Keeping up with technological advances isn’t necessarily a struggle; the information is readily available online and in print. However, it can be challenging to determine which of the latest and greatest might benefit your company. So we’ve begun asking various tech-savvy small businesses what works for them in hopes that their answers will help you grow and achieve success.
First up is Origo Branding Co., a marketing and communications firm located in downtown Columbus. For more than 25 years, Origo has helped companies build their brands through engaging design, solid messaging, and creative strategy. However, in more recent years it has evolved its capabilities in technology and interactive strategy to fit clients’ ever-changing needs.
“As a marketing firm, technology can act as an important tool for any company’s strategy,” says Alessandro Ciaffoncini, accounts director at Origo. “We utilize a wide array of interactive approaches to support our client’s objectives, but it is important to utilize the correct strategies depending on the audience and objectives.”
In fact, Ciaffoncini touches on that in response to our first query…
The Metropreneur: Are you using new technology in interesting or unique ways to support your business?
Alessandro Ciaffoncini: Currently, we have been utilizing social media strategies as effective channels for our business-to-business clients and community organizations. For example, we are helping launch an upcoming campaign for the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s biggest program, the Summer Reading Club. We have been partnering on this campaign for the past five years, but this year we had the opportunity to help utilize the avenues of Facebook and Twitter.
Recognizing these new leading sources of information for demographics of all ages, we created a four-part animated series promoting this year’s theme, “Be a Hero. Read.” Along with other channels of media, this series will be able to be utilized as a social media campaign to create awareness for the program and further their audience into the brand story.
Touchscreen technology is an up and coming technology for our firm. For example, a large-sized nutrition client was looking for a way to engage their consumers in their many product benefits at major sporting events.
What we did was develop an interactive kiosk for their convention booth, focused on helping consumers determine which nutritional product was right for them. Through creating this engaging user experience, the consumer felt educated to make the right decision when determining their product choice, thus adding validation to their purchase.
[M]: Have you recently purchased a tablet pc, smartphone, camera, or other device to help grow your business?
AC: At Origo, we utilize a variety of devices to grow our business. As a B-2-B company, we find value in using an iPad as an excellent presentation tool. Whether it is a one-on-one situation, or presenting to a room, the iPad offers a great way to demonstrate innovation and technology.
In addition to the iPad, we have been utilizing professional photographic equipment to address our clients’ photography needs. These are great tools for creating impactful images that add tremendous value to our clients’ many projects, such as motion graphics and web development.
One of our recent purchases was a Canon EOS 7D, which is a great camera that helps us not only shoot images at a very high resolution, but also allows us to capture full HD video at 60 frames per second. This makes the camera especially useful because it provides us with a wide array of tools to address any client request.
In addition to the camera, we have our own photographic studio set up in our creative space. This works as an advantage due to our ability to meet aggressive deadlines when it comes to our clients’ photography needs.
[M]: Have you recently downloaded, installed or setup any applications, software, or online tools to help grow your business?
AC: When it comes to web development, evaluation is key. As other companies are utilizing right now, we implement Google Analytics— a data collecting program that tracks and records, by day, the number of visits, traffic patterns, origins of visit, and different information that helps us make educated decisions when directing online strategy.
Once developed in customized script, we now utilize open-source content management systems such WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Originally built for blogging, these systems act as a foundation of script for websites. This changed the web development world by taking fewer hours to implement, as opposed to having to create code from scratch.
One of the largest benefits is that companies can be independent of third-party developers when updating and refreshing the content for their site. Also, with a whole world of plug-ins it is easy to add functionality such as e-commerce, calendar registration, social media implementation, and other innovative features.
[M]: Are you using technology in a way that your competitors or larger businesses aren’t able to use?
AC: Being a process-driven company, we are able to approach technology in a creative way, using it as an effective branding tool. Helping our clients come up with compelling and creative solutions through technology, we know how to maintain their brand story, while pushing them to be innovative, and even sometimes edgy. This has become a great way to highlight your competitive advantage, helping your brand stand out from the crowd.
[M]: Anything else you think we should know?
AC: The future is in mobile strategy. Mobile purchasing is on the rise and it doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. Consumers make decisions differently on their phone— it’s more impulsive and less threatening opposed to when you spend hours on your desktop researching a specific product. Whether it is mobile application, text-message marketing, or mobile sites, companies are going to be able to utilize mobile strategies to their advantage more and more.
A great example of this is Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey, who recently launched a new mobile payment device: Square. This device is a small attachment that allows your smart phone to record credit card payments on the spot. What this does is it offers small companies an easy option for transaction, rather than experiencing the long, extensive approval and payment process of going through the bank for a credit card setup. Now, whether you have a storefront or food cart, you can be in business in no time.