Through the looking glass

Starting a new job is always nerve-wracking, particularly when you’re an industry outsider, explains Ellie Saunders, Synseal’s new marketing and communications manager.

The first few weeks in a new job offer you a valuable, unique viewpoint on a company’s marketing activity while you face the challenge of acquiring the knowledge you need to survive.

But it’s been a lot easier to settle in here than the experiences I’ve had in other sectors. The majority of my new colleagues have forged their careers in glazing and I’ve never seen such real passion for the quality of our products and services, which really rubs off. It’s easy to see why people stay in the industry – or why the few who leave very quickly return.

I’ve joined Synseal Group to bring our PR and communications function fully in-house. From working in the charity sector, where agency fees are usually well beyond affordable, I’ve been amazed by the number of people who have been surprised by this decision.

For me, it’s an obvious one. Based at the heart of our headquarters in Nottinghamshire, our PR and marketing team is best placed to work directly with our product innovators to bring the very latest news straight to our customers.

As the parameters of B2B sales and marketing are expanding, we have to be prepared to step outside our comfort zones and have meaningful and timely conversations not only with our customers but with their customers too.

This means having the physical in-house manpower to manage a multitude of social media accounts and digital platforms on a daily basis, both in and out of the office, to ensure you’re able to mitigate any damage of negative feedback and spread positive news quickly.

No-one will ever care as much about the reputation of your company than the person you employ to write your comms, and you’ll need to trust them to manage your reputation effectively. Social media can generate powerful brand recognition, but we’re all vulnerable to the havoc a single user can cause across your digital channels while waiting for a question or complaint to be acknowledged.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the implementation of social media across the industry, and impressed with the number of installers out there snapping their projects and putting them straight online, acting as valuable brand champions for both fabricators and systems houses.

But the biggest surprise I’ve encountered so far is the impact LinkedIn has had on our social media analytics. I’ve always considered it the little sister to Twitter, which has always been my go-to site for industry conversations. Within my first month at Synseal Group we achieved an increase of almost 14K impressions on our LinkedIn account, which has also seen a rapid incline of followers.

It’s also the fastest way for our biggest marketing asset – your employees – to share the latest product news directly with their networks.

But despite an impressive adoption of social media, I’m somewhat disappointed that the digital revolution is not taking place as quickly as I have seen in other sectors. I’ve seen some excellent one-off apps like bespoke door makers but haven’t seen many clean, responsive websites, despite the fact more consumers are now using mobile as their preferred device.

Websites remain the number one marketing resource for all businesses, and worth investing a lot of time and money to get right. It’s the first place prospective customers turn to, and a useful tool for current customers to find information and contact details.

So, I’m really excited that Synseal Group has made this jump and will be launching a brand new trade website very soon – I hope others will be following suit.

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