At Pepperit they believe that taking the time to understand people and their personal values and goals is one of the key approaches to a memorable customer experience. And we are so into it! Over the years of existence in the Australian marketing market, the company had built numerous valuable relationships and continues to grow. In this little Talk the Talk Nicole Shelly, co-founder of pepperit, has revealed some of their secrets to success. Let's dive in together!
Pepperit is a well-established brand in the advertising market. Can you tell us what your unique approach is? What do you stand for as a brand?
We stand for authenticity.
At pepperit, everything we do is grounded in our belief that advertising and marketing can and should be authentic. Whether it’s advertising, digital marketing, SEO, or web design, the best ideas and work come out of truly knowing the essence of a business and the people behind it. Conveying that essence as authentically as possible is what makes a business shine, and what helps our approach shine. Authentic marketing makes us happy. It’s why we exist; it’s as simple as that.
Pepperit operates in a highly competitive environment. How do you expect the environment to evolve? What trends and threads can affect the way you work in the next year and how are you getting ready for it?
Any digital marketing agency would tell you that the online and digital environments are becoming increasingly complex, diverse, and saturated. It’s more important than ever to hone in on an integrated approach to any marketing project and message. Consistency in terms of wording, branding, and creative assets is key and will continue to hold considerable weight as we see customers seek out brands and businesses across multiple platforms - existing and new. Staying human and true to a brand’s values and personality across all these platforms will be the key to not being swallowed up by the competition.
Increasing concerns over privacy and mechanisms to address privacy concerns will also see a renewed focus on results and reporting. In such a competitive environment, we stand out as an agency that is results-focused and prioritize ensuring that the client gets the most possible out of their marketing dollar.
Has the pandemic changed something in the way you communicate with your customers and also employees?
It has changed in the sense that Zooms and other mediums of online communication are now very much the norm. Otherwise, both our client and employee communications have kept the same core approach we’ve always valued - we keep it personal and authentic. Taking the time to understand people and their personal values and goals has proven valuable, wherever those conversations are had.
Getting new customers is a constant competition, especially in the marketing world. Did the pandemic change the way you acquire new customers?
As with the previous question, there is of course a greater focus on digital means of acquisition, however, that continues to be underpinned by tried-and-true notions of customer acquisition.
Customers want problems solved, and our approach to customer acquisition is to help businesses solve those problems. When looking for a marketing agency, what the customer wants isn’t for example just a great logo - they want time off their hands, to feel more confident in their brand, and to see their vision be taken seriously and to the next level. A continued focus on showcasing how we can deliver that value directly to clients combined with greater attention to digital lead generation and customer journeys is the key to our customer acquisition strategy.
Your brand stands for relationships that matter. How do you deal with difficult customers and turn them into your loyal clients? Can you tell us about a specific challenge you have faced?
As you’ve said, it’s about building those real relationships. While there aren’t any specifically difficult challenges with clients to think of, taking a genuine interest in our clients and their work has always served us well and is the foundation of all our client relationships. Our team becomes an extension of theirs, and in doing so we can build the key relationships and loyalty that make for a great client experience. It’s far easier to work with a team seamlessly when the foundation is trust and genuine connection.
Do you also help your customers to improve their customer service? What kind of tools do you recommend to use and why?
Great marketing without great customer service is just poor client care!
In the digital space, where most businesses have digital shopfronts, many often forget that social media is as much a customer service platform as a humble phone call. Responding in a timely manner to questions and comments across a business’ social media channels is just as important as answering a telephone call within 3 rings. We help our customers learn the ins and outs of their social media audience so that they could provide them the service they’d receive in-store or face-to-face.
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Recently, we have seen that as important as the marketing presentation is the communication to your employees. How do you handle your internal communication, such as employee engagement or feedback?
With such a big mission to push authenticity in our work, we’d be remiss not to champion that internally as well. Open communication, regular feedback sessions, and catch-ups are in place not just to ensure the free flow of internal communication, but also to ensure that time is dedicated to ensuring employees feel seen and heard.
We're dedicated to delivering exceptional work without taking ourselves too seriously, and that’s only done through a vibrant, fun, and well-supported team.
In a high competitive customer-oriented environment, you always need to come up with new and exciting approaches. What is your inspiration and what drives you forward?
With 90 years of combined experience in marketing, we know well enough that it’s not enough to be just good enough. We’re driven by a passion to go beyond meeting immediate needs and to design truly innovative campaigns that work now and into the future. There’s nothing more motivating than being able to create those memorable marketing moments for a brand that is not only true to who the brand is at the time but keeps customers coming back in the future. It’s a future-focused approach that’s grounded in the here and now.
Nicole Shelley is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at a full-service marketing agency, pepperit. As the key contact with all agency clients, customer service is a key aspect of her role. With not only marketing intellect, but business intellect, pepperit draws on years of experience and expertise to deliver the best marketing and customer service to its clients.