On the up · 18 April 2017

The Gocableties pay-per-click strategy shows a product doesn’t have to be sexy to sell

Within three years Gocableties has amassed hundreds of regular B2B customers in the UK

Gocableties was founded with the intention of bringing the capabilities of ecommerce to a niche market – cable ties. A product simple enough in nature, but difficult to source quickly.

Owing to its online marketing strategy, Gocableties has been able to reach customers easily and become a leading vendor of cable ties in Britain. The company now supplies hundreds of B2B customers, from county councils and police services to household brands and logistics companies.

Business Advice sat down with co-founder and marketing director Tom Armenante to find out how a combination of digital marketing and a traditional approach to customer relationships put Gocableties on a promising platform for ecommerce success.

  1. Who are you and what’s your business?

I’m Tom Armenante, the marketing director for Gocableties. We are a pureplay, online-only cable tie supplier serving the United Kingdom and European markets.

We offer incredibly competitive pricing, impeccable customer service and a digitally-innovative approach which we wholeheartedly believe helps us to stand out from the competition.

  1. How long have you been around for?

Gocableties was established in 2014 and has been quickly growing now for over three years. Along the way, we have faced a range of challenges that has made our business resilient and here to stay.

  1. How do you make money?

We grow the business through a strong combination of B2B relationships and one-off ecommerce orders – this has given us two separate angles to quickly grow the business.

  1. What makes Gocableties different and why should people take notice?

There’s two aspects of our strategy that we feel have really helped us with growth. Firstly, the strength of our digital marketing. We have a “best in class” pay-per-click (PPC) campaign running to make sure we are visible out there to everyone who is looking for cable ties.

The other is customer service – it’s at the heart of what we do. We make sure we build long-lasting relationships with our customers through one-on-one contact by our client management team.

  1. What was key in terms of getting started?

Just having a go! We had no idea if it was going to work when we started. There’s only so much research you can do to see if the market is there before you just have to take that leap and test it to see if people will be interested in the product you sell.

Tom Armenante with Gocableties founder Freddie Miller
Gocableties co-founders Tom Armenante and Freddie Miller
  1. What’s your biggest achievement to date?

While I’d like to say the marketing activity, it has to be the relationships we have built with our customers. The reviews we have received are incredible attributes to the company, and the fact that B2B customers come back to us again and again is testament to the team and a critical cornerstone of the business.

  1. What setbacks have you had along the way?

We haven’t suffered any major setbacks, although one thing I have learned is to make sure we do our research on any large decision we make.

For example, the ecommerce platform we use is probably a bit too large for the campaign and industry we are in. A self-hosted, more “plug and play” platform would have given us less technical hurdles along the way.

  1. In five years’ time, I will be…

I’d like to say in five years we will have continued to expand and, hopefully, dramatically increased the size of the business.

We are always looking into new and innovative B2B product areas, so expanding the site out while continually striving to stay at the forefront of marketing technologies.

  1. What one tip would you give to others starting out?

This sounds like an obvious one, but for a B2B ecommerce company just starting out, make sure you keep an eye on cash flow. Cash is the life line of a small business, and if you are waiting for a few companies to pay invoices and a large order comes in you might find yourself struggling a little.

Make sure you are being wise with your cash and that’ll be a good foundation for the business.

  1. Who are your business heroes and why?

Gary Vaynerchuck – that man gets it! The work he is doing to grow Vayner Media as well as the books he’s published, his wine business and all whilst growing his personal brand is incredible. His message of “making sure you put in the work” is something so many people just don’t really execute in practice.

While very few people – myself included – are an entrepreneur on the same level as Gary, there are so many things he says that I can relate to which have really helped me push this niche ecommerce business from strength to strength.

Find out how these two entrepreneurs turned Peter Jones’ marketing nightmare into a successful brand

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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