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Can you speak to the importance of educating local retailers on digital marketing?
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” That same sentiment can be applied to the topic of local retailers and digital marketing. Sure, we as a business association could simply run turnkey digital marketing campaigns for our members. But what happens when a retailer needs to advertise outside of our typical promotional timeframe? What about understanding the metrics, and tracking conversions? Or let’s say the retailer wants to do something more customized than a cookie-cutter group-subsidized campaign … what then? It’s imperative that local retailers are educated on the basics of digital marketing and the value of the insights gleaned from such campaigns.. It’s not always about being a digital marketing expert … it’s about being a responsible business owner.
How does NEAEG empower its retailer members?
We at NEAEG empower our members by providing the necessary tools to learn the basics of digital marketing and quality advertising contacts to run successful campaigns. For example, we provide a Digital Education Webinar Series throughout the year, covering topics such as “SEM 101,” “Understanding Google Analytics,” “The Importance of Video,” and more. We also have classes during our trade shows and short lectures during our member meetings. On top of that, we created the Preferred Digital Vendor (PDV) program, which makes it much easier for retailers to find the right company to work with on their digital strategies. In a nutshell, we vetted digital marketing companies to determine whether they’d be a good fit for our group. Members who work with vendors in the PDV pool get added value and better pricing, and the vendors get access to 120 SMB’s as potential clients. We are not doing the work for our members – we are giving them the knowledge so they can easily do the work for themselves.
This is your first year at Aligned. What are you most excited for?
I’ve been hearing about Aligned for probably three years now, and every year it seems to conflict with our big annual trade show … but not this year! I am excited to see what all the fuss is about, but in particular, I am excited for the networking. Meeting people from all over the country who do what I do for a living (and maybe do it better!) is motivating and inspiring. You never know when a short conversation at lunch could lead to a huge time-saving nugget of wisdom.
Best career advice you were given or personal motto you live by?
It has to be “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” As a young woman in the mainly male-dominated appliance and electronics industry, this advice was key in various meetings, presentations and conversations. Just remember if you are in an intimidating business situation, you’ve been invited there for a reason. Just get right to it, and remind them all why!
Who is your favorite local retailer?
My favorite local business has got to be my gym, Tone Zone. It’s a 2-location boutique fitness studio with amazing instructors, unique classes, and a great client base. The couple who owns Tone Zone takes real pride in building a supportive and fun community through personal interaction, social media, and special events. I’ve made some great friends, and I’ll never leave as long as they are in business!