The current situation of the world has brought the uncertainty for businesses and many businesses are fighting to survive. Thus, a strong and an effective marketing strategy becomes of utmost importance for their recovery. Realizing the potential of digital marketing to make meaningful connections, an avid marketer, Jillian Weston, pivoted into online marketing arena. Jillian is the Owner and Founder of Jillian’s Circus, a digital marketing company which creates an online marketing strategy based on industry, target market, goals and budget. She is helping businesses by providing series of strategic online marketing solutions to achieve success even in coronavirus crisis.
Jillian asserts, “As the owner and founder of Jillian’s Circus, it is my job to make sure our client and employee’s professional needs are met, and the company grows and runs at a steady, healthy pace.”
Learn from Everything and Everyone
Jillian believes that everyone she meets impact her in some way, shapes, or forms, but there were few defining experiences that led her to where she is today. First was when she started as a top sales agent in vector marketing, which gave her insight into a sales job. Then becoming the marketing director for Ramada Rockville Centre where she was introduced to digital marketing for a business and encouraged to start her own, was another inspiring experience
After that, renting her first office- a 9×12 foot space made her business real, and going through Sandler Training gave her the tools to effectively communicate to small business owners.
Jillian also realized the mistakes that she made, but she considered them as a lesson. For instance, she made a mistake of over-staffing and raising her overhead to a point where it almost put her out of business in 2019. This forced her to learn how to properly price her service and negotiate with vendors. Later on, she also took CrestCom Leadership classes with Michele Rebetti who taught her how to be a better manager. It is because of all this experiences and learnings, Jillian could reach to where she is today.
The one book that really had an impact on Jillian was “The 5 Languages of Love by Gary Chapman.” It’s an easy read that helps in understanding every person in the world a little better.
Understanding Clients’ Needs
It is quite evident that each client has their own company culture, set of goals, target market, and way in which they want to be perceived. As a digital marketing company, the biggest challenge for Jillian’s Circus is managing brands in many different industries and learning what content and messaging works for each of them. “We must make sure their marketing reflects the company, while speaking to the people who are going to buy from them,” she says. Most of the times, she and her team have a good idea based on their experience, but often there is a period of trial and error before they fully understand what their customer’s audience likes best and wants to interact with.
Changing Aspects of Marketing during Pandemic
In the opinion of Jillian, the biggest impact COVID-19 had on the marketing industry was pushing entrepreneurs into digital marketing and online selling. Without tradeshows, networking events, fundraising events, promotional events, etc. there has been a sharp decline in the print marketing industry. Television and Radio are still relevant but cost prohibitive for most small business owners. Digital Marketing is cost effective and opens the door to selling products and services across the country and the world.
Jillian mentions that when people who sold products were forced to leave their physical locations, they were no longer pigeonholed into one location. They are able to close a physical location, and spend a fraction of the money they spent on rent, utilities, employees, etc. on creating a website, and driving traffic to that website, so they could make money while they slept. Moreover, when people who provided a service were forced to stay home, they found ways to service their clients virtually. These include video chat, online events, online ordering, registrations, sign-ups, and booking appointments. This involved creating or upgrading their website and driving traffic to it. Still a small cost compared to other forms of marketing.
Jillian asserts, “If a business could not figure out how to transition to the digital space, unfortunately, they either closed or have had to hang on by a thread until everything opens again.”.
Positivity Fasters the Growth
A positive work culture is essential to the success of the business. It starts with positive management that asks questions instead of accusing or coming to conclusions before discussion. Jillian asserts “If you have positive management, the next step is hiring positive people. There are people who will never be happy; get rid of them. One rotten apple can poison the bunch. A negative person will take up your time and energy; and the time and energy of everyone else in the room. Meanwhile, a positive person can bring up the whole team. If you have a positive team, then you need to encourage them with continuous growth and education. Never stop listening to their feedback, providing education, manageable challenges, achievable goals, etc.”