Megan O’Reilly had the sort of low-maintenance advertising tactics busy entrepreneurs envy. She co-founded Pitch Black Printing Co. in 2015 and feels”blessed” she and her business partner, Maurice Harold, managed to construct a customer base largely organically.
Subsequently 2020 came around, and they decided it was time for an update.
“Up till that point, events were the majority of our advertising strategy,” says O’Reilly. “We didn’t actually have a digital presence out of spotty social networking posts and a web shop.”
Events were successful because most of her clients are independent artists who dictate art prints and show their works at a small gallery within the shop.
While Pitch Black also provides commercial services (e.g., banners, business cards), the COVID-19 crisis hit both performers and companies pretty difficult, which–in turn–influenced Pitch Black Printing Co..
“When you are losing 60 percent of your earnings all [the] sudden, you will need to take a step back and figure out what to change to adapt to the current environment,” says O’Reilly.
Pitch Black accommodated by revamping their marketing strategy for your future, and invested in software to perform it. Let us take a look at how they made these electronic modifications and what you can apply to your own small business.
The way to use software to give your company a digital makeover
1. Prioritize marketing channels to accomplish key business goals
It always helps to deal with the range of your endeavors early on by narrowing in on a particular strategy and process.
By way of instance, O’Reilly and Harold recognized their marketing plan had an overhaul, but could not concentrate on every element of marketing at the same time. Consequently, they prioritized social websites based on what they understood about their target market.
“Being at a very visual business and coming out of the art history, social media is a simple way for us to associate with the types of audiences using our solutions,” O’Reilly said. “It is our most immediate priority as it’s a fast and trackable way for us to get out there and in front of people.”
O’Reilly said that they have been working on becoming better at communicating with clients.
“We’re great at letting people know about us, but not as good about reminding them that we are here,” O’Reilly said. “The contact has been more of a focus for us.”
While creating new leads and bringing new clients is a marketing target, another objective of promotion is building relationships with the clientele you currently have. Customer retention–especially amidst a crisis–can go a long way in helping companies like yours stay afloat.
2. Ditch spreadsheets for a technician heap of integrated systems that will save you time and effort
O’Reilly said they mostly relied on spreadsheets to monitor business operations. When the pandemic began, they realized that this approach was not going to help them develop.
“It is hard for this to be a sustainable growth model, once you’re two people working off a spreadsheet,” O’Reilly said. “So we began exploring [other options].”
They began by phoning other printing shop owners that they understood to find out what software they used. O’Reilly said they were surprised by the number of older, more established stores were still using spreadsheets. They connected with a store that advocated CoreBridge, a business management software application.
“We began digging into that more and realized it would allow us a good deal more opportunity for sustainable growth,” O’Reilly said.
It may take time to discover the ideal solution for your company, and you might need help. Make sure that the software platform provides the features you want and can be tailored to your company and industry. User testimonials can help your parse through your options and get a better sense of just how simple unique platforms would be to learn and embrace.
3. Consult with specialists to keep developing your marketing strategy over time with new tools and techniques
Pitch Black Printing Co. traditionally relied on in-person gallery occasions to encourage brand awareness, get people in the door, and–consequently –assist local artists market their work. The pandemic made gallery events impossible.
“[The pandemic] had a fairly severe effect on our sales and on the gallery, which is not our main moneymaker but [is] the most satisfying part of what we do,” O’Reilly said. “It was really rough not being able to host receptions for artists and let them get their work out.”
Because of this, they decided it was time to digitize their advertising strategy, not just for their brand but also the artists they support. And you can not digitize a marketing plan without applications. To help them get started, they hired a consultant to train them on SEO, social networking, and newsletters.
Nowadays, O’Reilly says they use a variety of tools:
- SEMrush, a competitive intelligence program tool, helps them gain insight into what their opponents are doing and evaluate new markets.
- Google Analytics, a web analytics program offering, enables them to monitor performance indicators like website traffic and time spent on webpage.
- Planoly, a social networking marketing platform, helps them plan and schedule social networking articles.
- Mailchimp, an email marketing program system, helps them manage and preserve their newsletter.
Needless to say, this did not all happen overnight, and O’Reilly says they are still figuring out how all the pieces fit together.
It takes time to create the ideal advertising tech stack for your organization, but you must start somewhere.Browse software options or ask others for recommendations. If you are still feeling lost, think about linking with one of ConnectPOS’s software experts that will assist you begin on your software purchasing journey.
Sometimes, taking a step back to reflect can allow you to leap ahead and prepare for what’s next
O’Reilly and Harold could not have predicted that a pandemic could stop nearly all surgeries, but O’Reilly says it is now one of these things every small-business operator will add it to their tool bag of what-ifs.
“Things can blindside you, which can be challenging when your complete financial support system is constructed from yourself,” O’Reilly said. “You have a whole lot more online and a lot fewer choices.”
Pitch Black Printing Co. chose to invest in applications throughout the crisis, not because they wanted it immediately but because they wanted to be prepared for when company picked back up. Sometimes, taking a step back to assess the situation lets you identify what’s going to help you develop later.