Located in West Chicago, Precision Computer (PC) Methods was founded on principles of building long term relationships with their customers, employees and vendors. They pride themselves on selling systems that work for their clients’ businesses, by designing and building the best software solutions in the world. The word ‘best’ includes both value and engineering quality, and they have a favorite saying, “We won’t sell you a jackhammer when a tack hammer will work just as well!”
Painting on Cave Walls Yields Few Results
PC Methods marketing program had previously consisted of, “…painting on cave walls,” jokes Peter Heinicke, President of PC Methods. In business since 1979, PC Methods began their marketing journey in the Yellow Pages in 1989 which generated about 5-6 new sales each year. However, as the phone book became less useful, they tried everything from fax and email blasts, direct mail postcards and letters to co-marketing with other vendors. Additionally, they joined CPA Online, now known as FindAccountingSoftware.com, which generated about 30 leads a year – but yielded little in the way of actual sales. “While in theory, each lead had the budget authority, need and timeframe nailed down – they also had between 3 and 20 products and multiple vendors to choose from. This made it relatively difficult to close the sale, as prospective clients would typically play one vendor against another,” recalls Peter. This multi-faceted marketing-style did generate some leads for PC Methods but there was no program in place to nurture the lead through the sales cycle. “On one hand, I knew that any leads that fell through the cracks would be replaced by more leads next month, but on the other, I wasn’t thrilled with the time and effort spent on generating leads we weren’t going to close,” states Peter. “Our follow up program basically consisted of sending out one marketing piece and possibly a product specific brochure.”
A Modern Approach Was Implemented
In 2007, PC Methods signed up for Sage’s Fast Track for Growth program and was encouraged to find a company that would help bring some structure and continuity to their marketing. After speaking with several Sage Preferred Vendors, PC Methods choose The Spectrum Services Group, an outsourced marketing department. In January 2008 Spectrum began formulating and executing a marketing plan to bring PC Methods into the 21st century.
“The thing that really helped us right off the bat was the Marketing Calendar. It applied an organized and intentional approach to our marketing program,” recalls Peter. “The Spectrum Services Group helped me realize that we had many affordable options available to us. I’m always looking for scalable solutions, and with Spectrum we are able to do just that. We came up with a plan, a corresponding budget, and an estimate for the number of leads and sales we will be able to generate. They’ve really helped me to organize my thoughts and ensure that our time and marketing dollars are invested wisely.”
New Marketing Strategy Pays Off
Overall, Spectrum has helped PC Methods gain credibility within their target market, something that has proven to be quite beneficial. “If you would have asked me nine months ago how our marketing was going, I would have told you that we were still waiting to see some results. But today I can tell you that nurture marketing definitely pays off over time. We are now in a better position with our good customers and even some of the ‘on the fence’ customers as well. The best part is that we’ve been able to close a couple of substantial deals because of our efforts. The marketing pieces helped us gain more credibility as the local industry experts over our competitors, which led them to ultimately choose to go with us,” said Peter. “Going forward, it looks like we’re getting twice as much value out of our marketing dollars than we did in the past. Needless to say, we’re excited to see what the future holds!”