Penguin Suits was on the cover of Boerne Business Monthly!
Penguin Suits was featured on the cover of Boerne Business Monthly! The cover story article, "Penguin Suits: Your Marketing Department," was originally published in the April 2018 issue of Boerne Business Monthly.
“Every business has a story to tell,” said Debi Burrows, Owner/Head Storyteller/Strategist of Penguin Suits. “Give me five minutes and I will find something special about every one. Our clients are the heart of our business and it is our job to figure out what is unique about them and then tell their story in an engaging and fun way. We simply make our clients look as good as they are."
Burrows, who has grown her business into an award-winning advertising agency, spends most of her time strategizing. “There is a lot of research and planning that goes into creating game plans to make our clients #1 in their industry,” Debi added. “Many local business owners are really good at what they do, but they don’t know how to get the word out to their target market. That’s what we do best.” Burrows explains that one of their focuses is to educate clients about what is possible for their business in their hotly contested industries. It’s about being differentiated, bold, visible, consistent and having a laser-focus on the key benefits sought by the target market.”
A primary goal at Penguin Suits is to help local companies grow their business. Over the years, it has done that exceedingly well. “We took on a particular business that was struggling. We redesigned their website, digital ads, and their entire marketing campaign. We refined their SEO (search engine optimization) and within six months they grew their business by 30%,” she said. “We’ve taken other businesses where their social media was doing poorly and where they were spending considerable money on Google AdWords, but without seeing good results. By improving their social media, their website, and SEO, we were able to completely eliminate their AdWords budget. The result? They got more customer leads and eliminated spending hundreds of dollars a month on AdWords.”
“We pick businesses to work with based on their philosophy. In order to market our clients successfully, we know it is important to really get to know them. I’ll take the whole staff and we will go to their offices or take them to lunch. We ask them all sorts of questions, and in the process figure out how best to market their brand for growth. Only when we get their whole story, can we really get to work,” said Burrows.
Penguin Suits has a team of specialists dedicated to the development of a marketing plan that includes website development, SEO, outbound and inbound digital assets to attract new customers, brochures, logo creation, branded landing pages, social media profiles, traditional marketing campaigns, reputation management, digital media campaigns, and much more.
According to Debi, “We know you have a company to run, clients to attend to, and payroll to meet. The last things you need to worry about are your Google Analytics, Facebook likes, or what to write in your blog. When you make Penguin Suits your outsourced marketing department we will take on all the complex marketing tasks for your company so you can focus on what matters most.”
“Marketing today is very complex,” said Burrows. “We know how to play the game and get results. Our team works hard to stay ahead of what’s happening and to have the knowledge available so we can put our clients in the right places to get the best results.”
To ensure clients’ get a good return on their investment, Penguin Suits continuously evaluates all aspects of their marketing campaign. It’s part of the firm’s accountability process. “We show clients how long we’ve worked on all parts of their campaign, the development we’ve done, the expected return, and what we’re doing to map that return. When things don’t go the way we want, we make adjustments until we get the desired result,” Burrows declared. “I want to be sure my clients understand what we’re doing for them and how their money is being invested.”
Penguin Suits has been in Boerne for 17 years and as of July 2017 was able to purchase the perfect spot for their growing business. “We are so excited about our new location,” said Debi. “We are right off of IH-10 and now have plenty of space for both the existing team and the expected growth. We have worked hard to create a fun and creative environment. Everyone has even picked out inspirational quotes that mean something to them and we have them up on the walls. Up the staircase we have what we call the ‘inspiration machine’ and we have worked on several team-building exercises, like our penguin bowling pins, that help to personalize the space!”
For Debi, this business is something she was born to do. “I wrote my first press release when I was only nine!” As a child, Burrows sat with the men of her family as they discussed what was happening with their businesses. Overhearing that her father was planning to bring in a band to his restaurant, she suggested that they put an ad in the paper. However, it appeared that nobody knew what she was talking about. “I wrote a story about the band performing at my father’s restaurant on a yellow loose-leaf paper and presented it to the local newspaper along with a Polaroid picture and they ran it! From that success grew a passion for marketing and promotion. I knew what I wanted to go to college for when I was only nine. I wanted to learn marketing to help small businesses. It is definitely the realization of a dream as I watch our clients grow and thrive!”
After college, Burrows landed a job working in public relations and advertising for the New York State Nurses Association. In 1992, she moved from New York to Texas with her 2-week-old son.
“Back then, the Internet was just starting. So I started hand painting children’s clothes,” she said. A Penguin outfit she made for her son drew raves from her local mom’s group. They wanted their own favorite animal outfit for their kids. Soon after, Burrows put up a website and was marketing her shirts and designs across the country and even as far away as Germany. Her sales brought in enough money to buy a computer and start her marketing business in Boerne – proudly named Penguin Suits after the apparel, which started it all. “That’s how Penguin Suits was born. My son’s original suit hangs in our office today,” she remarked.
While Penguin Suits’ success has been built on the outstanding customer service, attention to detail and the quality of their products and marketing services provided, none of that would be possible without the team of highly skilled people all working together to create an amazing end result. In fact, Burrows strongly believes in building a strong team and regularly has her employees participate in team building activities. “We have blown glass at Caliente Hot Glass, done scavenger hunts around San Antonio, participated in the YMCA’s Turkey Trot, and currently have plans to build a large sculpture together outside of our office,” said Debi.
Burrows and her team are also big believers in supporting the community. Debi is a committee chair for Hill Country Women in Business. “I believe in helping to promote the organization and my fellow business owners. We like each other and strive to use, support and refer business to each other,” she stated. “We also collected donations for Hurricane Harvey victims. We made about ten trips to the San Antonio Food Bank and dropped off carloads of donations. We posted it on Facebook and had people from all over dropping food items off at our new office to be donated. We thought it would be nice to make a drop off point where people did not have to drive all the way into San Antonio.”
Debi also proudly shared that, “We are also big supporters of Christian Women’s Job Corp and the Boerne Community Theatre. Keisha, our Office Manager/Librarian/Head Analyst, is on the board and directs a play at least once a year. Connie, who is our Business Development/Expert Elocutionist/QA Specialist, has served as stage manager and is on the Board along with me. Kim, our Content Creator/Novel Narrator/SEO and Compliance Specialist, and I have even been in productions!”
According to Burrows, “Building this business has definitely been an adventure! Boerne has grown a lot and we’ve been able to grow along with it. We love getting to be a part of this great community and being able to be a part of our clients’ success. When they succeed, we succeed!”
Written by Lauren Stumberg | Photos by Ron Pritchett