In today’s business environment, running a successful operation is not just about finding the right product mix or even delivering world class customer service. It’s also about leveraging the right kind of marketing techniques in order to reach and build upon your target audience.
At no time is this more relevant than during the current pandemic. Over the past year, we’ve Zoomed to see family, get in touch with friends, order food, and attend class. We’ve gravitated to online platforms in record numbers to connect with brands we love, to shop, and to discover new products.
With the shifts to digital mediums accelerating, it is more important than ever to re-examine your marketing approach.Until recently, the uniform industry has relied on traditional marketing means to reach customers, but that strategy is quickly changing. Increasingly, more companies are shifting their marketing dollars to digital platforms as a way to garner attention and enhance customer experience.
Cobmex is one such business that has continued to focus on their digital marketing. The international knitwear manufacturer spent most of 2020 strengthening its brand by expanding its digital footprint, and hiring its first ever Marketing Coordinator at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pulse reached out to Cobmex Marketing Coordinator Natasha Hartono to learn more about the company’s push to create a cohesive, visible brand via digital marketing. What are some of the successes attributable to the strategy, and are there any pitfalls? Should others employ the technique? Excerpts from our phone conversation appear below:
You were hired when much of the world was first learning about Covid. What was that like?
It was a crazy time. I started in March, the same week the borders shut down. The entire staff worked from home and right away everything went digital. Communication, primarily face-to-face video calls became very important, especially for me because I was able to feel connected with the company even though I wasn’t on site.
Through all of this, Cobmex retools its brand. Tell us about it.
One of the first things we did was to reemphasize the needs to communicate a brand standard on our website and through our social media presence. Research suggests that customers are more likely to engage with and purchase from a brand they recognize for their consistent imaging. Visitors to the Cobmex website now have a more unified experience across the board, making it easier for customers and potential customers to recognize and engage with us. A 360° view of products and an online ordering system allow clients to see live inventory, giving them another option besides email or fax when they’re ordering. Frequent blog posts and relevant social media content across all platforms, also allows us to interact with and stay connected to our customers.
What metrics are you using to measure success?
We look at engagement rates, impressions on our website, clicks and clickthrough rates to determine if what we’re posting is actually relevant to what visitors are looking for. Much of the growth over the past year has been organic; there’s been an uptick in traffic to the website and an increase in followers across social media accounts. Through our online initiatives, we have obtained new clients that we are able to track through our website and customer web portal.
Let’s talk about some of those digital platforms. Which one fits best with the Cobmex model?
They are all important, but LinkedIn offers Cobmex the most potential. As a B2B company, most of our clients and partners interact on LinkedIn so it is important to maintain a presence and create consistent messaging. The great thing about LinkedIn is that we can target our specific audience and share content with exactly who we want to reach. That creates a conversation with the uniform industry and supports our messaging as a leader in the marketplace.
Seems like digital marketing is quickly becoming the new normal.
Yes, nowadays, when people are searching for something online, they want to find it right away and we want them to easily find us. We want our branding to be consistent, so that they immediately recognize and trust us.
Cobmex recently added a video to its marketing toolbox. How did the concept evolve?
We started talking about doing a video back in March. People are more inclined these days to watch a video than to read, so we used the medium to tell the Cobmex story, from its inception 22 years ago to the present. It was all done in-house, and tells the company’s history in a more engaging, personable way, connecting on a level that isn’t usually possible through traditional means. Recently, we invested in the production of a Corporate Video that captures what defines us as a company.
I assume you’ve received feedback?
Absolutely. We’ve received many positive responses from suppliers and customers. They love the look, and the video has certainly garnered interest. We’re really pleased with the results and are interested in producing more videos going forward.
All of this sounds expensive. Any advice for those pursuing similar marketing projects?
You don’t necessarily need a large budget to do digital marketing. You can start small by creating content, posting regularly, and reaching out to connections. From there you can add dollars to what is working. You can also use web banners and web ads, even digital magazines, just to make sure you’re in front of the reader/customer.
Any last words?
Digital marketing has allowed us to know our customers better, to build upon old relationships and establish new ones. We’ve been able to reach our target market with personalized messaging, and this builds trust and credibility. And when customers trust brands, they might just become customers for life.
You can learn more about Cobmex and its product line by visiting https://cobmex.com/