Posts Tagged ‘small business’

Ecommerce: 2 tips to help small businesses navigate multichannel marketing

June 27th, 2014

This year at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, Nicole Snow, Founder, Darn Good Yarn, sat down with Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS, in the MarketingSherpa Media Center to discuss the challenges of navigating a multichannel digital landscape while retaining a small business identity.

Darn Good Yarn’s value proposition is based on stimulating growth in poverty-stricken areas of Nepal and India by recycling silk yarn into products Nicole imports and sells in the United States.

Nicole does not have a background of making yarn. In fact, when she began, knitting was only a hobby.

“[Starting my business was] a lot of learning and I tried to do things on the cheap; I was self-funded,” she said. “It was a real benefit because I respected every single marketing dollar. Every single test I did had to be really the right choice for me as a business.”


These careful business decisions penetrate the whole of Nicole’s business, from hiring employees to protecting her suppliers.

“People around the world work for me,” Nicole said. “I’m pretty proud of that business model because it really is indicative of a newer economy.”

Nicole has been very protective over the growth of her company, both in the U.S. and abroad.

She insisted part of becoming a successful small business includes “controlling growth and not allowing it to just blow up.”

“Then, you start getting abuses of supply chains and of humans that way and that’s important to us, to make sure that doesn’t happen,” she explained.

Here were two important takeaways Nicole offered to help small businesses navigate a multichannel digital world:

  • Purposefully enter channels – Find a few channels that work best for your small business because you can’t be everywhere.
  • Find advocates – Look for supporters who want you to succeed and build relationships with them.


Remember your roots

Let your passion bleed through every decision that you make for your business.

As companies grow, adaptations to an organization’s process and strategy are inevitable. We surveyed 4,436 marketers on how management styles and approaches should shift as ecommerce companies grow. You can see that data on page 15 of the MarketingSherpa E-commerce Benchmark Study.

Want to see more interviews with IRCE speakers, industry experts and in-the-trenches marketers from the MarketingSherpa Media Center? All 32 exclusive interviews from IRCE are available for viewing.


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SMB Marketing in 2013: 68% of small businesses to increase marketing budget

January 17th, 2013

I recently came across research from AWeber that found 68% of small businesses plan on increasing their marketing budget in 2013, and a full 97% plan on at least maintaining their current level of marketing spending.

That’s a very solid majority of small businesses that are putting more money into their marketing efforts.

“We believe that’s linked to a more positive economic outlook,” says Hunter Boyle, Senior Business Development Manager, AWeber. “There was plenty of uncertainty in 2012, but SMBs are resilient, and 58% said they were optimistic about revenue growth for the 2012 holiday season.”

He adds, “Plus, 47% said they felt the economy had changed positively last year. Looking ahead, when marketers are more upbeat, and seeing the value and returns from channels like email, they’re more confident and, in turn, more willing to invest in effective channels.” (Hunter Boyle will be speaking in an industry perspective session – “Breathing Life (and ROI) Back Into Your Email Marketing” – at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas).

The AWeber research got me thinking. At MarketingSherpa, our usual goal is to provide examples and ideas marketers of any size company might be able to find “transferable principles” that can help ease their marketing pain points, or shed light on potential marketing opportunities.

Since small businesses are reporting an increase in the marketing budget, this MarketingSherpa blog post (and part two, which will be published on the MarketingSherpa blog tomorrow) focuses squarely on small- and mid-sized company marketers and feature tips and tactics geared for the SMB marketer.

To gain some insight into where SMB marketers should focus in 2013, I reached out to industry experts in the SMB sector.

For today’s post, here is Rick Jensen, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Constant Contact, on SMB marketing in 2013.

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Marketing Research in Action: 84% of SMBs saw increase in business thanks to mobile marketing

June 8th, 2012

How can small and medium businesses take advantage of mobile marketing? Aman Devgan, VP of Marketing,, joined us in the studio for the latest episode of Marketing Research in Action to talk about how you can apply discoveries from recent research by and MarketingSherpa …


If you’d like to jump ahead in the video, here is what Aman and I discussed:

0:32 – 84% of SMBs saw an increase in new business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts

1:12 – Surprisingly, providing better service to existing customers is a bigger motivator to invest in a mobile presence than attracting more local customers

1:54 – Top 2 hurdles in leveraging mobile marketing

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Social Media and the Future of Small Businesses

May 15th, 2008

Social networking is an interesting topic, so whenever I hear about new ways people are using it I get a little excited. Listen to John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing.

John has been blogging about all things practical in marketing for the small business owner for years. After working with roughly 25,000 small business owners throughout his career, John has a pretty solid grasp of what they need. Read more…