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Interview with Ian Plunkett

Ian Plunkett discusses what the business has achieved in its 10 year partnership with digital agency OM4.


How do you describe your business?

Japingka is an Indigenous fine art gallery. We are focused on promoting Indigenous art and the associated culture and taking that to a worldwide audience.

What sort of things do OM4 do for you?

It’s a mixture of things. There’s the straight IT technical advice. The most important element has been bringing our website up to international standard that meets, customer expectations for ease of use. OM4 assist with the SEO work behind it. We can see that our website reaches a world wide audience and that it rates very highly. OM4 have achieved that in an ethical way, not in a way just to grab ratings. They’ve achieved our high rankings with actual, real content on the website. We are very proud of that content.

So can you take us back to your business and your marketing before you started working with OM4?

Well, we had a fairly basic website. It had a lot on it, but it was a bit clunky, and hard to use in some respects.  It wasn’t rating highly on Google around the world, or even in Australia. We had a lot of authority on the website because we were one of the first Indigenous fine art galleries in the country.

Initially, we thought people wouldn’t buy Indigenous art via the internet, so we weren’t that concerned. It quickly became clear that the world was changing and people wanted to buy their art online. A lot of people couldn’t come to Western Australia to see the art. They were prepared, if they had a good enough image and had trust in the website and the business, to buy online. We wanted to make sure that we were able to give them a very good website, user-friendly and with wide reach.

So what’s made you happiest about working with OM4?

We now rank either first or second for Indigenous fine art anywhere in the world. We have pages and pages of really good feedback about our website from all around the world. People love the ease of use, the content and the look. The good staff at OM4 are easy to reach if there’s a problem. There very rarely is a problem, but if there is, they’re on it straight away. We also like the other services you get like the stories and interviews Julia puts together for the website.

Can you think of a way that OM4 made your working life easier?

I don’t know that you have. I think you’ve created more work for us because we get so many inquiries from all around the world.  Which is exactly the sort of problem I want.

There are a few things that have definitely improved work flow. It’s a lot easier to upload things and it’s easy for us and for the staff here to control the website. You don’t need a degree to be able to use the website. You can upload a lot of content without having special qualifications. It’s user-friendly whether you are on staff here at the gallery or you’re a customer buying art on the website.

What can people expect in working with OM4 as a digital partner?

Well, OM4 have got a lot of experience working with lots of different types of businesses. They’re not just focused on one model, so they’re adaptable and they’re not afraid to take on something new. They’ve got a lot of experience behind them and knowledge. They’re there for you and they make it easy and pretty much pain-free.

Is there anything about working with OM4 that you’ve found surprising over the years?

We have lots of relationships with lots of different businesses. I think the pleasant aspect of dealing with OM4 is the more personal nature of the people there. They’re really friendly. I consider them as friends, which you don’t always get in business relationships. They’ve been very supportive. You know, they attend all our exhibition openings, which in some ways goes above and beyond. It’s much appreciated to have that real support, and it’s always good to catch up with the people there.