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The old adage goes that sex sells, and while we’ve consciously never gone down that road, it does help if the product or service you’re selling has some element of allure, beauty, desire, or sexiness in some way.

So what do you do when you’re tasked to handle the marketing, from A to Z, of a service that is very necessary, incredibly important, but frankly a little boring and definitely unsexy?

Worse still, what do you do when the client is your own brother?

STEP Enterprises Ltd is a team of consultants who guide businesses in achieving ISO certification in Quality Management, Environmental Management Occupational Health & Safety Information Security, and Food Safety, among other standards. Headed by my brother Stefan Debono, STEP offers a variety of services aimed at businesses who want to achieve ISO certification, or have obtained that already and want to maintain high standards of business processes.

That was the point of departure, and I think I already spot one or two of you yawning.

So how exactly do we put this out to market in an appealing way?

Throughout the years, we’ve developed some principles to help us do this for services and industries that are otherwise unglamourous.

Dumb it down

There is no need to go into endless detail in a social media post, blog article, or video. Your potential clients are going to be onboarded very well, once they have clicked and got in touch with you.

Our job as the marketing agency is to deliver the seed, the hook, and then get out of the way so that our client makes inroads with the lead we’ve generated for them.

Talk shop

You probably wouldn’t give a damn about ISO 9001 certification until you get to know a competitor of yours landed a prestigious tender, and the difference is they’re certified, you’re not.

I can think of no better way to turn someone from ‘casual observer’ to ‘intensely interested’ than showing them how their competition has benefited from what my client offers. That was our motivation in creating dedicated client pages for our ‘star clients’ on the Systemato website, and the same motivation came through on the STEP website too.

And we took it up a notch. Starting in 2021, we began filming client testimonial videos for STEP, selecting their top clients in diverse industries. If I can get my clients to say, on camera, all these awesome things about my company and the services we’ve provided, then I must be doing something right, right?

Be Human

And be human in all ways. From the language we use, to posting about a trusted deputy’s 8 year anniversary at STEP, to a recipe of figolli come Easter time – we did not want that STEP becomes another of those companies that speaks about themselves like a bank does, using turns of phrase such as “the company, seeking unparalleled growth, embarked upon an ambitious exercise of yadda yadda yadda.” STEP simply is not that kind of company, though they are professional, reliable, trusted by top clients – those were the things we focused on.

Keep in Touch

There’s no need to pester anyone, but an occasional and very well timed email blast to clients both past and present (and potential), always works wonders.

These people have, at worst some level of contact with you already, because you’ve emailed already, and at best, they’re already clients you serve in some way. A timely check-in has often resulted in an additional sale for STEP, and other clients of ours that use email marketing wisely.

STEP is a long-standing client of Systemato, having now trusted us with their content, social media, PPC and email marketing, web development, and video production for several years. We have a solid relationship with them, based on implicit trust, transparency, and years of experience working with each other. If that’s what you’re looking for in a digital marketing agency, say the word.

Mark Debono

Author Mark Debono

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