Pres-On® is a manufacturing company in Bolingbrook, Illinois that makes adhesive tapes, cap liners and seals, and other specialty adhesive products for a variety of applications and industries. Founded in 1949, the family-owned and -operated company had for decades relied on its “book of business” built over the years with OEMs and distributors and maintained by a loyal cadre of boots-on-the-ground sales people.
The company had enjoyed steady sales but in recent years was struggling to keep apace of competitors that were increasingly doing more of their sales and business development online.
In 2014, Pres-On brought on a new director of marketing and COO, whose task was to move the company beyond the traditional ways of doing business and embrace a new digital strategy that would grow leads, customers, sales, and revenues.
They felt like they were fighting with one hand tied behind their back. While their competitors were innovating on the web, Pres-On had regarded its own online presence as an afterthought. The company’s website was little more than a placeholder, offering scant information about Pres-On’s products, and its dated design did little to convey the exceptional customer service and expert engineering solutions on which Pres-On had built its reputation as a leader in the industry.
We met Pres-On through a referral from one of its employees (inside referrals account for more than 60% of our business). We arranged a lunch meeting with senior managers to learn more about their business objectives, and after several follow up conversations, Pres-On determined we were the trusted partner they were looking for to give them a complete digital makeover.
Not only would we build them a great website; our redesign also led the company to a whole new revenue stream.
We learn as much about the customer as we possibly can.
Our first task was to shift management’s thinking about the purpose of a website from a company-centric focus to a customer-centric experience. Pres-On needed a website that was much more than a digital billboard for their brand and one that would:
- provide users access to comprehensive information about the best adhesive products on the market
- generate quality sales leads, and
- create new business for the company.
We started with creating buyer personas – composite profiles of the types of people who need and buy Pres-On’s products, as well as the influencers involved in purchasing decisions. We spent a full day interviewing Pres-On’s marketing, customer care, and outside sales people to understand their customers’ motivations and the different ways they had typically discovered and engaged with the company, such as directories like ThomasNet, through word of mouth, and online search. The buyer personas we developed gave us critical insights into what functionality and content the new website would need. Our buyer personas included:
- The engineer of a large OEM (“original equipment manufacturer,” which makes or rebrands products and resells them to other companies) that makes windows and doors and needs to know what adhesive works best with its products.
- The OEM’s CEO, who weighs the potential supplier’s reputation, pricing, and product/service guarantees.
- The procurement manager, who needs to evaluate pricing quotes and product samples before making a purchasing decision.
- The CEO of a small start-up, which isn’t large enough to make their own products (packaging, for instance), has a limited budget and options, and needs a consultant to identify the best solution and provide expert advice.
- The distributor, who wants to maximize profits and sell directly to customers, and needs better sales training. Pres-On especially wanted to attract more distributor partners and train their people to sell Pres-On’s products more effectively.
These insights into their customers also helped us to better organize Pres-On’s expansive product lines by type, market, and intended use; we also added filters and tags for specific searches.
SEO: We put all the right (key)words in all the right places.
One of the end goals of a web presence is to rank high in search. This requires an understanding of keywords and phrases that people typically use to search for what you offer online (as well as your competitors), and placing those keywords and phrases strategically in your navigation, code and content so that search engines can find those specific references. Pres-On’s old website was virtually invisible in Google search because its only keywords were branded names (as opposed to, say, types of products and services users were actually looking for). We assembled a keyword lexicon that would inform page headings, page URLs, and body text. In other words, by employing simple SEO 101, we would ensure Pres-On’s visibility in the digital universe.
We understand the balance of form and function.
Understanding Pres-On’s business goals helped us determine the kind of functionality the site would need to attract new customers, access information about their products, and generate quality leads that would convert into sales.
Not putting their pricing online, Pres-On knew, was not only working against their sales goals, but was also cutting into their customer support, as their reps were inundated with calls from people asking for simple pricing information. Still, the company was reluctant to make its website a true e-commerce platform. So we proposed other options, such as requiring a log-in account to access pricing or including a “shopping cart” feature where users can select the products they are interested in and submit a fast, simple RFQ.
Ultimately, we created a “contact us” landing page to track users for sales leads as well as user choices such as requests for quotes, downloads of spec sheets, and requests for product samples. This had the benefit of collecting quality leads and cutting down on the amount of time the company’s customer support reps spent fielding phone inquiries about information that could easily be gotten online.
We also organized products by both product type and industry served, and added an internal search function by product and category.
We achieve customer engagement through great design.
Not until we gained a thorough understanding of Pres-On’s business goals and their customers’ needs did we get to work on the actual design. Our lead designer sketched out three versions of page layouts (wireframes) and how they would appear on mobile, tablet, and desktop screens.
We cap this phase of the design process with style tiles (or mood boards) – a sampling of color palettes, images, and other elements that make up the user’s visual experience. We provide each of our clients with a variety of choices, and work with them in the creative decision-making process to ensure that the visuals convey the company’s brand and mission.
We perform under tight timelines.
Together we work through every project with the client toward our ultimate destination: sign off, site integration, and going live. Our engagement with Pres-On, from discovery to launch, was a brisk three months. Other projects can take longer, depending on the site’s complexity and the client’s needs but we thrive on short deadlines and small, collaborative teams. (Our Pres-On team was comprised of one lead designer, one programmer, one SEO strategist, and one project manager.)
Once everything has been approved, and before the new site goes live, we assign a 301 redirect on all the old website’s URLs — another critical and common-sense step in the site development process, yet one that other designers often overlook. Redirecting old pages to the new site preserves the value of existing inbound links that have accumulated over the years – as was the case with Pres-On – and that still serve as useful trails to your site.
Known largely for its adhesive products, Pres-On also makes cap liners and seals for medications, cosmetics, and other products needing a secure, safe, hygienic and leak-proof top. But Pres-On had never advertised this category before.
The new website homepage enabled Pres-On to showcase this product line that wasn’t associated with the company’s traditional profile. Once the new site launched, inquiries and sales on cap liners and seals took off and this line has become one of Pres-On’s lead profit centers ever since!
We continue working with you to ensure your success
Once we build the vehicle we want to plan out our clients’ road trips! In that vein, we continue partnering with Pres-On to maintain its site’s functionality and continually improve SEO. We also provide digital ad and marketing strategies and regular reporting on how the website is meeting performance metrics, important information that allows us to continually refine Pres-On’s online presence.
And, we help promote the firm via its social media channels. The company is active on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, where Pres-On can highlight and broadcast current news, events, and storytelling to an even broader audience, and allow its website to stick to the stars of the show: Pres-On’s products, and the people who need them.