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From Likes to Success: Turning Good Impressions into Successful Business Outcomes

It's a common dilemma faced by small, local businesses: how can they use their years of goodwill and excellent reputation among their niche customers to improve their business?

We interviewed Joh-Ju Koh (JJ), a communications strategist at Vermilion Pinstripes, to discuss why these businesses need to step out of their niche and how they can use marketing to translate their positive brand reputation into positive business outcomes. 

Hi JJ, hasn’t it been a common phenomenon for companies to go from “likes” to “success”? 

It’s common if the situation is about how to convert the many “likes” in your social media into actual dollars that businesses can use for investments and growth. The reality is that successful local businesses, such as systems integrators in the local IT industry, have been doing really well over the years just meeting the needs of their core customers. But as the business environments continue to evolve, there would be opportunities for these local companies to capture.  

That sounds easy, right? To a certain extent. To capture new opportunities, these local businesses will need to make changes to their approaches, processes, products, or markets. In executing these changes or adjustments, the local businesses need to maintain their promise to their present customers while, at the same time, winning over the hearts and minds of new customers who may not know them at all. 

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That sounds easy. Why should there be any difficulties? 

The reality is that the SI’s current or past clients may already have their perceptions of the SI and are not aware of the latter’s new skills, capabilities or solutions. The best way to explain this is to use the parable of the 5 blind men and an elephant. Each client might only experience a part of the company, and the experience coupled with potentially misleading perceptions could have an impact, including the SI’s brand reputation, customer trust and loyalty, investor relations, industry standing, and potential or current business partnerships.

Can you share more details of such an impact? 

Yes, I participated in a share-and-learn webinar titled "Enhancing Growth Opportunity for an IT Services Business,” recently. At this share-and-learn for local systems integrators (SI) based in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were keen to turn their years of great track record and successes in their local markets for a slice of the international or regional business pie.

One participant shared that his team had leveraged LinkedIn to reach out to local businesses in another country to propose collaborations. However, the rate of response from the outreach exercise was dismal, due to many factors including lack of strong branding and generic sales pitch. This company could be perceived as just another of the many SIs in the Asian region. 


What should they do to turn this situation around? 

What they really needed to do was to create opportunities for their target audiences to discover them, get to know them and their solutions, and make it easy and convenient for the customers to sign with them. 

You see, these SIs have opportunities for growth. Ever since the pandemic and proliferation of cloud technologies, more businesses are looking to engage SIs for high-quality, cost efficient cross-border work for technology deployments.

As these SIs have been in business for 10 to 25 years, they can look to expand to better serve their clients. They need to create opportunities for their target audiences to discover them, get to know them and their solutions, and make it easy and convenient for the customers to sign with them.

Some key steps include: 

  • Developing a strong brand identity: A clear, consistent visual identity, along with a simple, concise brand message, is fundamental. A good brand identity should convey the company's mission, values, and unique value proposition. For instance, Vermilion Pinstripes' mission statement is: "Helping businesses thrive with confidence." So, whether the client is a local arborist or a multinational corporation, every activity or content is for them is aligned with their growth plans.  

  • Understand your  target audience: Using the SI as an example, it is important to conduct a thorough research to learn about their challenges, pain points, and key motivators to understand how the SI can help them.

  • Personalised messages and marketing efforts: Always tailor  your brand's messages to the needs of the audience segments. Instead of listing everything your brand can do, address their specific pain points or challenges.

  • Marketing outreach: As always, remember that consistent outreach with quality content is essential. Avoid purely sell-sell-sell messages, which can be off-putting. Instead, share thought leadership, technology analysis, and business roundtable discussions to communicate your values and why you want to help clients achieve their goals. Utilize owned media channels such as your own LinkedIn pages, paid channels such as advertising, and earned media channels which is pitching to the media and getting them to run your stories. 

  • Customer engagement & advocacy: Always focus on delivering good customer experiences. Establish a framework for customer advocacy programs to foster strong relationships with key customers, turning them into brand advocates.

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Find the right business partner

Aren’t all these overwhelming for local businesses? They wouldn’t have the talents for these inhouse. 

That is why they need to find the right partners who can work through with them, deliver a strong plan to help them on the next phase of their business journey, and help them achieve the business outcomes. 

For instance, Vermilion Pinstripes has experienced business, technology, marketing and communications strategists who have been helping their clients achieve positive business outcomes. The company has a Modern Marketing Framework to guide clients through three components, Targeting, Enablement, and Demand. 

🎯 Targeting: We help businesses align with their unique value proposition with the needs, wants, and desires of their audiences.   

🎯 Enablement: Business growth requires investments to development for the talents’ skills and capabilities.  

🎯 Demand: We want to help create a constant stream of lead generation through demand awareness campaigns and engagement activities for customer retention and advocacy.


Overall, we need to remember to always strive to turn positive perceptions into positive business outcomes which requires a strategic approach to branding, audience understanding, personalised messaging, consistent marketing outreach, and strong customer engagement. By adopting these strategies, businesses can enhance their growth opportunities and thrive with confidence.

The next share and learn by BM&P Consult and Vermilion Pinstripes is coming up soon! Sign up early as slots are limited! 

Share & Learn Webinar: Empower Your Growth with a Detailed Strategy & Plan

Date: 11 July 2024

Time: 10:30am to 12pm Singapore time 

Register via BM&P Consult’s website.  Webinar link will be sent upon registration. Full details at

For any Technology Services Provider to grow and scale its business, there are several critical action items. These include a good suit of services or product offerings and an effective Go-to-Market strategy.

In this Share & Learn Webinar, the business and technology leaders of BM&P Consult will 

  • Discuss how to develop the right offerings

  • Advice on developing an effective Go-to-Market strategy

  • Steps on building market presence 


This is a highly engaging and interactive session with presentations, a case study to share with participants, and a Q&A session.

Vermilion Pinstripes logo | Modern Marketing

Contact Vermilion Pinstripes

a/ P.O. Box 9339, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444, Australia


+6140 777 9828


+65 9681 7045

United Kingdom

+44 7936 615022


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