"Working with Chief Outsiders is like recharging your company's batteries. It helped us to step back, look at things and then go forward with renewed initiative."
-- Mary Ellen Harden, President, Wall Street Greetings
Wall Street Greetings supplies customized, high quality greeting cards, partnering with financial and business professionals to build deeper relationships with clients. Seeking to develop a stronger online presence on a short timeline, President, Mary Ellen Harden turned to Chief Outsiders Partner and CMO, Sean Klunder. Drawing upon Klunder’s deep digital marketing expertise, the company quickly developed a detailed digital marketing plan and social media strategy. Implementing the plan for the coming holiday season, Harden projects 10% revenue growth for the second half of the year.
Competitive Digital Marketplace
Employees of Wall Street Greetings (WSG) enjoy a Kentucky small business environment. Yet, the company competes nationally in a primarily digital marketplace. Over 25 years, it had carved out a niche with financial and business professionals, positioning the product as a tool to help them deepen relationships with clients.
While traditional marketing efforts had served them well, President, Mary Ellen Harden, sought an enhanced web presence. “We are an online company,” she stated, “And, we were in need of determining how to expand into new markets and increase market share in our current market. A stronger online presence is becoming more and more important to compete.”
Limited Time and Resources
Recognizing multiple growth opportunities, Harden and her executive team hoped to focus their efforts and refine the company’s strategy with greater certainty.
“For us, the digital marketplace was an unknown,” she related. “And, how would we know that the dollars we invested would pay off?”
In the middle of a sales and/or marketing hire, with the company’s busy season approaching and a web site launch date just weeks away, WSG sought a quick solution. Limited resources dictated that it be both targeted and cost-effective.
The company considered an internal project or working with local partners on search engine optimization, but those options proved limiting. As Harden explains, “We would have lost all planning as far as social media.”
Affordable and Timely
While pursuing the new hire, Harden came across an online ad for Chief Outsiders, engaging Partner and CMO, Sean Klunder in May, 2016.
"Sean has a breadth of knowledge and is very professional," she stated. "We were impressed with the resources and tools that he could bring to us."
Klunder proposed an affordable engagement plan to fit WSG’s budget and schedule.
“They were able to work with us and say, ‘OK, how can we escalate this to fit within a shorter period?’” Harden explained.
Through multiple conference calls and online collaboration, Klunder quickly applied his digital marketing expertise and network of resources to research and prepare a synopsis of the company’s current position and a set of recommendations. The plans developed gave Harden and her team the assurance they sought to move forward.
“His reporting was in depth,” Harden explained. “You could tell that he had done a lot of the work that we didn’t have the tools for or the time to do.”
Initially, Klunder compiled a digital marketing audit of Wall Street Greetings and 14 competitors.
“The research was extensive,” stated Harden. “He put us next to the competition and showed us where we were missing out on opportunities to get in front of potential buyers.”
The competitive analysis identified five categories of positioning,
- Product variety,
- Competitive pricing and
- High Quality,
and examined the effectiveness of the social media strategies of companies with a strong online presence.
“He helped us see what our competitors are doing and, with a little bit of spin, how that could increase our ROI.”
Busy Season Digital Strategy
With the analysis in hand, Klunder and the Wall Street Greetings team put together a digital plan for the coming holiday season. The social media strategy centered on using visual media, backlinks, and informative and engaging content to drive traffic to the new website.
Content and messaging would support the company’s position of helping financial professionals build relationships, expressed as follows:
Wall Street Greetings understands your clients and offers greeting cards that connect emotionally to deepen client relations for long-term success. Wall Street Greetings helps create long lasting client relationships by “standing out”, “being memorable”, and “creating the right impression”.
In just a few weeks, Harden had a plan that everyone in the company could understand and follow.
“Having the strategy in front of us in a concise statement and plan, and being able to share that with the team is very powerful,” she stated.
Digital Marketing Plan Key Elements:
- Content Distribution Strategy – Directions for using LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter to direct traffic to the website.
- Social Media Strategy – Guidelines for content to support positioning, company culture, product and offer announcements, visual media and backlinks.
- Content Ideas – Building client relationships, content themes to help clients improve digital marketing, presenting WSG company culture.
- Search and Display Advertising - Investment and keyword recommendations.
- Social Media Content Schedule.
- Traditional Marketing - Integration recommendations.
Summarizing the plan, Klunder stated, “This digital marketing plan provides analysis and tactical execution initiatives designed to increase revenue by using digital strategies to increase traffic to the Wall Street Greetings website and through its’ ecommerce engine.”
The collaboration wrapped up in July, having progressed smoothly and efficiently. “Sean is friendly, helpful and professional,” Harden related. “Everything was on time, and it was a pleasure to work with him.”
10% Revenue Growth
Klunder’s guidance helped WSG narrow its focus and solidify its digital marketing strategy. With a specific digital marketing plan in place, the company is poised for growth. Already into the third quarter, the company projects 10% growth for 2016.
“We should be able to show much bigger results for this year with just a little bit of increased spending,” related Harden. “As we compete and grow, it helps me grow personally, grow the team and the business.”
Increased Brand Loyalty
Working with Chief Outsiders, Harden and her team have developed a stronger brand. Clarifying the brand strategy sets Wall Street Greetings apart and gives them a competitive edge in the marketplace.
“Brand loyalty is going to increase,” predicts Harden. “Through his research and getting to know our company, Sean helped us identify ways to differentiate our product and sales team to win new customers, as well as keep those that have been with us for over 10 years.”
Confidence in Digital Spend
Harden considers the Chief Outsiders engagement a great success and will continue to seek input from Klunder as needed.
“It’s definitely a good investment for our company and our team to have someone outside the organization with Sean’s experience look in to show us where we’re missing opportunities,” concluded Harden. “His knowledge on the subject is very in depth. It gave us confidence in where to spend digitally.”