As I write this we plan to launch our 29th year in February. When we started this company in 1985 there was no way we could predict the sweeping changes in pathways to the market, information management, product education, and the evolution of strategies to leverage new tools of our trade. Today, we’re swimming in social media, digital platforms and micro-metrics of infinite proportions. At OffWhite, our ability to focus messages on highly vertical markets, and watch the responses in real time, is an example of how technology has accelerated the sales cycle in nearly every market we serve.
The range of marketing tools at our disposal, including those from third parties and those we have created, specifically our Ed.it™2, platform, are wider than ever. Construction of a marketing program without a strong belief in its sustainability at the client level is a fool’s errand. For this reason, our Aud.it™ discovery process now includes a healthy and early effort to understand client infrastructure and internal proficiency.
At OffWhite our goals this year were to examine infrastructure and information architecture everywhere we looked. We made a conscious decision to be more proactive with our clients, and to take a more visible leadership position in both strategies and tactics toward mutually desired outcomes. We zeroed in on fundamentals. We looked at how websites and internal enterprise management systems could work together, from online uptake forms to data dumps into Salesforce.com and ACT. We developed better methods to exploit what our clients already own.
Marketing is noisy. Almost every day we see a proliferation of top ten lists, do’s and don’ts and best practice manuals about social media, SEO and responsive design, buzzwords and trends. It’s our job to stay in front of all of this, but to remain focused on the basic tenets of marketing strategies and marcom tactics in the B2B technology world. At the end of the day, it’s “information that sells”.
This year at OffWhite we invested in infrastructure and process improvements, including new computers and cloud-based creative suites and PR distribution licenses. We continued to expand the utility functions of Ed.it™2, our digital marketing platform that now gives us a unique ability and power to practice what we preach. We have nested Ed.it™2 into our integrated marketing program not as a product but as a service that enables many good things to happen, from website content management to highly sophisticated email dialogues, social media integration and enough analytics to make even the most cynical financial officer confess to the need for a robust, web-centric presence in the marketplace. We have embraced the concept of “responsive design” so that all of our websites will listen to device feedback to look great on a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. We have added to our staff and developed partnerships and alliances with some of the smartest people we know. Our internship program continues to offer us a firsthand look at the best and the brightest writers and creative minds in our area.
Finally, mindful of our own sustainability objectives, we’ve invested in an independent business development effort designed to match us with those who need us most, regardless of size. So no matter how hard we’re working to serve our clients during the week, someone will be reaching out to the world each day on our behalf asking “are we right for each other”. Without proactive growth, we cannot make the platform investments that offer so much value-added capability to those who have already chosen us and those who will.
For 2014, I will announce new organizational changes that pave the way for our own sustainability and so that continuity of service is assured well into the future. Here’s hoping for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.