5 Marketing Skills eCommerce Stores Need to Survive

eCommerce marketing survival

Marketing departments in today’s world are run much like an episode of Game of Thrones. Many players, lots of story lines, a big audience and your basic survival of the fittest mentality.

Think about it…

The players are all the people that help marketing initiatives run smoothly.

The story lines are anything shared that tells a story like content, email, Tweets and every single time your products are talked about.

The audience are the people that read your story lines, including everyone from prospects to customers to partners, industry bloggers, future employees and even the competition.

But what does survival of the fittest mean? The strongest? The smartest? The savviest?

No, no and yes.

The new reality is that in order to survive, everyone (regardless of position and especially in eCommerce) needs to sharpen their digital marketing chops. Take Arya Stark for example. She has some of the most impressive self-preservation instincts. We’ve seen her grow from a dress-wearing, mischievous little girl that nobody took seriously into one of the most strong-willed and resourceful characters that commands respect. She is a survivor. And she would probably make one heck of a savvy eCommerce marketer.

So whether you’re a Arya Stark or trying to sell products online, you can be a better version if you have a basic foundation in marketing survival 101.

5 Marketing Skills Ecommerce Stores Need to Survive

1. Research. Hustle. Stalk. Repeat.

If there’s one thing that marketers are masterful at, it’s research, hustling and stalking. Much like the Lannisters, you should be relentless in the pursuit of what you want. And by that I mean, researching and knowing all the key influencers, hustling to contact them and then stalking them until you get what you want. This skill-set is critical in everything from getting guest blogs, recruiting new hires to acquiring new customers or ruling the Iron Throne.

Everyone that works for your store should be a researching, hustling stalking ninja who is adept at tracking down opportunities and coming up with creative ways to turn those opportunities into reality. Maybe that means Tweeting a blogger that you cannot get to write about your store or sending a valuable customer a random holiday card because you’ve exhausted all other ways of trying to get them to buy from you again. Regardless of your goal, you’d do well to learn how to become an expert at leveraging the digital world (not a sword) to get what you want.

2. Professional Online Courting.

In the digital age, your first point of contact with anyone new is almost always done online. How often do you get past the gatekeeper (aka the email inbox)? Yeah, that’s what I thought. This is why it’s absolutely crucial that you hone your email skills. And you might be thinking, “Uh, I’m pretty sure I know how to email,” but just because you can type and press send doesn’t mean you’re doing a bang-up job at using this channel to your advantage. How often do those emails get opened?

When it comes to forming and maintaining excellent relationships, it’s all about finesse. This is why savvy stores are pros at becoming BFFs with people they’ve never even met…but hopefully stalked online. Sometimes that means knowing their first name, making a cheesy comment about the latest Game of Thrones episode or asking them if they have any questions about your latest products (because you they read the email you sent about all the latest products). The point is to go the extra step to turn your faceless email address into a living, breathing savvy person with whom people want to buy from. Or at the very least, read your email – regardless of the department that sent it.

3. Be Socially Savvy. Not Awkward. Or Silent.

Tweet. Pin. Post. Insta. And do it now and do it often. Social media know-how may have once been a bonus, but it is pretty much mandatory by now. And much like you need to have a warm coat and working knowledge of a sword if living on The Wall, you should also have some working knowledge of every social tool like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Hootsuite, Instagram, Tumblr and so on.

If you’re in eCommerce, you MUST have a polished Twitter profile. You should also make sure to tweet and tweet often. Anything less makes you come across as a bit like King Joffrey – who rules with whim and caprice. Trust me, you do not want to manage your social marketing impulsively. You want it to represent your brand and you want to make sure that you are tracking those efforts across every social channel to know what posts are working and what does no work.

4. Be a Data Warrior.

In marketing, the term “big data” is tossed around even more than the Stark motto of Winter is coming in an episode of Game of Thrones.

But it’s not just about big data; it’s about what you “do” with that data that matters. Duh. Isn’t that what Springbot’s motto is?

Marketing is not just about crafting cool messages, generating social posts, hosting events or being a data warrior. It’s about understanding data, because no amount of creative content or website visits matter unless they’re having an impact on the goal of increasing exposure and sales.

Why does this matter to you? Ecommerce stores would do well to become more data-oriented if they want to be more successful and compete with the Amazons and Targets of the world. For example, does sharing certain types of content help you get that sell? Does sending an email in the afternoon on a Tuesday result in more conversions than any other day and time of the week? Do you know the answer to this? If not, this is all stuff you should know because it will help you become a better marketer – allowing you to focus on what is working so that you can increase ROI.

In a nutshell? Data matters. Clean data matters more. But what counts is what you do with that data and you cannot do anything if it is not correct and/or you do not understand it or have the tools (like Springbot) to turn that data into actions.


5. Outrank Everyone Else.

Much like Daenerys Targarygen who has been patiently waiting for the chance to get back to Westeros and claim her throne, successful SEO also takes patience. And a lot of perseverance. With SEO, you need to be patient and wait a few weeks, sometimes months, to start seeing results and get where you want to be. But in the end, it’s worth it.

With SEO, you don’t really need for everyone to be an experts. But as an employee, you should make sure everyone has a basic grasp on how websites earn a high ranking position in Google searches so they can help give your store some love and maybe increase your conversions. Want to learn more SEO tips? Read Top 10 SEO Tips for Magento.