Digital Marketing… It’s Not So Ruff After All!

Why Digital Marketing Is So Important & How You Can Engage Your Customers Online

We recently held a panel discussion at Global Pet Expo, called “Digital Marketing… It’s Not So Ruff After All”. Panelists included Andrea Barsk from Endless Aisles, Johanna Fiedler from Promoboxx, Annabelle Immega from Petcurean, plus Aaron Hill and Lindsay Richards from Naturally Unleashed.

This panel helped to highlight the importance of digital marketing, and how when all parties – brands, retailers, and digital solutions work together, we all win online. If you weren’t able to make it to our seminar, keep reading to find out what it was all about!

Johanna: Digital marketing is no longer an option for small businesses, but a must. In a world where customers spend the majority of their time consuming information online, it’s crucial that retailers have a presence and engage there as well. Many small business owners wear multiple hats and don’t have a lot of time for social media content production and management. Promoboxx is a quick, easy-to-use digital marketing tool that helps retailers access high-quality content, customize it, and then post it in a matter of minutes.

Promoboxx is one central platform that provides both branded content, and pet industry Endless Marketing content created by the team that built Endless Aisles, and allows you to create a balanced social media presence.

Why did you partner with Promoboxx?

Annabelle: We always look to build well rounded relationships with our retailers. We want to support them from an education and learning perspective, and the ease of use and efficiency of Promoboxx allows us to do this.

Andrea: We noticed the successful retailers on Endless Aisles were the ones that were putting time towards digital marketing, and we wanted to give the retailers who didn’t have as much bandwidth for digital marketing an opportunity to succeed. We saw how successful Promoboxx was in other industries, so partnered with them to create Endless Marketing to bring the platform to the pet industry.

From a retailer’s perspective, why is digital marketing so important?

Lindsay: The way I look at it is, retailers used to market in the newspapers and magazines, because that’s what consumers were reading. Now, consumers are online, so retailers need to meet them online. In print marketing, you wanted to be at the top of the page, or towards the front. We need to think about how to stay at the top online. We need to be at the top of google searches, at the top of social media feeds. you’re not putting the effort in to stay top of mind, you can get lost.

From a brand’s perspective, why is digital marketing so important?

Annabelle: Social media has really changed the game and it is a new opportunity for us to interact one-on-one with our consumers. It’s both a short game, and a long game, meaning there’s an immediacy to it while also providing an opportunity to build longevity. Brand presence over time will build a loyal following. Social media is an opportunity to demonstrate who you are and what you represent, in an authentic way.

From the Endless Aisle’s perspective, how does digital marketing play into your innovative technology for local retailers?

Andrea: Local retail is so important. It’s where people first go to discover the brands they want to purchase,and where they first build trust in a brand. It’s important that retailers are there to provide the replenishment orders after that first purchase. Engaging with your customers online is a way to build a relationship with your customers and let them know that you’re there for them, both online and in-store. This way they value your relationship, services and knowledge, and don’t say “I’m going to just replenish that item from Amazon or Chewy now that I know what product I want”. It’s about building customer lifetime value.

Why do you use Promoboxx?

Aaron: Promoboxx completely benefits us and eliminates the time and cost that it would take us to photograph and create this content on our own, and it provides us with professional content that keeps us relevant.

Annabelle: We know that our independent retailers don’t have a lot of time. You have to run the store, deal with inventory and distribution, as well as the financial side of the business. We wanted to make social media and digital marketing as easy as possible for our retailers. We invest a lot in our own digital strategy and resources, and we love that Promoboxx allows us a way to share our content and support with our retailers in an efficient and user-friendly way.

Before Promoboxx, what did the process involve for getting content from brands?

Lindsay: It was really challenging before this. We have 3 locations, so I manage multiple social media accounts. I used to have to wait for brands to occasionally send me content, but now I have the content ahead of time and it cuts so much time down. From the branded content, to content from Endless Marketing like tips on grooming your dog, or pet holidays, it allows for a great balance of different types of content, and lets you become a friendly resource to your customers, without just pushing products at them.

What type content is on Promoboxx? How does it provide a full solution for digital marketing?

Andrea: Endless Marketing on Promoboxx is content that is meant to engage your customers. Content that shows you’re not just trying to sell, but that you want to form a relationship with your customers. We’re really focused on providing you with surprise and delight content that builds trust.

Annabelle: We love this too, because while we supply retailers with the product and educational content, we definitely recommend that retailers have some fun with it, adding in general pet industry content that’s not just pushing products. It’s great for us to be able to say that there is a central platform where you can get both of these things.

How does digital marketing integrate with your in-store efforts?

Lindsay: We host social media contest that bring customers into the store, and we’ve recently launched our customer rewards program online as well. In-store, we have always marketed that we are here to answer questions about pets, and we’ve found a place for that online now as well. We get tons of Facebook and Instagram messages from customers asking questions about their pets and which products they should use, and we make it a priority to respond to these with the same level of expertise that we would in-store. We want to show that we are always here for them, whether it is in-store, or online. This is unique to small retailers, as it is something that larger online retailers can’t compete with.

Aaron: I think all independent retailers have felt the hurt of the online boom. We have opportunities to build ourselves back up by putting more thought into what we’re doing and by trying to re-engage everyone who still enjoys being a part of a family or locally owned business versus a corporate company. We need to be adaptable and use digital marketing to engage with them and make ourselves available for them.

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By Kelly Thomas