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Retailers Rule: A Look Back at 2016 Retailer Digital Marketing Insights

Started in 2014, the Retailers Rule! interview series was created to explore digital marketing insights from the perspective of local retailers and the brands they sell, and this year was no different.

Over the past year, we have spoken to retailers far and wide across industries, from an auto dealership in the midwest to a run specialty store here in our hometown of Boston.

While every single one of their stories is special and unique, there were commonalities and through-lines in the challenges they face, the ways they work with brands, and the digital marketing success that they’ve found.

Here is a recap of 2016’s Retailers Rule! interviews:

Digital Retail Marketing Insights from Fleet Feet Sports, Santa Rosa

fleet feet santa rosa

Melody Karpinski, Marketing Manager at Fleet Feet Sports, Santa Rosa talks to us about the importance of social media, the ineffectiveness of traditional asset management platforms, and how their store interacts with the Mizuno brand.

“The problem is that most of our brands don’t have a great digital platform. To get the content from one of my other brands, I have to log into three different places, go through five different folders, look through all of the content, and decide what I’m going to post. Whether they even have it updated on time is another thing. It’s just a headache for at least three of my major brands.”

– Melody Karpinski, Marketing Manager at Fleet Feet Sports

Digital Marketing Insights from Mohawk Retailer, Metro Floors

metro floors

Adam Pace of Metro Floors shares insights into effectively engaging local customers and how Mohawk Flooring helps to make doing digital marketing for their store as simple as possible.

“You have to think about the new generations, spending all of our time on our phones and the Internet. You need to put your ad dollars there, if you want people to come buy from you. Otherwise, local consumers won’t know you exist.”

– Adam Pace, Metro Floors

Marathon Sports Sets the Pace for the Boston Marathon [Interview]

marathon sports

We spoke with Erin Engelson, Assistant Marketing Manager for Marathon Sports, to find out how one of the top specialty running stores in the US leverages digital marketing to build excitement for the Boston Marathon and bring the retail experience full circle.

“Everyone has a smart phone now. I feel like whatever they’re seeing on there is their first impression of the store, so I want to provide them with a great digital experience. Then when they arrive in the store, it all comes full circle. Our staff is so wonderful, well-trained, and friendly, so I want the digital experience to mirror that.”

– Erin Engelson, Assistant Marketing Manager for Marathon Sports

Jerry Haggerty Chevrolet Shares Insights into Digital Marketing Success

local digital marketing

Jerry Haggerty of Jerry Haggerty Chevrolet shares why they dropped traditional advertising and how a digital approach to reaching relevant local customers gives their dealership a competitive advantage.

“We have employees that help to run our digital and social media stuff, but I always stay involved with it. We’re always trying to find new and different ways to get our message out there.”

– Jerry Haggerty, owner of Jerry Haggerty Chevrolet

Al’s Sporting Goods Expands Digital Marketing Toolbox [Interview]

al's sporting goods

Nate Julian of Al’s Sporting Goods talks industry trends, expanding their digital marketing toolbox, and how brands can better tell their stories in retail spaces.

“Moving forward, digital marketing is only going to become a greater part of our marketing mix as we continue to build our online presence and reach.”

– Nate Julian, Assistant Manager at Al’s Sporting Goods

Ken Combs Running Store Fights Direct-to-Consumer [Interview]

Ken Combs Running Store fights direct-to-consumer

Larry Holt, owner of Ken Combs Running Store, talks to us about brand digital marketing support and the ongoing retail battle against direct-to-consumer.

“It’s direct-to-consumer that I’m trying to fight, more than anything. Big-box doesn’t bother me. We can compete against them. But it’s very tough to directly compete against these manufacturers.”

– Larry Holt, owner of Ken Combs Running Store

How Erik’s Bike Board Ski Builds Its Marketing Strategy [Interview]

erik's bikes talks retail marketing strategy

Steve Parsons, Marketing Manager at ERIK’S Bike Board Ski, shares insights into experiences with brand asset portals and leveraging content to create a consistent omni-channel experience.

“One of our biggest challenges is to connect the digital world with the brick-and-mortar world, physical and digital. We can track someone digitally when they go to our website and make a purchase, but we don’t have the capabilities to see if the ad we served them drove them into the store.”

– Steve Parsons, Marketing Manager at ERIK’s Bike Board Ski

Classic Lawton Chevrolet: Finding Success in the Customer Experience

classic lawton chevrolet

Recently announced as Promoboxx’s first-ever Local Business of the Year winner, Classic Lawton Chevrolet has quickly built a successful dealership on the idea that the customer experience is the key to prosperity, both digitally and in-store.

“What seems to work particularly well in our digital strategy is transparency. What we say on our digital channels is exactly what you’re going to get when you walk in the door. By providing an overall warm, inviting feeling on our digital channels and in the store, we create a consumer shopping experience that is smooth and consistent.”

– Ervin Randle, owner of Classic Lawton Chevrolet

Want to hear more retailer stories? Check out our Local Business of the Year SlideShare, presenting outstanding retailers with a larger opportunity for recognition.