Equestrian businesses were present for a marketing and networking workshop presented by Heels Down Media at the August edition of the American Equestrian Trade Association in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on August 12. Heels Down Media President Patricia Da Silva presented on several trending topics in today’s marketing environment and how they could be applied to equestrian business.

Using a mixture of facts and figures, Da Silva talked about how to target a brand’s marketing in the most efficient way in an environment where consumer attention span is dwindling. “Marketing is everything,” was reiterated several times, driving home the point that being able to adapt to change is important when keeping a brand visible to consumers.


Speaking on engagement, it was revealed that the average consumer is exposed to over 5,000 daily brand exposures, only 12 of which make some sort of impression. This further underscored the importance of marketing and the use of core beliefs in a message to induce emotion from the consumer.

Core belief messages are compelling and connected to a need — pushing the consumer towards an emotion, which often elicits an action.

While bearing in mind the core belief message behind an ad, it is also imperative to keep the design simple and direct. As the average consumer relies more and more on their phone as their primary source of exposure, the amount of space and time available for advertisers is shrinking as well. Having the ability to simplify the design and get your point across as directly as possible is a key to success.

Da Silva also touched on current marketing trends, two of which were live video and podcasts. Live video is statistically more enthusiastically watched than a regular video on a social media platform, and podcasts show impressive conversion rates of consumers deciding to buy a product after hearing about it. These two opportunities can be utilized within the equine market (for example, Heels Down Magazine now has a podcast that is accepting advertisers) with some creativity. 67 million Americans currently listen to a podcast at least once a month, so adapting your message to be heard on this platform is a way to reach an even broader audience.

Finally, knowing how to create engaging content for each platform for social media advertising is also paramount to success. Each platform has a different algorithm to outsmart and each platform serves its own purpose, therefore one message is not necessarily transferable among each.

At the end of the workshop, brands were invited to present a product to receive advice on how to properly market it. Feedback received from the August workshop was excellent, and the Heels Down Media team looks forward to presenting on a similar topic at the January AETA show.