When Olympic trial-qualified diver and digital marketing guru David Piercy began working at Shindigz 2 years ago, he dove right into the tidal wave that would send Shindigz to the top of the party supply industry. With some shifts in social media time and resource investments, Shindigz has an engaged community of social media followers like never before through 2 central strategies: promoted pins on Pinterest and content marketing on Facebook. Hear more about David’s journey in ecommerce, and a few juicy tidbits about what he’ll be sharing on the Summit stage.
ROI: Tell us more about how you ended up in your current ecommerce role.
David: After college, I actually could not find a job in the position I wanted. Beyond my degree in graphic design, I wanted to experiment with all aspects of marketing…but I had a friend working for a medical company that did IT work and he got me the job there to be graphic designer. So I took that job, and being a smaller company, I was able to learn to do several things within the marketing realm that I had to learn out of necessity. In the interview, he looked at my portfolio and he asked if I was able to make these designs into a TV commercial. I had never done animation before or video work, but I knew I could learn, so I just told him I can do it. He gave me the job there, and then I went home and jumped on my computer and learned how to make animations and video!
ROI: That’s a common theme we see with ecommerce leaders. There’s no college major in digital marketing: much of it is self-taught. All of you are incredible jack-of-all-trades!
David: I don’t really like to say I’m a jack-of-all-trades, but I like to learn about a lot of different things. For something that really sparks my interest, I know I can learn it…there are some things I don’t want to learn. I could not be a surgeon. That’s not me. I have boundaries. [laughs]
ROI: Yes, the sight of blood leaves us squeamish, too. On a less grotesque topic, how did you use this experience from your first job at Shindigz?
David: As much as I learned at my first few jobs, there was still something missing. I saw the opportunity to be a digital marketing manager at Shindigz, and I got the position. I can’t really say that I’ve had a bad day since I’ve worked here for the past 2 years. It’s a growing company: it’s been one of those things where you step in and every day there’s a new challenge and there’s always something to be improving on.
ROI: Yes, your team has made great strides on social media specifically. What can our attendees expect during your session?
David: What we’ve done on Pinterest recently is build our relationship with influencers and event planners to give us great content and photography. I’m all about putting out great marketing content or great informative content for the customer. Nowadays it’s not just push your your product and people will buy them. You have to do something for the customer first, whether that’s giving them ideas for their party, giving them recipe suggestions–just really building that relationship with the customer before you expect them to jump on the bandwagon and buy from your store.
ROI: What are some specific customer engagement tactics our attendees can try back in the office as a result of your session?
David: If I dig down into the weeds even more, it’s specifically about experimenting with ad spends on Pinterest right now… We were actually invited to take advantage of promoted pins before it went public to the world. I can show you a traffic graph of when we started using that and how it really affected traffic and engagement and impressions for our Pinterest and traffic to our site. Year to date, we’re 80% over last year in traffic from Pinterest. Pinterest is definitely the largest traffic driver for us over Facebook.
We don’t focus on Facebook too much for huge traffic drivers, but it definitely is a huge tool in pushing our promotions we’re having, contests we’re having, and general marketing content. Social media can be a huge tool in helping get that information from our customers. And we have to do it fast, because so many of our customers’ purchases are seasonal or one-and-done: prom, birthdays, weddings, etc.
We get some really good data from our customers from Facebook during contests. We send them to a landing page that asks for their name, their school name, and their favorite prom theme. That helps marketing decide what to focus on…let’s say we have 500 entries and 300 say they like the carnival theme… then that gives us some insights as to what we want to market to the customer this year. That’s what I want to go into as to how easy and important it is to gather that information about your customers. That’s how someone who goes home and tries these strategies will get ahead of the competition.
ROI: We’re excited to hear more about your social media strategies, David! Thanks for sharing!
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