“We must be familiar with our clients’ characteristics and speak their language”
We discuss digital communications with Mirta and Sònia, founders of the communications agency Sumem
Mirta and Sònia present their project: Sumem. A digital communications and transformation agency that works for organisations from the tertiary sector, SMEs and the public authorities.
How did the project come about? How did the idea arise to form Sumem?
We met each other while working in a civic-political organisation. When that project ended, we decided to become self-employed and try working together for ourselves. That was in early 2013. Our professional profile led us towards communications, and we have specialised in contents – more specifically, in digital communications. We like the idea of our work providing a project with value: hence the name “Sumem” (meaning “we add” in Catalan). Sumem is the result of a challenge, as well as of a great deal of enthusiasm and perseverance.
Who is part of the Sumem team?
Mirta and Sònia are the soul of Sumem, although we also use contributors, depending on the nature of the project we are working on. They say that mixing friendship and business is not a good thing, but it is precisely because we know each other so well that we form a very solid, complementary team: we have reached a good point at which we can offer each other constructive – and respectful – criticism in order to improve. This means that we do not consider any job to be done until we are both fully convinced that we have a good product.
What will a client using Sumem find?
We believe in close contact with our clients, because it is impossible for us not to become involved in everything we do. We are interested in all the projects we are involved in, and that is the best thing about this job: we create campaigns, design websites, help make businesses and projects grow..., but we also improve with each experience.
Do you think choosing on-line communications is vital for any type of business?
We are convinced that it is absolutely essential nowadays. However, there are two initial considerations a business must consider when thinking about going online.
What are they?
The first is the location of its prospective clients. And the second are the resources the business has to maintain its digital strategy.
Does the key lie with identifying the client?
We must be familiar with the characteristics of our clients so that we can find them and, speaking their language, offer them whatever is of interest. We cannot limit ourselves to waiting for them to find us. We should also be realistic and know our limitations (in terms of personnel, time, finances and knowledge) and not try to be everywhere if it is then impossible for us to keep the website and social networks in the right conditions.
Is not a typical mistake creating a website and not keeping it up to date?
Yes. When creating a website, one recommendation that seems obvious, but that is not so easy to follow, is to think long and hard about what you want. And to structure it depending on this goal. All these digital tools are resources that should be used to “converse” with clients. We recommend going online gradually and ensuring its effectiveness: creating expectations is not a good thing, if the website is soon left abandoned. The strategies for a long, interesting relationship with the different target audiences, of the tone of the messages and of the types of content, etc. can be discussed at a later date. All this is fascinating.
Do you think all businesses are able to maintain quality digital communications?
We want to bust two myths: the first, that digital communications are available to everyone: website, social networks, digital strategy... Everything initially seems simple. That is not the case. It is true that you can begin a profile on any social network free of charge and that there are offers to create websites at ridiculous prices, but this is merely a hypothetical shortcut that, in the long run, makes you lose out on quality and on the necessary resources to stand out and triumph in a highly competitive world. The second myth involves considering communications as an expense. We defend the fact that it is an investment.
In your case, you chose a .cat domain when creating the website. Why?
The truth is that we did not even think about it, when we created our website! We knew that our target audience at present is in Catalonia and speaks Catalan. So choosing the .cat domain was consistent with this. We also did it for militancy reasons: for us it is a distinguishing feature, and we also like being part of the .cat community.
How do you imagine the future of Sumem to be?
The future of Sumem should involve multiplying! In the short term, we want to start a line of personalised training and advice, because we think it could generate interest and be a success. We think that now is the time for SMEs and organisations to take a step towards digital transformation, which goes beyond having a showcasing website. We want to position them as benchmarks in digital strategy and content generation.