We live in strange and unprecedented times, with the vast majority of businesses and organisations being forced to slow down much of their operations.

However, many businesses have thrived during the crisis, with house moves and property purchases still pushing forward.

In a highly relevant interview recorded ahead of the Coronavirus pandemic, we sat down with Sean O’Connor to talk about his self-storage firm Go Box, and how he used his experience in digital marketing to grow the business.

To find out more about Sean’s business growth using digital marketing, check out our full Business Leaders interview, or read on for the highlights.

business growth

From Family Business to a Fresh Start: Sean’s Journey

Sean O’Connor begins our recent episode by introducing himself and taking us on a brief walkthrough of his personal and professional journey, before embarking on his entrepreneurial path.

business growth digital marketing sean o connor

Growing up in a family fuel business in Belfast, Sean worked across multiple roles in the company during a period of exponential growth in the 80s and 90s.

“As the businesses grew, I found myself being dragged into different roles within the business. From the basics of accounting to the fuel distribution. We continually invested in the business and grew it organically.”

He highlights a big achievement for the company, when it became the first independent business to win the Investor in People Award in 1998 thanks to its continued investment in staff training – especially around IT.

The Early Days of Digital Marketing

The arrival of gas in Northern Ireland prompted the family to sell the company to Maxol, with Sean staying in the company for a number of years, helping them to build networks throughout the island of Ireland.

“As the internet became more prevalent, the company was investing in their web infrastructure, and I was lucky to get involved in digital marketing at that stage. I trained myself up, and that’s really what led to my interest in the digital space and online trading. After that point, I made a change of direction and joined a relocations company as General Manager.”

In this new role, Sean again focussed on networking, reaching out to schools, universities and local councils across the United Kingdom.

“It was agile and service-orientated, and I really did learn a lot. I went off on my own in 2013, setting up Go Box Self Storage, where I currently place my focus. Here, we’ve made sure the IT within the business has kept pace with sales – that’s my idea of what an agile business is. We had good business partnerships and we were able to develop our own bespoke project management system. We pushed hard to get an integration into the sales order process, and that had an immediate impact on cash flow.”

Go Box image 1
Sean’s latest endeavor Go Box delivers mobile self-storage systems. Image credit Go Box.

What services do Go Box offer and how does it actually work? Sean explains that the company delivers mobile self-storage systems, secure and custom-built to customers’ homes or business premises.

“The storage unit is loaded at their premises, then we come to pick the trailer up. We bring it back to the storage centre, where it stays safe and secure until the customer needs it. It’s a convenient and cost-effective storage solution,” adds Sean.

Business Growth Through Digital Marketing

Who are Go Box’s typical clients? Sean shares that a typical job for Go Box involves domestic customers, typically moving from one property to another.

“You’d have people accepting a house purchase quickly to be ensured of getting it.

You’d also get people who are renovating and need to have items removed from their home. We also have people moving abroad who may need storage for two-to-three years. We even push towards small business owners who might need some storage services, as well as targeting students, who are always on the move.”

Sean admits that there is always a degree of risk in launching a start-up business.

However, part of the motivation behind launching Go Box was based on Sean’s understanding that he was capable of getting the business up and running as quickly as possible with minimum overheads.

“I’d acquired a facility from my family – a good warehouse facility. I was in contact with universities, and I knew I could use the warehouse for this kind of purpose. I was also able to drive a forklift, help with marketing and do the company’s accounting work whilst keeping staffing levels low.”

Go Box also benefited from the team at Entrepreneurial Spark, joining the programme’s first intake in 2016.

“They’re a pushy outfit – they really challenge you. They meet with you on a fortnightly basis, and they push you to get the work done to get the business up and running. One of the things they give you is a strong belief in the potential of your business model, as well as a belief in yourself and your own potential as an entrepreneur.”

Go Box outside Lanyon Building
Now Sean operates Go Box across beyond and beyond, thanks to digital marketing. Image credit: Go Box

Sean suggests that much of the challenge behind getting Go Box up and off the ground has been in publicising the company and in explaining it to customers who have never heard of this kind of service. So, they invested heavily in digital outreach.

“At that stage it was PPC advertising, keywords and trying to fine tune those sorts of things. Across this time, trying to keep aware of changes to best digital marketing practice was also a challenge.

