Kolab and Texas Joe’s: Why it pays to be bold in your first approach
It’s interesting to consider that marketing agencies – who trade in creativity – are often very reserved in their initial approach to a prospective client. In striving to create a great first impression, agencies often err on the side of caution by presenting a serious, professional, business-like persona. This is completely understandable, perhaps, but in the context of an organisation promoting its ‘attention-grabbing’ capabilities, such a conservative approach seems like a missed opportunity.
Kolab Digital's strategic marketing director Debbie Harvey.
That was the thinking of our client relationship director Jacob when he proactively contacted Joe Walters, the larger than life creator of ‘Texas Joe’s’ beef jerky, after seeing Joe’s appearance on the TV show Dragon’s Den.
Taking his lead from Joe’s flamboyant cowboy persona, Jacob sent him this introductory email:
Howdy, I’m Chief Jacob of the Kolab Digital tribe. By night we hunt Buffalo on the Great Plains, and by day we design and build awesome websites, run award winning social campaigns and develop online marketing strategies.
We’re also very big fans of Beef Jerky, and after seeing your Sheriff Joe on Dragon’s Den, our creative juices (and taste buds) started flowing. We’re thinking we design and build you cowboys a kick-ass new website.
We know you do have a pretty cool website already but we’re confident we could take it up a notch or two for you. For example, making the site fully mobile responsive and adding some great features to the online shop. Our award-winning design team has already starting putting together some great concepts, which we’d love to share with you….
Jacob’s cheeky approach grabbed Joe’s attention and drew the following reply:
How Mighty Warrior Jacob,
This is Joe. I am not a Sheriff. I am a Jerky Ranger.
Your offer is a kind one. We are a nation of traders and this deal appeals to us greatly. We have been seeking ways to improve upon our online presence and you may have seen smoke signals coming from Swiss Cottage. We are keen for this pow wow to take place and to discuss many things with you…
And the rest is history. Our initial meeting took place, appropriately enough, at high noon, followed by a series of project meetings, during which a serious amount of jerky was consumed!
The bold thinking at the introduction stage laid the ground work and set the scene for an open, free-flowing and highly productive dialogue between client and agency, leading to the creation of a unique brand awareness site. By instantly flagging-up our proactive approach and ability to stand out from the crowd, Jacob won over Joe and his team and quickly positioned Kolab as genuine creative collaborators with the Texas Joe’s brand.
Joe has been heavily involved in the brand’s design since its creation, so we worked closely with him through the re-design process and ultimately retained the existing brand colours to create a sense of continuity with what had come before. Joe’s individual style also informed the site’s development: we avoided use of page templates to ensure that each page had a unique, relevant feel and an appropriate hook to engage users.
Given that it was Joe’s personality that attracted us to the brand in the first place, we also dedicated a section of the site to the man himself, including links to Joe’s radio show podcasts. Kolab now has an ongoing relationship with the Texas Joe’s brand and will continue to develop the digital offering of this exciting business. Moving forward, we’ll continue to make additions and improvements to the site.
Ultimately, Jacob’s unique approach to Joe has created a professional relationship that has paid dividends for agency and client alike. So the next time you plan to proactively approach a prospective client for the first time, spend some time considering how to make that initial contact truly memorable.
Debbie Harvey is strategic marketing director at Kolab Digital.
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