In 2011, new opportunities for retail packaging systems were emerging as ecommerce exploded. Sharp Packaging Systems recognized they needed to make some big changes to keep pace in an increasingly digital world. Its website was outdated, and traditional advertising methods were proving less effective.
"Winsby approached us with analytics on what the market needed and how to spend in the correct vertical markets to increase our brand awareness and maintain a satisfied customer level," said Micah McDowell, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Sharp Packaging Systems.
The relationship between the two companies grew from an initial research project to Winsby's being appointed as the company's agency. But to McDowell, it's much more than a typical agency-client relationship. Winsby is responsible for marketing strategy, branding, website development, email marketing, advertising, collateral and analytics (supplying reports on 12-month rolling revenue, active accounts, and invoices).
"We really look at them as our marketing department. Winsby is not just an extension of our department," said McDowell. Prior to hiring Winsby, all marketing was handled internally. "We looked at our marketing spend and how much it would cost to have a director of marketing or an internal group. We saw the financial benefit of working with a group like Winsby."
McDowell believes the biggest challenge for Sharp Packaging Systems over the past five years has been transitioning from print to digital. Winsby helped the company develop new videos for their website as well as web-based and app-based programs. Finding expertise in online marketing was extremely valuable to the company.
"A lot of our success is due to brand awareness. Marketing has everything to do with brand awareness and Winsby plays a critical role in growing our brand awareness in vertical markets," said McDowell.
"Weekly conference calls keep the agency in constant touch with Sharp Packaging's sales and marketing team, allowing for ongoing evaluation of the marketing spend and adjustments to changing markets. "We've been able to move from one strategy to the next, expanding our customer base and markets," said McDowell.
The 12-person sales team relies on Winsby for feedback, and vice-versa. Winsby conducts ongoing customer satisfaction surveys to help identify issues and address them promptly. "They have a strong relationship with the sales team," reported McDowell.
Winsby takes pride in the proactive way they service the client. "Companies appreciate that we plan ahead and offer information they need to make decisions," explained Account Manager Ryan Lorance. "Whatever they need us to do, we do—just like an effective internal marketing department would."
McDowell values his accessibility to the Winsby team. "We've been working with them for five years. I know I can call them at any time and get a response. They do a fantastic job." If you need more than what a typical agency can deliver, consider Winsby.