Marketing A Full-Service Signage Approach
As owner and “chief image builder” at Signarama Silver Spring (MD) and Signarama DC North (Washington), Stacey Brown understands that her role is about more than just making signs. Equipped with a rich marketing and project-development skill set – she holds a marketing degree and an MBA, and worked as a project manager at Mars Inc. for nearly two decades before joining the sign industry – Brown’s first step when working with a new client is to sit down with them.
“I really want to understand the business and what they’re trying to do to market and promote it – what is their message, who are they trying to reach, what other marketing are they doing – and then we figure out where we can help,” she said. At times, Brown’s services also include color-palette consultations and recommendations for ways to develop clients’ websites to align with the signage they select. Brown’s Signarama locations also specialize in handling permitting acquisition – something other sign companies often shy away from.
This full-service approach, Brown said, becomes her business’s own best marketing point. “In our own marketing, the message we try to get across is that we are consultants and project managers – how we do more than just make signs,” she said. Brown frequently uses targeted email and postal mail campaigns – as well as posts on Instagram and LinkedIn – to share her franchises’ expertise and to highlight recently completed projects. She feels LinkedIn is a great tool for reaching a targeted, professional network. Brown has also found success posting images of signage and wraps on Instagram, and she hopes to launch a Signarama Silver Spring Pinterest account soon.
As a franchisee, Brown has access to branded marketing materials provided by the Signarama corporate office – from social media content and email campaigns to mailers – and she uses them actively. “I take advantage of everything they provide. They offer a lot of marketing tools that are extremely helpful, but you do have to take the time to personalize them with your own message,” Brown said.
“We have a broad range of marketing materials that are consistently updated and shared with our franchise network,” said Kristin Gallucci, Signarama’s corporate director of marketing. “In recent months, much of our marketing efforts and that of our franchisees has shifted to focus more on digital strategies.” In the wake of COVID-19, for example, Brown’s two Signarama locations were able to pivot to offer contact-free, web-based ordering through a new online store platform provided by Signarama’s corporate office. Ninety percent of Brown’s online sales to date have been directly related to COVID-19, from signage promoting social distancing to new products including masks, shields and hand-sanitizer stations.
“The online store has been really effective in allowing us to show all of our capabilities – both large and small,” Brown said. And, it’s led to new business, including a contract with the city government in Takoma Park, MD, to produce thousands of wall signs promoting mask wearing and other COVID-19 safety precautions.