SmartSpace is an Auckland manufacturer and distributor of commercial and office furniture, specialising in agile workspace solutions. Their diverse clients include corporations of all sizes, health and educational institutions, and retailers. Starting out in 2012 with a team of just four, SmartSpace now employs 30 people, including factory, installation, and admin staff. Director James Dodunski oversees it all: “I deal with grey matters in a grey world,” he jokes. “I do a whole heap of stuff and it changes all the time.”
Not looking to do digital marketing himself, however, James went to three different agencies before contracting the services of Creative Content two years ago. Creative Content writes all of SmartSpace’s web copy, blogs, case studies, digital newsletters, EDMs, and social media ads, adhering to a monthly programme with a focus on delivering leads via SEO strategy.
“What I like is that it’s Theresa you deal with,” he says. “It’s one person. She knows many different areas of digital marketing, whether it be cold emails, SEO, website advice, LinkedIn or MailChimp. She’s very well-rounded.”
Despite some initial reservations about the effectiveness of Theresa’s recommendations, he heeded her advice and stayed the course.
“In the first six months, I was on the verge of thinking, Oh, this is a load of porkies, you know? I just couldn’t see it working. I’m not a digital marketing person and I don’t have any advertising background, so I’m a real dinosaur with this stuff.”
But what James does understand is how important marketing is to his business: “You’ve got to be in front of people regularly, in their mind, on their email. They need reminders. With COVID-19, people can’t see one another as regularly, so digital marketing has become even more important.”
Sure enough, James’s patience and Theresa’s guidance paid off: “I remember Theresa saying, ‘Hang in there, trust me, keep chipping away,’ and then we turned that corner of, ‘Oh, shivers, I see how it works!’ It does take time.”
What results has SmartSpace seen? “What we get now with Google traffic versus what we used to get is a lot higher than when we started a couple of years back.” He estimates that, in the early days, they’d get one lead via Google per month. Now it’s more like half a dozen a week!
“Each product category that she’s written content for, those categories are definitely the ones we get Google inquiries about. And the ones that she hasn’t touched or looked at, we don’t really get Google inquiries about those; we just get our normal customers.”
He definitely sees the value Theresa has brought to the business, particularly in terms of boosting discoverability.
“SEO is her strength, what she’s really good at, what takes time, and what took me a while to learn how it works. In the first 12 months, I was a bit nervous because it costs money each month, but long-term it starts to happen.”
And happen it has! Overall website traffic is five times what it was before Theresa got involved.
“She’s helped us get the website looking better; she’s helped us with words on the website. I didn’t use to like words; I used to like all pictures!”
He describes the Creative Content team as, well, creative. “They’re good storytellers with creative articles and ideas.” They’re also “easy to talk to and work with.” Though he now has operations manager Pei Tian Leong collaborate with Theresa to manage the flow of marketing projects, until six months ago, he dealt with her directly. “I talk too much whereas PT gets things done!”
He also appreciates Theresa’s transparency, flexibility, and willingness to go the extra mile without upcharging for every little thing. “She’s very fair with her prices, what’s included and what’s not”—unlike other vendors he’s dealt with. “I’m very happy to pay the fair bills each month.”
SmartSpace began working with Creative Content in November 2018. Initially, we were tasked with rewriting their website, optimising it for SEO, and updating online product descriptions. We then began writing monthly blogs promoting SmartSpace’s products and services.
Back then, all leads were generated by word-of-mouth, referral traffic, or direct search (typing in the company name). Two years later, website traffic averages 1,500 visitors a month, and SmartSpace is organically ranking in the first three positions for more than 30 relevant keywords, which brings them about six new inquiries a week.
See SmartSpace’s latest blog posts.