What is your overall marketing philosophy and what niche of marketing do you specialize in?
At FFM, we specialize in content marketing – I always like to say this is the “least sleazy, least old-car-salesmen type of marketing” around today. Content marketing is all about how the individual pieces of the puzzle fit together to make a cohesive strategy – you need an email list with opt-in offer, a blog that is populated continuously, and a solid social media presence to direct people with a specific call to action. We place a heavy focus on the visuals of branding and professional photography, as well as engaging infographics and detailed, helpful article writing from our collaborative copywriter – in other words: the content!
How has your strategy evolved since beginning five years ago?
I think the biggest, most profound change I’ve made to FFM is to curate a network of collaborators and professionals from the jump, which has naturally grown in size throughout time. If we can’t offer something, we’ll have a name for someone that can. In addition to this, we have a variety of professionals in different specialty areas who work closely with us and offer collaborative packages – photographers, copywriters, SEO and paid ads specialists, and graphic designers. This has released the burden from us when we aren’t able to fulfill a client’s needs, and also expand our offerings beyond what our immediate team can perform, making it a win-win for both agencies.
What do you think sets you apart from the other marketing companies in your area or in general?
Bouncing off of the content marketing focus I mentioned above: Many marketing agencies execute their practices by way of traditional marketing which is more sales-based and you’re likely to hear words like “campaign” or “media blitz” when working with them – we focus on the long game through quality content that will attract exactly the right folks and build loyalty, as opposed to slapping some dollars behind Google AdWords and paid social media ads that will only work for a limited amount of time. I think this is a common differentiator for us not just in our area, but everywhere. We are also a close-knit, small team, so our clients receive a very collaborative experience.
Do you notice any patterns in the types of clients you serve? Do you focus more in the B2B or B2C sector?
We are all over the place – and we love that about the biz! I admire so many of the unique traits of B2B and B2C and feel like my job would be far less exciting if I honed in on one specific type of business or niche, although I do have my favorites including travel, hospitality and service-based individual businesses. I have gathered a lot of random knowledge about everything from HVAC to specialty coffee, project management to essential oils! If I had to pick: B2C, but both bring me so much joy.
Looking at SunSpin’s marketing, how do you believe it differs from yours?
Obviously, you all being able to operate with an in-house team is a big difference – all of my gals work from home independently, so it’s a different structure from the get go, and I think having people in-house works to your advantage in many ways! I also believe you are more comprehensive in the types of services you offer, especially with your printing services, so you are more of a one-stop-shop than a smaller, specialty boutique agency.
I see similarities in us when it comes to the way we approach our marketing, like our social media presence and the graphics we share, and the blog posts we publish to generate the know-like-trust factor with our audience! Overall I see us both having a strong dedication to cultivating content.
SunSpin is a business with multiple employees who report to higher ups when needed. How is FFM's relationship with employees or independent contractors, and what is it like being the owner as opposed to an employee?
Obviously them being independent means they don’t work from the office, so not being able to walk down the hall and ask a team member a question is a deficit for FFM, but it also encourages them to feel empowered in their own work and self-motivation. I personally prefer working from home and setting my own hours, so even I don’t choose to have an office location although I have had a few in the past – it just never really works out for me.
I think being the business owner who runs the show is vastly different from being an employee – you have to be everything, not just the Director of Marketing – you have to be HR, accounting/bookkeeping, you name it! It’s exhausting, but I wouldn’t do anything else.