“Very quickly we had to familiarise with social media marketing, and that was really new to me. Those challenges are still there and ongoing, and we’re always educating ourselves on being the best we can be with our digital marketing.”

Where digital marketing is a constant learning curve, social media adds to this.

However, as Sean states, staying up-to-date is worth investing your time and effort into.

“Social media has been particularly valuable because of the segmentation and targeting it allows you to achieve.

“You’re able to narrow down to geographic locales, looking at age profiles, interests, nationality and ethnic origin. That really focusing is fantastic, and it’s really strong in terms of the work that we do. People have to find our first and foremost, and that’s where digital marketing comes in.”

To learn more about Sean’s digital marketing strategies, check out the rest of our Business Leaders interview. If you would like to find out about the services Go Box offers, you can visit the official website.

At ProfileTree, we’re experts in digital marketing. If you would like more information on how to get started, simply drop us a message.

The Benefits of Digital Marketing for Business Growth: A Deeper Dive

The Best 8 Digital Marketing Advantages for Business Growth | Benefits of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes, offering a potent mix of reach, targeting, and measurability that traditional marketing struggles to match. Here’s a detailed breakdown of its key benefits for propelling business growth:

1. Unleashing Audience Reach:

  • Global Exposure: Unlike geographically limited traditional methods, digital marketing transcends borders, connecting you with potential customers worldwide. Imagine selling handmade crafts to a global audience through Etsy or showcasing your consulting services to international clients through LinkedIn.
  • Laser-Focused Targeting: Forget the shotgun approach of traditional ads. Digital tools like social media advertising and search engine marketing (SEM) enable pinpointed targeting based on demographics, interests, and online behavior. Reach the exact audience most likely to resonate with your brand, maximizing your advertising impact.
  • Community Building: Social media platforms foster organic community growth, allowing you to engage directly with your target audience, build brand loyalty, and turn followers into brand advocates. Imagine hosting interactive Q&A sessions with potential customers on Twitter or building a vibrant community around your niche on Facebook.
Growth Marketing: Keys to Business Prosperity | Digital Marketing Tips & Tactics.

2. Lead Generation Powerhouse:

  • Lead Magnets & Landing Pages: Attract high-quality leads by offering valuable content like ebooks, webinars, or consultations in exchange for contact information. Design targeted landing pages optimized for conversions, guiding visitors towards lead-capture forms.
  • Content Marketing Magnet: Create informative and engaging blog posts, infographics, or videos that address your target audience’s pain points and establish you as a thought leader. This attracts organic traffic and positions you as the go-to solution when the need arises.
  • Email Marketing Nurturing: Once you have leads, nurture them through personalized email campaigns that educate, offer value, and guide them towards becoming paying customers. Imagine sending targeted email sequences tailored to specific interests or providing exclusive discounts to engaged subscribers.

3. Conversion Rate Optimization:

  • A/B Testing & Website Optimization: Test different website elements like layouts, buttons, and calls to action to see what resonates best with your audience, leading to higher conversion rates. Imagine testing two versions of your product page and choosing the one that drives more sales.
  • Targeted Calls to Action (CTAs): Craft clear and compelling CTAs that tell visitors exactly what you want them to do next, whether it’s subscribing to your newsletter, downloading a white paper, or purchasing your product.
  • Personalization & User Experience: Personalize your website and marketing materials to individual visitors, creating a more relevant and engaging experience that drives conversions. Imagine displaying products related to a visitor’s past browsing history or sending personalized email recommendations.

4. Building Customer Relationships:

  • Two-Way Communication: Social media, email marketing, and online communities provide platforms for direct interaction with your customers. Respond to inquiries, address concerns, and engage in conversations, fostering trust and loyalty.
  • Customer Feedback & Insights: Leverage online surveys, polls, and social media interactions to gather valuable customer feedback that helps you improve your products, services, and marketing strategies. Imagine using feedback to refine your product features or tailor your content to better address customer needs.
  • Building Brand Advocacy: Engage your customers, encourage content creation like testimonials and product reviews, and turn them into brand advocates who promote your business to their networks. Imagine happy customers singing your praises on social media or writing positive blog reviews.

