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Laura Smous

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With huge increases in online shopping in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — U.S. e-commerce was up 49% in April alone, according to data from software company Adobe — online shopping is shaping up to be an attractive space for retailers and brands looking for growth. And the brands that want to launch and then grow their e-commerce businesses will, of course, need an e-commerce manager. At the same time, as more Americans work from…

In a consumer-driven, tech-based world, there’s no shortage of startups trying to turn great ideas into money-making products — but actually succeeding is quite another matter. About 90% of new startups never make it off the ground, and 95% of new products struggle to find a market and end up failing. Before taking on the risk and cost of developing an idea into a commercial product, there’s a crucial step that every business must first take.…

“I was asked what I thought about the recession. I thought about it and decided not to take part.” These are the famous words of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, who instinctively knew what every successful entrepreneur knows — booms and recessions are an inevitable part of life.  From the Great Depression of 1929 to the post-WW2 recession, the 1980 meltdown, the 2000 dot-com bubble, and the 2008 housing bust, one thing is certain…

The internet presents opportunities and challenges to direct-to-consumer (D2C) sellers, but unlike the early days of online selling — which wasn’t all that long ago — there’s now a wide range of channels available to help you reach customers and sell your products. From Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, and even your own branded website, your products can appear to hundreds of thousands of buyers at any given time. With so many channels and resellers available in the…

Data-driven marketing has enormous advantages over traditional marketing strategies. For example, it enables segmentation and allows marketers to customize and personalize messaging for the customer profile of each segment. It also makes it easy to track what messaging is working and to modify and optimize campaigns in real-time. Messaging isn’t the only area in which data-driven marketing can be very valuable. It’s also a key tool in one of the most critical components of any…

How do you know if your marketing strategy is working? By measuring the success of your marketing tactics against the goals you’ve set. Measurement uses metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to figure out how your efforts are impacting your business. Measuring your marketing efforts is more than just figuring out how you’ll define success for your marketing campaigns. It involves using powerful marketing analytics tools that can help analyze your campaign data, figuring out…

Marketers understand that to compete in today’s business environment, it’s essential to form bonds and connections with your audience. Some experts estimate that consumers are exposed to as many as 4,000 to 10,000 marketing messages every day. To cut through the noise, brands must appeal to the unique interests and needs of their audiences and connect with them in a way that they appreciate. This is where buyer personas come in. Over half of modern…

A common misconception is that your ads need to be perfect before they go live. However, a big part of marketing is testing and changing your methods accordingly. If you create something that you are reasonably happy with, pull the trigger and start promoting. Interactions with your initial ad will provide feedback you can use to iterate upon throughout your digital advertising journey. Before you begin testing, it’s important to understand the three most common…

Since direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands directly communicate with their customers, creating quality content assets has never been more important. Content assets are ads, blog posts, videos, and other visual or written pieces that will engage your target audience and convert them into customers. Keep in mind that every piece of content needs a goal: to highlight new products, create some buzz, or encourage visitors to buy from you. You can create a lot of different types…

A marketing strategy is your overall game plan for reaching your audience and turning them into your customers. For D2C brands — who have the end-to-end control of making, marketing, and shipping — this is particularly crucial because it establishes where you can allocate your resources for maximum growth, and helps you understand what leads to success. As with any game plan, you’ll need to know the players, your strengths, how to “score,” and how…