Case Study: How Broadcast Blinds Gained Visibility as the Leading Player in Their Niche with Kokoro Marketing

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Back before 2018, Rick Smith, owner of Broadcast Blinds, got all of his clients through word of mouth. “You have to understand, we exist in a micro-niche. There are only a couple of people on the planet who do what we do, but there’s only a limited need for what we do, too.”

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What Broadcast Blinds does is custom design, create, and install daylight control solutions for the windows in your studio so that both the talent and the view look great all the time, no matter the time of day or the weather. Without their custom mix of gels, scrims, and shades, the view outside and the talent and set inside can easily appear washed out or shadowed.

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“Most studios don’t have exterior windows or windows on set. They’re basically four black walls,” explains Rick. “So it’s only when you’ve got something else going on that we have to control other light. That’s what we do.”

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Rick recalls, “We were, needless to say, looking for more business, but also looking for more introductions, which hopefully leads to more business.”

The Opportunity

It was when Broadcast Blinds exhibited at NAB for the first time in 2018 that Rick met Cindy Zuelsdorf, founding partner of Kokoro Marketing.

“You start with a large investment of being in Las Vegas for a 4-day show,” Rick says. “The question was taking what we were getting from the trade show and turning it into something. So we were looking to get a marketing campaign going.”

Cindy agreed that NAB follow up was a great place to start. “You put so much time and effort and money into a trade show,” she remarked. “You’ve got to follow up on the investment.”

“It was certainly within a short time of meeting Cindy that we actually started a marketing campaign for real,” Rick recalls. They’ve been consistently marketing and growing the business with Kokoro’s help since that time.

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The Results

“The word of mouth we started with was, of course, important, but we’ve grown from that,” reflects Rick. “From being just word of mouth to, safely I can say, the leading player on the planet.”

Now, when Rick goes to NAB, he hears from people who saw Broadcast Blind’s email and social media marketing campaigns before the show, and they led them to stop by and visit his booth. “There was somebody I met this year who said, ‘I’ve been by and I’ve seen your stuff for three years, but now I’ve got a reason to use it.’” 

After the show, follow up campaigns produce great results too. People respond to emails saying things like, “We met at the show, and I saw this email. Can we follow up with a call on this?” Rick credits both the visibility at the show and the marketing campaigns around it with producing more sales conversations. 

“We’ve got better visibility, large and small. Because 10 years ago, it was going to be very hard for somebody who works for a smaller company to find us,” says Rick. “They would have found us if they could have found somebody we’d done some work for and said, ‘If you have this problem, who would you talk to?’ And we’d maybe get a call. At this point, I’m better known by a lot of lighting designers.” 

“Large and small now are finding us,” he continues. “People who might not have otherwise found us are being able to find us. That says we’ve done our job marketing.”

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