Equestrian Entrepreneurs Get Inspired at CREATE Marketing Workshop
Last week Heels Down Media attended the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) August Trade Fair, where we had the opportunity to get a preview of next year’s spring/summer fashions and throughout North America, meet new businesses, and create new partnerships. During this trip, we hosted our first major networking event and innovative marketing workshop at the Radisson Valley Forge in Oaks, PA. With food, wine and practical information, we gathered entrepreneurs, retailers, and marketing managers from various parts of the equestrian industry to come participate in this inaugural event.
The idea behind CRE@TE stemmed from the experience Heels Down Media CEO, Patricia Da Silva, when she left her corporate job to work for ECOGOLD. After years of working with a sizable marketing budget, she suddenly had no marketing budget. While some would have balked at the challenge, Patricia knew that all this meant was that she had to become more innovative and a better marketer.
“I was lucky we didn’t have a budget. I had to learn how to build a brand, business & get customers by being creative and smart.”
Marketing is all about storytelling. It’s no longer just having a flashy advertisement with interesting copy. Marketing has become so much more. What is the story behind your brand? How do you share your story with your consumers? How are you taking your consumer’s stories and applying it to your brand?
In this day and age, there is more stuff and less space. The marketplace is crowded and is leaving marketers with less ways to create content that doesn’t require them to shout at their audience in the hopes of being heard. The average consumer is bombarded with advertisements every day. Their attention span is short, they’re bored with the status quo, they’re busy, and what they see on their social media is heavily impacted by algorithms and platforms that want businesses to pay to play.
Every day things are changing, with the consumer, social media, marketing, and the tools available to be successful. As a business and a marketer, it is your job to find ways to control and work with these changes. It’s your job to create innovation and find new ways to share your story and to continue to evolve it. You don’t need to pay to play in order to be successful on social media. If you build your brand around a story that is one your audience shares, you will find success. Creating an empire takes time, and it takes having the right tools. Without the necessary tools, even the most innovative and creative minds can struggle to find success.
The biggest tool in finding success is having a captive audience. If your audience isn’t listening, what can you hope to accomplish? In order to connect with your audience in a way that generates engagement, you must communicate with them in the ways that work best with them. This requires evaluating the current trends, having a strong social media presence and platform to support mobile interaction, and cultivating an online influence system that will help in your efforts of creating an audience that is responsive to a whisper rather than immune to a shout.
Above all, dare to be different. There are social media platforms that will come and go. Algorithms will consistently shake up the game for all the players. Trends will change, in the equestrian industry, marketing, and consumer preference. Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be bad. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and go against the trends, you never know when it will pay off.
“I don’t know what the future is going to be like, but we are going to be on it.” ~ Patricia Da Silva, Heels Down Media CEO