergy. This integration of marketing channels is at the core of our strategy, ensuring that every aspect of our clients’ marketing efforts complements and reinforces each other. 

This approach also leads to highly customized solutions based on our client’s core needs. There’s no templates or one-size-fits-all. That’s why we take the time to really get to know our clients, their businesses, and their specific challenges. By tailoring our strategies to meet their unique needs, we’re able to deliver results that truly make a difference.

But it’s not just about the technical aspects; we also have a strong community focus. We believe in giving back and being actively involved in the communities we serve. This not only aligns with our values but also helps us build meaningful connections with our clients and stakeholders.

Can you discuss some of the key initiatives and projects you’re most proud of at Tiny Planet Digital?

At Tiny Planet Digital, we’re incredibly proud of the initiatives and projects we’ve undertaken that align with our values and commitment to making a positive impact. One of our flagship initiatives is our annual Sustainable Growth Contest, which we launched back in 2021. This contest rewards organizations that are passionate about creating positive change by providing them with pro bono digital marketing services. It’s been incredibly fulfilling to see the impact these organizations are making and to be able to contribute to their success.

Additionally, we’re honoured to work with impact-driven clients and changemakers who are dedicated to making a difference in their communities and beyond. Some notable clients in this space include Skipper Otto, Elimin8hate, UNAC, EcoSafe Zero Waste, and Black Rock Oceanfront Hotel. Collaborating with these organizations allows us to leverage our expertise to amplify their impact.

Furthermore, our commitment to mentorship and internships is something I’ve been very passionate about. Feeling like university didn’t equip me with the hands-on skills that were desired by most companies, I knew I wanted to create opportunities for students to build these skills early on. Through mentorship programs and internships, we’ve been able to support and guide aspiring professionals as they navigate their careers in the digital marketing industry.

As a leader, what values and principles guide your approach to business and team management?

As a leader at Tiny Planet Digital, my approach to business and team management is deeply rooted in certain values and principles that I hold dear.

First and foremost, I believe in fostering curiosity and a spirit of discovery within our team. Encouraging curiosity not only fuels innovation but also promotes continuous learning and growth. By creating an environment where questions are welcomed, and exploration is encouraged, we cultivate a culture of creativity and problem-solving.

The other principles I promote within our team are value alignment and community building. It’s important to me that our team members not only excel professionally but also share a commitment to making a positive impact beyond the workplace. Many of our team members are actively involved in contributing to causes they care about outside of work. Whether it’s through donations or volunteering, our team tries to get out into the community to find ways to positively impact the places we live and work.

What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs or aspiring marketers who are looking to make their mark in the industry?

To aspiring entrepreneurs and marketers looking to carve out their path in the industry, I offer this advice.

Firstly, stay curious. Curiosity fuels innovation and drives creative thinking. Keep asking questions, exploring new ideas, and seeking out different perspectives. Embrace the unknown, as it often leads to opportunities.

Secondly, keep an open mind. The world of entrepreneurship and marketing is constantly evolving, so it’s essential to remain adaptable and receptive to change. Be willing to challenge your assumptions and embrace new strategies and technologies as they emerge.

Thirdly, continue to learn and explore. Never stop seeking knowledge and expanding your skill set. Whether through formal education, mentorship, or hands-on experience, invest in your personal and professional growth. Stay updated on industry trends and best practices to remain competitive in a rapidly changing landscape.

Finally, remember that there are no right or wrong answers. Entrepreneurship and marketing are inherently creative endeavours, and what works for one person or company may not necessarily work for another. Trust your instincts, be willing to take calculated risks, and don’t be afraid to experiment and iterate until you find what works best for you and your business. At the end of the day, everyone who’s been successful has also failed many times before.

What are your future goals and aspirations for Tiny Planet Digital, and how do you envision the agency evolving in the coming years?

Looking ahead, we’re genuinely thrilled about the future of Tiny Planet Digital.

A major goal of ours is to collaborate with more impact-driven brands—those companies dedicated to making a real difference in their communities and beyond. While profitability is important, we’re passionate about partnering with organizations that prioritize their societal impact above all else.

Moreover, we’re committed to expanding our community involvement even further. While we’ve already made strides in this area, we’re eager to do more. Whether it’s supporting local initiatives, championing grassroots movements, or advocating for meaningful causes, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and make a bigger difference.

Of course, we’ll continue to focus on what’s been working well for us. We’ll maintain our dedication to delivering exceptional results for our clients, challenging conventional norms, and taking pride in every project we undertake. Additionally, I’m personally driven to continue making marketing more accessible and manageable for smaller businesses, empowering them to navigate their marketing efforts with greater autonomy.

Lastly, what excites you the most about the future of the marketing industry, and where do you see opportunities for growth and innovation?

What excites me the most about the future of the marketing industry is the integration of AI as a true partner in our work. AI technology is revolutionizing how we approach digital marketing, enabling us to work faster, more efficiently, and with fewer blind spots. It’s like having an incredibly smart teammate that expands our capacity and helps us deliver even better results for our clients.

As digital natives, my team and I are already up to date with the latest technology trends, which makes it easier for us to stay on top of things. We’re constantly exploring the possibilities of how AI, especially generative AI, can transform digital marketing strategies and tactics.

One of the most exciting aspects is that what’s working in marketing now might not necessarily work in the future. This presents a challenge but also an opportunity for growth and innovation. At Tiny Planet Digital, we thrive on tackling these challenges head-on, constantly evolving and adapting so that our clients don’t have to worry about keeping up with the latest trends. Instead, they can trust us to navigate the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing on their behalf.

Connect with our team of experts today!

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If you want to find out more about Tiny Planet Digital, make sure to check out our latest blog posts below!