Executive InterviewsLatest

Meet Alicia Brothers – Small Business Digital Marketing During COVID-19

Today we have selected Alicia To to take her interview. She is the CEO of Connecticut Coast Media.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

We have found that small businesses need digital marketing more than ever during COVID-19 since it is now the primary means to reach the public. At the same time, small businesses are struggling which makes it difficult for
them to afford an outside digital marketing agency.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company How does your company innovates?

I actually graduated from law school and passed the Bar Exam with the intent of a career in law. As happens with many, life provided a different path. I became involved with marketing about a decade ago, and my passion for the
career grew as I gained experience. This culminated in late 2019 when I founded Connecticut Coast Media with my husband, who was a project manager in the nuclear power industry for over 15 years. We pride ourselves on being
a small business that provides a personally invested experience for our clients. We understand the hardships that many other small businesses are going through during COVID-19, and our drive is to increase their business
to help them through these difficult times. We achieve this by constantly re-investing our time to stay on the leading edge of digital marketing trends, whether it be digital advertising, social media, SEO, website, or graphic and video design, we are constantly evolving to best fit the needs of each of our clients.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?

The primary issue is that many potential clients that need help with digital marketing cannot afford it due to their decreased profits over the course of the past year due to COVID-19. Instead of requiring lengthy contracts, we
have opted for month-to-month contracts based on the needs of the individual company. We want to
prove to a client that our services are a worthy investment that will gain them a net profit for their business. Through this, we have gained long-term clients that trust the process.

Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?

We have taken on clients at a discounted rate with the anticipation that we will return to normal rates when the pandemic is over. Many times it is worth it to take a slight financial hit now in order to build a trustworthy
relationship with a client that will stay on for years to come. We also believe that helping clients is our number one goal, so if someone is struggling, we still want to offer help. One of the primary factors in building that trust is transparency. When we work with our clients, we are always 100% transparent in the results, the risks involved, and our vision on how to help them best navigate this crisis.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

The tools and software we utilize for digital marketing remain the same, both before, during, and after the crisis. We have had to manage accounts more closely to monitor our hours invested to determine the financial feasibility of moving forward with certain clients.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Many of our competitors are in the same situation dealing with clients with a more limited budget. However, we separate ourselves from our competitors based on the fact that we are a small business that deals directly with each
client. When we land a new contract, we do not pass it off to someone the client does not know. Instead, we work directly with that client to build a relationship based on trust and a mutually invested interest. We truly care
how our clients are faring during these difficult times, and we go above and beyond to ensure we are helping them be as successful as possible. Many times this requires us to adjust digital strategy on the fly, but we are able to do this since we are so personally invested in each of our individual clients. A building that personal relationship is something we take a lot of pride in, and is what sets us apart from our competitors.

Your Final Thoughts

Digital marketing is a tool for a client to use to grow their business and become more successful. During COVID-19, many businesses have had to cut costs in order to stay afloat. We have shown through our own clients’ success during the past year that re-investing in your business through digital marketing pays dividends. Being a small business ourselves, we have found that working with other small businesses to help them during these difficult times only strengthens that relationship and builds trust. We are here to support our clients and help them make it through this pandemic. When the pandemic is over, we will still be there to help them succeed in growing their business.

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