Another year, another exciting + jam packed International Home + Housewares Show is in the books! As we prep for the Show each year, we always get some sneak peeks of new things coming during our meetings with the Show team, but stepping onsite for the first time each year is always exciting! We had a busy Show this year + the epower at home team was out in full force at the show! Here’s how we kept ourselves busy over the last few days:
- Leading the charge on all things social media for the Show!
- Visiting our wonderful clients to check out their booths + new products. It’s always such a treat to get to meet in person!
- And my personal favorite, manning the Social Media & Digital Marketing Center answering questions, discussing trends, providing direction + strategy to exhibitors, buyers + attendees through digital marketing consultations.
Being a trusted digital marketing partner with IHA since 1999 has been such a highlight for our team, but the most rewarding experience has been offering digital marketing guidance + support since 2009. This year, we were able to listen + consult with over 40 brands on their digital dilemmas. Our conversations had some common themes, some of which we have heard before + some of which were newer, here’s an overview of it all:
Digital Marketing FAQ’s from IHHS2019:
- As a brand we feel like we are playing catch up in our digital marketing efforts.
- While this one is definitely not new, over the last two years brands have communicated that they continue to fall further + further behind with their digital marketing more + more. This is no surprise, as brands are focused on product innovation, design + sales, so sometimes the best set digital plans never get put in place or materialize.
- We are spread thin, how can we ever keep up with digital marketing?
- Almost every single person I talked to at IH+HS, wore more than one hat. Whether they did sales + marketing, or their primary focus was sales. Pure dedication to finding digital success was rarely a single hat.
- How do I sell direct to consumers?
- This is another conundrum that is not new, but was a consistent theme in our 2019 consults. How do I do it without upsetting the current retail environment? How will it impact my current retailers? What channels should I sell on? How should I set my prices? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, we almost always answer by diving a little deeper: “Does it matter where they buy? Or that they buy?” Yes profit margins are better when you sell direct, but how many opportunities are you missing if that is the only sales channel you embrace? How many opportunities are you missing if you leave everything in the hands of your retailers?
- How do I measure my marketing efforts or ad spend for e-commerce?
- The answer: you need to know your attribution. In its simplest form, attribution is the ability to measure + attribute sales back to your digital marketing efforts. So if you spend $10,000 on social what did you get for it? While you could look at the sales generated from social to wherever you were driving the social traffic, what if they bought somewhere else? What if they didn’t click you social link, but opened another browser tab? What if they were so enticed by your social post that they had to drive to the nearest store to get it? While there are methods to measure attribution, there is no perfect model for all brands. If your digital marketing campaigns relies heavily on video or display ads to drive retailer traffic, Google’s Brand Lift solution can help with attribution. If your digital marketing strategy rallies around driving e-commerce sales on Amazon, then Amazon Attribution (beta) should definitely be on your radar.
- I keep hearing about Geofencing. What is it, how can I use it + is it right for me?
- Geofencing is an advertising tactic designed to reach hyper local target audiences on their mobile devices. The technology was used by a few brands (including epower at home clients!) before, during + after IHHS2019, to accomplish their specific goals for the event. From a B2B stand point, driving booth traffic + continuing buyer relationships is one use. From a retail standpoint, the ability to pinpoint + market to customers who are in stores where your products are shelved is another.
- What’s the most popular social channel?
- Almost every brand we talked to said that they were seeing success on Instagram this year. The bulk of the brands defined success as follower growth + engagement, though a few talked about their mobile shopping + influencer strategies as well.
- What social channels should I be using?
- “I’m currently on almost every single channel I was told I should be on + that social should be impacting my brand + sales, but we don’t see it!” We hear this one a lot! We’ve seen so many brands that create branded social accounts on every popular social channel, just because they are popular or because someone told them to. Big mistake. Brands need social media, yes. But they need to approach it thoughtfully. Which channels are YOUR audiences on? Which channels do you have the resources to keep active + engaging? Which channels can you integrate into your overall marketing strategy to ensure they are valuable + purposeful?
- How do I introduce my brand + products to the U.S market?
- Not all of our brands products apply. How do we identify our target audience? Do we drop ship, do we embrace direct to consumer? How much do I need to spend? What kind of return can I expect? Introducing a brand to a new market is far from easy, but one of the first steps to take is to identify what sets you apart, then identify your target market + how to reach them.
The shift in consumers’ shopping habits is being felt digitally in so many ways. Evolving your marketing strategy is a must, + we believe the best way to start is by creating a road map of where you are + where you want to be. Paint yourself a picture of success. Next, stop throwing stuff at the wall to see what works. Take a step back + work on your brand consistency. Find what sets you apart; your sweet spot. Clearly identify who your target market is + how you can reach them. Finally, you need to define how you want your brand to be represented both online + offline by establishing a tone + voice that is instantly recognizable + used everywhere in your marketing efforts. Establishing a plan will help lead you to answering questions like what social channels should I be using, or how do I sell direct to consumers. These plans will allow you to focus on clearly communicating with your audience on the right channels at the right time, allowing brands more time to focus on what is working, not spreading themselves too thin, meaning you won’t feel like you are constantly playing catch up.
This is a lot to consume + if you haven’t created these plans before, they can be overwhelming. As a trusted digital marketing partner of IHA, our member support doesn’t end when the show does. If you missed the opportunity to consult with the team at the show, don’t fret. Sign up for your free digital marketing consult today!