It was difficult to give us a description describing exactly what we do.
Why? Simply because we actually do quite a number of things.
Let’s start off with who is our customers
Our customers are businesses. You reading this article right now.
From a one-person business to medium-sized businesses.
We have done business with some of the biggest brands in the world before, but we have found that we are much happier in the small to medium-sized business space.
Maybe it is because we are ourselves a smaller company. (5 full-time employees) We like to deal with businesses where it is easier to get a briefing on exactly what they want and a decision on approval. Sometimes it becomes very cumbersome with bigger businesses to get a Yes or a No or a change on something. Let me explain.
We recently made a video production for a very big company in Australia. They gave us Carte Blanche to do what we want with just a few pointers in the beginning. We made the video and submitted it. The video eventually had to go through 6 layers of approval. And every time there were changes that took a LOT of time. Each person on a level made changes that overruled the previous changes. Until it got to the top guy. And he made changes again, basically back to what we originally presented. This whole process took a few months.
Where did we start?
We originally started off 20 years ago as an advertising company. We sold ads to businesses, printed a magazine, and distributed it for free. If the ads were good and people got feedback they advertised again If not. That was it. The end of that client.
This is how we learned what is important in marketing and design. We could later advise customers what will work in an ad and what not. Of course that was before the digital advertising age.
We then added graphic design, and printing to the mix. This is where I met my wife and future partner, Surika. She started working for me as a graphic designer after she completed her studies in fine art.
With Surika as my main graphic designer we started focusing on web design as well.
We did and still do:
- Web design
- Changes on websites
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
In 2009 I started pursuing my passion for photography. I photographed a lot of weddings since then. More than 600. Here is our wedding photography business website. www.jccrafford.com
But my passion was always other businesses. How to market them. What can they do to be more efficient and productive?
So we opened a studio where we do headshots and product shoots. And we started immersing ourselves more in the commercial photography market.
In 2012 we branched out into Videography as well. A natural fit for our already very busy photography business. Our son Timothy started working for us as a videographer.
Surika self-trained herself as a videographer and her cousin Yolandi joined us in 2016 as a Videographer and Video Editor.
- A lot of weddings
- Marketing Videos for businesses and individuals and
- Events and Functions
Timothy later decided he prefers photography and changed over from the video to the photography department.
We now do:
- Product Photo shoots
- Headshots and Environmental Photo shoots
- Food Photography
- Architectural Photography
- Industrial, Machinery and manufacturing Photography.
- Events and function Photography
Surika was working double shifts as a videographer, web designer, and graphic designer.
I was the main photographer, editor, and marketer.
Building our Business
Surika and I were slowly and steadily building our business. A few other people came and left as well. Some made a big difference and some were not a good fit for our small dedicated group of professionals. In a small company, there are no place to hide. If your work is not up to scratch you will quickly stand out like a sore thumb. Some of them pursued their own interests and started their own very successful businesses with the knowledge they picked up from working for us.
Social Media Marketing
Our son Bertie later joined us as a photographer and editor. His interests however branched out to Social Media Marketing, that is where his real passion lies. And that is also where the future of digital advertising lies. It is where your customers are. And where you should be.
Along the way we bought a big Canon Prograf-4000 printer. Businesses always need printing done. And when you designed something for a business, it is so much easier if you can print it yourself.
Investing in our Business
We constantly invested in the best tools for our business. Cameras, Video cameras, Lenses, studio lights, computers and other equipment. We always spent more than we had to because we wanted to make sure that the equipment we buy will give our customers the best end result.
And it all started to come together
We realized that all the different areas of our business started coming together. If somebody wanted a website designed they often needed photos of their products, staff and premises to put on there. They often needed a video to market themselves. They needed somebody to help them market their business with Social Media marketing etc.
A lot of businesses do what we do, but not a lot of them do it in-house.
You will get a specialist web design business like ours, but they would subcontract the photography and Videography work to someone else. We could do it all together and thus give our customers the best end result.
So we played around with ideas and eventually decided we will call ourselves:
YOUR Creative, Digital marketing agency
Our trading name is Crafford Productions.
The emphasis here is on YOUR Creative….. Not just we are a Creative, Digital, Marketing Agency. Because being a small and dedicated group our customers and their satisfaction is extremely important to us.
One more thing to remember
There are 1000’s of businesses out there that fail on a regular basis.
They don’t fail because the owner and employees were not good, passionate, or knowledgeable enough, neither because people don’t need their products or services. But simply because they didn’t have somebody like us.
You are an expert in your field, and so are we! There are a lot of people that offer the services that we do, but very few that offer all of these services under one roof. Doesn’t it make sense to let one company handle all of these interrelated services for you?
Over the years we were involved with a few businesses. And that taught us a few things. A lot of that applicable to other businesses as well.
We have learned that the internet is the most powerful marketing tool out there today. But we have also learned that very few businesses utilize the internet to the best of its ability to help their business and to put them ahead of their competition.
And the reason is not because these businesses don’t care. They simply haven’t got the TIME or interest to become for instance the best plumber in their area and an above-average digital marketing specialist.
You can’t expect the average business owner to know everything in their field and everything in our field.
And that is where we come in. We would love to talk to you about your business. We would like to see if our unique skills can help you with YOUR business.