Try A New Tack

You already know what your business goals are. You may even know what’s working—and what isn’t. What your numbers are; what you want them to be.

But, ”Why aren’t we getting stronger results?” and, ”Where do we go from here?” are harder questions to answer.

That’s where Sailshaker comes in.

We learn about your customers, your competitors, the ebb and flow of your market. We assess the brand equity you’ve built. Then we develop highly relevant, richly engaging digital experiences that give your customers what they need, so your business earns the results you want.


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What’s your heading?

Knowing your business destination is one thing. Understanding how your digital marketing efforts need to be structured and executed to reach those goals? That’s something else entirely.

In these waters, you can think of Sailshaker as your navigator, using the modern version of a compass and sextant to chart your course.


We review your data and augment it with independent research into your customers’ preferences and behaviors; your market space and competitors’ efforts; and your current digital marketing activities.


Our team interprets and synthesizes the research findings, articulates the challenges your company faces and identifies your opportunities to stand out from your competitors.


We create your digital marketing map, drawing from current and proven techniques in content marketing, paid search and social media, email marketing, website development and analytics to help you generate measurable results.

We ride the trade winds

Sailshaker and our network of specialists bring the full complement of digital marketing expertise to each of our clients’ projects. Our most commonly requested services include:

Fresh From the Helm


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17 Mar

5 ways to improve your marketing with ‘human strategy’

One of the biggest challenges our clients face is embracing the idea that people, not computers, are the focus of digital marketing.  For example, one of our clients wanted to send the same email to the same audience three times in a row. He was certain it would be more efficient than creating unique messages for each email flight (or blast).

In all fairness, he was right: It would be less expensive to send one email three times. It just wouldn’t garner the results he wanted—and it might actually harm his cause by alienating good prospects.

Why? Successfully engaging consumers in a digital setting is no different than engaging them in person. These aren’t robots or zombies counting the number of times they see the same message and then auto-clicking your links. They’re real people who display intellect, complex emotions and a range of motivators. They deserve our respect and at least an attempt at understanding.

So how can you demonstrate empathy in a device-driven world? Here are a few ways to make a meaningful connection:

  1. Extend the dialog. There’s a reason most people don’t propose marriage on a first date: It would be premature, even misguided. Relationships build over time—in love and in marketing. You have to deliver communications within the context of the relationship. You’ll earn the love by providing useful information on a consistent basis. Then you can close the deal.
  2. Educate to engage. Avoid tired come-ons that are only intended to grab attention. Stay away from endless lists of product benefits that glaze the eyeballs. Instead, help your customers satisfy their curiosity and develop their skills. For example, how can you (in the context of your digital marketing strategy) help them become smarter shoppers, healthier patients, savvier pet owners, better cooks or more skilled musicians?
  3. Be transparent. Few things are more off-putting than struggling to locate a customer support number on a website, decipher impossible terms and conditions or navigate a maze of fees. Putting your customers through these hassles is a good way to lose business. People appreciate honesty and accountability everywhere, but especially online, where they expect interactions to be automated, easy and fast.
  4. Speak human. Ever notice exactly what words you use with customers? Have you declared yourself a “global leader” delivering “effective initiatives for organizational performance”? You’ll connect with customers if you’re real, and you show them how you can help them. Run your marketing copy through sansbullshitsans and the we-we test to see if you need to adopt a more personal, service-oriented tone. 
  5. Be loyal. Focus on giving people the information and interactions that matter most to them. Help deliver whatever they feel they haven’t received or been able to access anywhere else. Improve their lives. This isn’t about creating a carrot-and-stick relationship where you provide only as much as it takes to trigger a consumer’s immediate action. Don’t go after their attention—give them yours, one tiny interaction at a time. They’ll reward you for it.

If you want to matter to people, you have to do more than win their clicks. You have to help them accomplish their goals. When you do, they just might grant you their lasting respect, enduring trust and undying gratitude. (Along with their hard-earned dollars.)

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5 Oct
Where to Turn When Your Marketing Is Floundering

Where to Turn When Your Marketing Is Floundering

As a marketing strategist, I’m often asked to help fix things that are no longer performing the way they once did. That might be messaging that isn’t attracting attention, a website that no longer generates leads or a social media campaign that hasn’t received a single share.

Despite the increasing complexity and nuance apparent in marketing methodologies and technologies, the reason you’re having trouble may be very simple.

All hands on deck

Sailshaker has longstanding relationships with a network of proven digital marketing specialists. We draw upon these relationships to create project-specific teams that provide our clients with the most cost-efficient, timely and relevant service.

Stephanie Brown, Founder

You might expect Stephanie to have gills, since she spends an inordinate amount of time in and by the water—whether it’s the Outer Banks of North Carolina or the local lap pool. Her love of things aquatic is, in part, what inspired Sailshaker; the other part is, of course, marketing. But not just any marketing. The kind that builds on respectful—even joyful—relationships, thoughtful work and results that everyone can be proud of.

Stephanie is the author of Local Online Advertising for Dummies, and has helped companies of all kinds navigate online waters.

Let’s hoist your sails

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