Marketing Consultant and founder of Optimise Marketing, Sharon Ginnetty, decided to open her own business 8 years ago after working in the field for 16 years prior to establishing her own company. With a broad range of experience in national and international roles across a variety of sectors, Sharon uses a variety of digital tools to assist other businesses in implementing their marketing plans. She notes that 2020 has been a big challenge and yet one that also proved to be the most rewarding since she began Optimise Marketing in 2013.
“One positive aspect of 2020 was that it propelled the adoption of digital routes to market at a much faster pace. In some ways the total upheaval threw the rulebook out and businesses tested and tried techniques that they may have been more cautious about pursuing in the past. Those who were quick to accept change and adapt to reaching their customer by digital means, discovered that they could get closer to their customer, get real-time feedback and adjust the tone of their communications accordingly. This enabled them to follow through to increased online sales.
During the first week of March 2020, I was involved with National Enterprise Week, delivering a number of talks on Digital Marketing for the Carlow and Kildare Local Enterprise Offices. At the time, I had some great clients in the hospitality sector with lots of exciting projects in the pipeline. Then in less than a week, everything was put on-hold. This didn’t last long thankfully and I was suddenly thrust into assisting as many companies as possible to help them transition to online trading and/or to further develop their range of products and services online.
2020 was a challenging year in so many ways, but for my business it was also the year my client list grew beyond compare. I am so proud of the businesses that I worked with who made tough decisions early on, protected their businesses, “pivoted” and now have strong market offerings for the times ahead. I’m proud to have helped so many businesses discover and benefit from online sales during a time of crisis. I’m proud of the way Irish people got behind the #shoplocal #buylocalonline #madelocal campaigns which ensured so many businesses survived and even thrived in 2020. But it’s important to understand that marketing is not a once off activity. It should be an integral part of your business and consistency is key.
Running a business is a constant learning process. If I was to offer any advice, I’d say: get support; join networks; ask for help; build a support network for yourself. Peer to peer learning is superb. My brother-in-law once joked that the first 10 years are the hardest! I’d have to concur! If 2020 has taught us anything it is the importance of being flexible and embracing change which is crucial to our survival and success. Being able to adapt to changing market conditions is vital.”