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What Others Say: Whittled Down – As Told by John Hordyk

What Others Say: Part 3 of 4

Exotic Woods Steps out of the Forest

John Hordyk is owner/partner of Exotic Woods, a third-generation supplier of fine quality hardwoods, softwoods, veneers and plywoods. Up until meeting Interkom, marketing and communications was handled in-house, in between placing orders, selling goods and overseeing all those operational and administrative duties associated with managing an international retail business.

It was the first time Exotic Woods had considered working with an agency, something akin to stepping out of the forest into a clear view of possibilities. At our earliest meetings we talked about the company’s marketing activities and approaches.

“You get stuck in the same rut all the time. There isn’t time to change,” John explained.

Take yellow pages advertising; every year John got a call pushing Exotic Woods to renew their listing and every year he’d agree. No questions asked.

“We’re finding out now, that it’s not as effective as we thought,” John says. “We’re learning there are other, better avenues we can be using instead, for the same investment.”

When Interkom presented an outline of what a thoughtful approach might look like and the list of things the team would look after, John recalls an inward sigh of relief. “I normally dealt with advertising opportunities calling in. Now I had someone to pass these calls on to while we could look after what we do best. In no time, Interkom became an outsourced marketing arm of our business.

“They’ve taken things off my plate, freed up some of my time. They know their stuff, that’s their expertise. They look out for what we need. They’re a team I can rely on. They’re approachable, not overly pushy. They understand our day-to-day activities come first. They share ideas, give us alternatives, make us think. They’re informative. I’m learning a lot. It’s been a good change.”

What about Exotic Wood’s needs and expectations, those quantifiable benchmarks? How has it come together so far? John describes it as an ongoing work in progress that involves following annual plans with detailed strategies and actions, timelines and budgets.

“I like what Interkom’s done so far. Although it’s too early to tell if they’ve had a direct measurable impact, we’ve recently launched our new website. That’s our biggest project so far.

“I’m hoping to see more people calling in, more people emailing, more people looking for our products and more profits at the end of the day.”

And at the end of the day, that’s precisely what motivates and drive us at Interkom, too. Check back for an update on Exotic Wood’s results, to be blogged sometime in the not too distant future.