5. Cost-Effectiveness & Measurability:

  • Targeted Spending: Unlike traditional marketing with its widespread reach and potential waste, digital marketing allows you to allocate your budget towards specific audience segments, maximizing your return on investment (ROI).
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Track the performance of your campaigns in real-time through analytics tools, measuring metrics like impressions, clicks, conversions, and ROI. This data helps you identify what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to optimize your campaigns for better results.
  • Scalable & Adaptable: Unlike fixed print ads or TV commercials, digital marketing campaigns can be easily scaled up or down based on your budget and goals. You can also adapt your strategies quickly to respond to changing market trends or audience preferences.

Remember, digital marketing is an ongoing journey, not a one-time fix. By consistently implementing these strategies, analyzing data, and making informed adjustments, you can harness the power of digital marketing to fuel your business growth and achieve lasting success.

What is Digital Performance Marketing? | Digital Performance Marketing to Grow Your Business

Beyond the Basics: Exploring Additional Digital Marketing Strategies for Growth

While the previously discussed benefits paint a compelling picture of digital marketing’s power, achieving sustained growth requires diverse strategies. Let’s delve deeper into four popular techniques:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

  • Organic Visibility: SEO optimizes your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), driving organic traffic from potential customers actively searching for products or services like yours. Imagine ranking high for “best hiking boots” and capturing the attention of ready-to-buy customers.
  • Keyword Research & Targeting: Identify relevant keywords your target audience uses to search for solutions, and optimize your website content and meta descriptions accordingly. Imagine using tools like Google Keyword Planner to discover high-volume, low-competition keywords related to your niche.
  • Technical SEO & On-Page Optimization: Ensure your website’s technical aspects are search engine friendly and optimize on-page elements like title tags, headings, and internal linking for relevant keywords. Imagine having a fast-loading mobile-friendly website with clear content structure and targeted keywords strategically placed.

2. Content Marketing:

  • Value Creation & Thought Leadership: Establish yourself as an industry expert by consistently creating valuable, informative, and engaging content like blog posts, articles, infographics, or videos that address your target audience’s needs and interests. Imagine publishing insightful guides on choosing the right marketing software or creating engaging videos showcasing your product’s unique features.
  • Content Distribution & Promotion: Promote your content across various channels like social media, email marketing, and influencer partnerships to reach a wider audience and drive traffic back to your website. Imagine sharing your blog posts on social media, including them in your email newsletters, and collaborating with relevant influencers to promote your content.
  • Content Diversity & Experimentation: Diversify your content formats to cater to different audience preferences and experiment with new trends like podcasts, live videos, or interactive quizzes. Imagine creating a podcast interviewing industry experts, hosting live Q&A sessions on Instagram, or developing interactive quizzes to capture leads.

3. Email Marketing:

  • Building Permission-Based Lists: Collect email addresses from website visitors and potential customers through opt-in forms, lead magnets, and other methods, building a permission-based list for targeted communication. Imagine offering a free ebook in exchange for email addresses or running a contest to incentivize sign-ups.
  • Segmentation & Personalization: Segment your email list based on demographics, interests, or purchase history to send personalized emails with relevant content and offers. Imagine sending targeted email campaigns to new customers welcoming them to your brand, and sending special discounts to loyal customers.
  • Automation & Nurturing Campaigns: Automate email sequences that deliver welcome messages, educational content, exclusive offers, and personalized recommendations based on user behavior, nurturing leads and driving conversions. Imagine sending a series of educational emails to new subscribers guiding them through your product features or sending automated cart abandonment emails reminding customers about items left in their carts.

4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising:

  • Targeted Ads & Fast Reach: Reach highly specific audiences through paid ad platforms like Google Ads and social media advertising, targeting based on demographics, interests, and online behavior. Imagine targeting users who recently searched for “running shoes” on Google or showing ads to users who follow fitness influencers on Instagram.
  • Control & Bidding Strategies: Set budgets, control ad placements, and bid on relevant keywords to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS). Imagine setting daily budgets for your campaigns, choosing specific websites where your ads appear, and bidding competitively on high-value keywords.
  • Landing Page Optimization & Conversion Tracking: Ensure your landing pages are optimized for conversions and track key metrics like clicks, impressions, and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns. Imagine creating dedicated landing pages for each ad campaign and tracking how many visitors convert into leads or customers.

Remember, the most effective digital marketing strategy is a strategic blend of these and other approaches, tailored to your specific business goals and target audience. Continuously experiment, analyze data, and adapt your strategies for optimal results and sustainable business growth.

