Over the past 25 years in France, Canada, then later in Australia, promotions and marketing projects for our company seemed to flow from client to client through references, word of mouth and repeat business. When I did marketing, it was through networking with business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and other strategically chosen associations. I am a likable character and a talented networker in person. I have long-learned to network effectively by actively listening to the people you are conversing to gain insight to what services they need. I can work a room.
The COVID season brought me five associated lockdowns, curfews and restrictions in two countries and a re-location from Australia back to France after being away for 20 years. Thankfully, a small network of past clients, friends, and family continually introduces me to new people in different circles. I’m not moaning about the COVID crisis or my circumstances. I couldn’t wish to be in a better location right now; I am surrounded by people I love and know of many who are in much worse predicaments. It’s important to note that I have been working remotely for the better part of 20 years. I am pointing out that without having as much of a past local reputation to rely on as I did in Canada or Australia, I found it hard to precisely articulate what we do at Arore Communications. Especially when clumsily explaining that I own a small communications company in a second language. The only thing worse was having somebody trying to explain it for you. If the people closest to you don’t clearly understand what you do, there is a problem.
Over the years, whenever asked what I do for a living, I consistently vaguely replied that I have a small marketing and communications company. Depending on which period you would ask me over the past twelve years, I would supplement my routine answer with “specializing in online marketing”, “website development”, or “website programming”. As the years advanced and after taking dozens of courses and reading hundreds of books on project management, leadership, strategic planning, and negotiation, I would further add “and business strategy, marketing strategy, project management and project management training” to my elevator speech. The evolution of the company and services offered makes perfect sense to me, but all this, while calling my organization a simple communications company, is somewhat confusing. The irony isn’t lost on me, and this is clearly a case where the shoemaker always has the worst shoes.
It's time for me to get the story straight.
I decided that I needed to do some communications work for my own communications company. It is healthy for a company to evolve and refine what they do well while eliminating under-utilized activities. The key is to communicate those changes in a manner that feels perfectly logical to your current and future clients. The message should always be concise, congruent and confident.
Here is the story of Arore Communications and why we offer the services we do.
Following the Global Financial Real-estate Crisis in 2009, after shuttering my monthly print magazine in Vancouver, I formed Arore Communications. Initially discouraged by the print media industry, I focused on website development and online marketing. As the years rolled out, my insatiable passion for expansion led to the hiring of several programmers. My experience going back to the early 90s as an event decorator through magazine publishing in the 2000s had climatized me to managing large teams with extreme, inflexible deadlines. Soon, we became as busy subcontracting website programming services to graphic designers as we were for our own website development clients.
After a few years of operation and the delivery of hundreds of websites, media buys or printed materials for companies in various sectors and sizes, I noticed that some smaller and medium-sized companies would stall or become complacent after completing the specific project. Although delighted with our services, it appeared as though the marketing initiative was the main objective. From the clients’ point of view, once we completed the project and the work was done, there was no regard for the next step; there was nothing left to do but wait for the results.
Although we enjoyed selling our services to create marketing materials and websites from a financial perspective, I would sometimes be dismayed and disappointed our marketing efforts were not fully optimized and used to the fullest.
The Solution was always there.
In response to this challenge, over time, I added three services that I had been applying to my own companies for the past 20 years.
These key services provide the Why, How, by Who, and When factor to What services we are about to offer.
WHY – WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
Why speaks to the company’s medium to the long-term vision and what they want to achieve.
HOW – HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS?
By creating a plan, we list actionable items or tasks that work toward the overall goal.
WHO – WHO IS GOING TO DO IT?
In the overall plan, who will complete the individual tasks necessary to achieve the objectives?
WHEN – WHEN WILL IT BE DONE?
Adding due dates and expectations to the equations creates accountability and allows us to determine what tasks hold us up.
Implementing objectives, timelines, milestones, and quantifiable expectations to the equation as part of a detailed plan gave reason to the marketing initiatives we offered and provided a framework moving forward. This process reduced time and money otherwise spent on less fruitful, distracting make-work activities or random marketing purchases from our client’s perspective. When solicited with unnecessary service proposals or superfluous activities presented themselves Clients now ask themselves “Is this going to help us reach our objectives quicker?” or “Do we need to be doing this right now?”. For us, the most exciting aspect is that our clients keep moving forward, less distracted and focussed on the big picture.
Unexpected Welcomed Consequences
When we extended this strategy from our own company to our clients, more and more started asking more meaningful questions like “How can we increase our sales by 25%”, “How can we open another store?”, “How can we sell our product online?” “How can we make more money?” or “I want to sell my company.” rather than the mundane, “How much is a website?”
These progressive questions light a fire under our asses and get us out of bed at 5 am. Our process is simple and wholly scalable, and it doesn’t matter the size of the enterprise. We work with organizations of all sizes ranging from individuals to independent retailers to companies serving an international clientele. In short, we work with companies that *want to grow.
If someone were to ask me now, what we do for a living, the response would be easy: