The latest news from the Sexton Group.

Innovative ways members are connecting with customers.

March 04, 2021

Many of our members were already exploring new ways to connect with their customers before Covid-19 restrictions hit. The pandemic has sped up the need for innovation and disrupted the traditional channels of reaching customers.

Peter Cramp owns Porch to Pier in Parry Sound, Ontario. He is in the process of developing his website to include eCommerce and an SEO strategy to help new customers find his business. “Long gone are the days of searching for businesses through the yellow pages,” says Peter. “We know that if someone is looking for a dock for their cottage or researching a reno, they are doing it online. We want our business to appear on the same search page as a big box store to be able to compete. Covid did speed up our plans for eCommerce, which we would have eventually had anyway. During the shutdowns, more people embraced online shopping with curbside pickup or delivery. Some of our items we feel will continue to be searched online and purchased online. With our location in cottage country, our customers are searching online from home and then coming into our store to have a hands-on experience of our product offerings. Our increased online presence we hope will drive more customers to our website and online store!”

Website Development, SEO Strategies and Online Leads

Sexton Group’s Digital Media partner, ViewSource Media, is working with Peter to update Porch to Pier’s logo, re-develop the website, build their eCommerce platform and create their SEO strategy. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of optimizing online content, so a search engine shows it as a top result for searches of a specific keyword or phrase. When it comes to SEO, there's the business or organization, the search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing), and the searcher. Having an SEO strategy in place is crucial if your business or organization is looking to be found through organic search and to also help online lead generation.

Jeff Hollyoake, Managing Director of ViewSource Media, says, “We are integrating an SEO strategy to help promote specific products, gain organic traffic to the website from specific keyword searches and generate leads, sales and new customers. We are also adding in an e-commerce platform where Porch to Pier will start selling products online. A customer will be able to shop through various categories, add products to their cart and pay securely with a credit card. Shipping and curbside pickup will also be available upon checkout. Customers will have their own account with Porch to Pier to review their orders and update contact information. Having the ability to sell products online, especially in today’s world, is crucial in the continued support of new and existing customers. It is also a valuable investment for the business.” 

The Ultimate Deck is grabbing ears with their perfect 5-star rated podcast on Apple iTunes

A couple of years ago, Shane Chapman, owner of The Ultimate Deck, started a podcast to educate and entertain contractors, distributors and manufacturers.

 Shane says, “I look for opportunities to build the brand and get in front of people. It became obvious that audio was going to become a bigger part of our daily lives. Podcasts were blowing up because they can be consumed while we work and commute.  I knew if we could be the first podcast to cater to the outdoor living industry, we would capture some attention. We could build a brand beyond our local geography and build some leverage within the industry which can help with negotiations, product launches, marketing co-ops, etc. That saw itself play out by the second episode. So we stuck with it for 120 episodes more!”

The Ultimate Deck podcast covers topics ranging from new products, how-tos, product comparisons, interviews and much more. 

Those who like it, love it,” says Shane. “A podcast about the decking industry isn't how many people would envision fun on a Friday night.  But for those people who already have a vested interest in that category, they love it. We have a perfect 5-star rating on Apple iTunes.  We have certainly gathered a bit of a fan following.”

The Ultimate Deck podcast has interviewed many special guests, including Paul LaFrance and his brothers-in-law, Dave and Joey, BroLaws Construction, who are also HGTV regulars.

“Another one of my favourite guests was Leif Wirtanen from Cascade Fence and Deck in Washington because he brought so much value to our listeners on how to scale a contracting business,” says Shane.  “Tons of great insights from a company that has managed its own transformation from a typical ‘overworked and underpaid’ scenario to a model of what running a contracting business should be.”

The podcast was successful before COVID-19, but Shane believes that it helped listeners hear that they weren’t alone in trying to navigate 2020. “We talked about the pandemic here and there throughout the year, so maybe indirectly, we all found some peace in knowing that the whole industry was in the same boat,” says Shane.

Check out the popular podcast at

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