Launching Your Digital Marketing Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide

Convinced by the power of digital marketing for propelling your business growth? Let’s embark on a practical journey, exploring how to get started and build a winning strategy:

1. Laying the Foundation: Develop a Digital Marketing Plan

  • Define Your Goals: What do you aim to achieve through digital marketing? Increased brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, or sales? Clearly defined goals guide your strategy and help you measure success. (Imagen of a person writing down goals on a whiteboard)
  • Know Your Audience: Who are you trying to reach? Understanding your target audience’s demographics, interests, online behavior, and pain points is crucial for crafting relevant and engaging content. (Imagen of a diverse group of people looking at a computer screen)
  • Choose Your Channels: Identify the digital marketing channels most suited to your goals and audience. Popular options include social media, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. (Imagen of a person selecting different digital marketing channels on a computer screen)
  • Allocate Resources: Determine your budget and manpower for digital marketing activities. Consider outsourcing tasks if needed to ensure effective execution. (Imagen of a person creating a budget chart)

2. Setting SMART Goals for Success

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve with each digital marketing campaign or initiative.
  • Measurable: Establish quantifiable metrics to track progress and measure success, such as website traffic, lead generation, or conversion rates.
  • Attainable: Set realistic and achievable goals that align with your resources and market conditions.
  • Relevant: Ensure your goals are relevant to your overall business objectives and contribute to your desired growth.
  • Time-bound: Set deadlines for achieving your goals to maintain focus and track progress.

3. Tracking Your Results: Essential for Continuous Improvement

  • Choose the Right Tools: Utilize analytics tools provided by each digital marketing platform (e.g., Google Analytics, Facebook Insights) to track key metrics and gain valuable insights.
  • Monitor Performance Regularly: Regularly review your data to understand what’s working and what’s not. Monitor key metrics like website traffic, engagement, lead generation, and conversions.
  • Identify Areas for Improvement: Analyze your data to identify areas where your campaigns can be optimized for better results. This could involve improving website content, refining your target audience, or adjusting your ad campaigns.

4. Continuous Improvement: The Key to Sustained Growth

  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different approaches and variations of your campaigns to see what resonates best with your audience. A/B testing helps you identify the most effective strategies for achieving your goals.
  • Stay Updated: The digital marketing landscape constantly evolves. Stay updated on industry trends, new technologies, and best practices to ensure your strategies remain relevant and effective.
  • Embrace Feedback: Actively seek feedback from your audience through surveys, social media comments, or email responses. Use this feedback to refine your messaging, content, and overall approach.

Remember: Digital marketing is a journey, not a destination. By following these steps, setting clear goals, and continuously adapting your strategies, you can harness the power of digital marketing to achieve sustainable growth and success for your business.


1. What digital marketing platform should I start with?

The best platform for you depends on your specific goals and target audience. However, some popular starting points include:

  • Social media: For brand awareness, community building, and engagement.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): For organic website traffic and lead generation.
  • Content marketing: For building thought leadership and attracting qualified leads.
  • Email marketing: For nurturing leads and driving sales.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: For fast reach and targeted advertising.

2. How much does digital marketing cost?

Costs vary depending on your chosen channels, complexity of campaigns, and budget allocation. You can start small and scale up as you see results. Consider free or low-cost options like organic social media content creation before investing in paid advertising.

3. Can I do digital marketing myself, or do I need to hire an agency?

Depending on your expertise and available time, you can manage some aspects yourself. However, hiring an agency can provide valuable expertise, strategy development, and campaign management, especially for complex campaigns or if you lack internal resources.

4. How long does it take to see results from digital marketing?

Results can vary depending on your goals, strategies, and competition. SEO results often take longer to see, while paid advertising can deliver faster results. Be patient, consistent, and track your progress to measure success over time.

5. What are the biggest mistakes to avoid in digital marketing?

  • Not having a clear strategy or goals.
  • Targeting the wrong audience.
  • Neglecting content quality and audience engagement.
  • Ignoring data and failing to track results.
  • Not adapting your strategies based on performance and industry trends.


Digital marketing offers a powerful and versatile toolkit for businesses of all sizes to achieve their growth goals. By understanding the benefits, exploring diverse strategies, and implementing a well-defined plan, you can unlock new opportunities, reach wider audiences, and propel your business towards sustainable success.

Remember, the key is to start, experiment, learn from data, and continuously adapt your approach for optimal results. Embrace the journey and watch your business flourish in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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