Put marketing on its head to create buzz
Part of any good marketing plan is to create a positive buzz in the industry that you are. When people talk about your marketing after days or months have past you know you've created something substantial. An agile company needs to quickly adapt to change. Our own marketing efforts need to change as when you target big publicly traded companies that seems to have endless supplies of cash you need to be creative in everything you do. Recently we have been adding clients from these large publicly traded companies and learning a lot from these clients. Each new client we bring on we always ask what made you switch and choose us over X, Y, and Z. We always ask what is their definition of success and failure as everyone has a different opinion on each. This knowledge helps us in giving recommendations for other companies that we have aligned with to further help drive traffic and increase their business.
Over the years it has been listening to where and how our clients find out about us that is making us evaluate where to focus and spend any marketing dollars. We have learned that are biggest asset is our "heart" and honesty as a company. We always give that extra mile of effort as we know it will further establish trust in our brand with our client. We have learned that our previous marketing didn't work for our client base. In the last four years we spent heavily on news and advertising to achieve four sales from those sources. We needed to change in our marketing to be more agile. We were doing too much "old school" and not enough with the new marketing techniques. We made the first change a year ago doing highly targeted paid ads on the search engines and social media. This has worked well in getting the word out to a select group that we were targeting.
We understand for many businesses money is their primary driver. We have all worked for companies that say they need to reach a goal of 10%, 20%, etc. increase "or else". We've chosen a different approach in that we have to continue to pay bills, increase pay, and grow. There are no quotas but we have targets we strive for. As the company reaches, or surpasses, these we add more paid days off, pay increases, etc. Increasing our revenue is a true priority to the company but not a core driving factor. We factor in our costs, negotiate lower rates every six months, and then add 5% to that as the company profit. That is our pricing model which we are told can't work but we are doing it because those that believe in us have helped us do it. Our clients invest in us and we invest in them. It is not a unique concept but one many have lost touch of. Our small business model is one of collaboration and working cohesively with our clients. We listen to their stories as they drive and inspire every solution we bring for them. It's their story that makes us want to go that extra mile for their flat monthly fee they pay us.
In August, we really started talking internally of how to achieve the needs we've heard. We knew to compete more at the national level we needed to increase our own marketing and branding of the company. We also wanted to drive more value to our existing clients. We looked at all the popular methods of print, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, radio, search engines, social media, other websites, and even television. None of this fit who we were as a company to market our unique set of solutions. We are nowhere near your typical company and if you read what I write you will quickly learn that. We believe in honesty first and foremost as we believe that will increase your sales more than anything else. When you are honest you will always do more for your clients as your heart is vested in them. We push the limits of everything and have what we feel is the perfect work/life balance. As I write this half the team is working at home, in a coffee shop, or who knows where.
We put on our creative digital hats on and said why not give something of value to the people that would glance over our ads or not see them at all. It's beyond a novel approach as initially it will start out s-l-o-w and with then slowly grow. The hope is it catches on, others realize it's importance, and we gain some virality out of this campaign. We chose to actually let those who are not our customers use our services to improve their business by promoting their unique story for free? Businesses can also write their own stories and we'll also promote those as well. It seems like a crazy plan and one we've never heard of anyone doing so it fits who we are as a company. When you ask a creative team to step up to a challenge this would be one great example of what the team does. Best part, as a business owner, it doesn't cost us any more money than we would be spending otherwise. We are just reallocating resources which helps turn our content writers into more experts in their field. It is our typical win-win situation. Not only does this turn our own marketing efforts completely on its head but creates that buzz and talk that any good marketing company would want to achieve.
We know that this endeavor could fall flat on its face but that is what being agile is all about. You come up with an idea, get behind it, try it, modify it, and keep iterating through the problem. We see this along with a few large projects we've been working on to truly change the tide in the national web design and marketing game in the coming year.
Make certain to ask us throughout the year on how it's going and let us know your thoughts on this exciting, crazy, and new idea.