Social media guru and author Warren Knight will launch a jewellery-specific version of his best-selling book – The Modern Entrepreneurs Guide to Growing a Business -Think #Digital First -exclusively at IJL.
Expect to find an information-packed guide for improving your social media, online marketing and boosting sales.
Copies will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 50 attendees and there will also be a special ‘Meet the Author’ session following Knight’s seminar – Think Digital First: 7 Simple Steps to a Socially Savvy Business, on September 7 at 2.30pm in the Inspiration Theatre.
To give you an insight into Think #Digital, Professional Jeweller caught up with Knight to discuss ecommerce, integrating digital and more…
Q: How have you adapted your book to suit the jewellery trade?
The content inside Think #Digital First is focused on service-driven companies and product-driven companies. The terminology, the case studies and the strategies discussed are focused on these areas. As a result, whoever is reading it can actually follow the step-by-step process and relate it to their own business. However, I have completely re-written the book to focus everything on the jewellery industry with all the relevant terminology.
Q: Having surveyed some members of the industry, what are your impressions of jewellery businesses and their attitudes to digital commerce and social media?
Typically the jewellery industry is slow to adapt to the forever-moving commerce space because it is a very traditional industry that has a lot of heritage behind it. What I think is really exciting is the smaller brands that are adapting to this digital age and moving quicker than some of the bigger boys out there. Ultimately they are growing at a faster pace, but there are only a limited few of these companies out there.
Q: Why do you think the jewellery industry is lagging behind?
I think there’s a notion of ‘hold on a minute, I’m a brand and I’m selling through wholesale, as all my predecessors have over the years – that’s my route to market and I’m not going to sell my products online’. But it’s now got to a point where their competitors have online stores, and the industry already knows the brand behind that online store. Also, because of the fast-moving pace of fashion, [jewellery] brands have been led towards online retailing and different revenue streams. Now they [brands] are saying, ‘right we need to catch up or we are going to fall behind’.
Q: Lots of brands and retailers may be unsure where to start when it comes to going digital. Do you have any advice?
The important starting place comes from doing your own research. A company has to go and research the market place in regards to what other people are doing well and what they are failing at. Look at brands that are doing well and ask ‘what is it that is making them so successful?’ Is it that the owner of the business is now taking responsibility and being the lead behind the brand; from signing off emails to updating social media? Or it might be a complete shift, opting to step out from behind a brand name and build those two-way relationships. People buy from people; this isn’t about selling B2C or B2B.
The next thing is thinking about integrating digital into the marketing mix. Things that happen online happen in real-time, so you need to be listening and understand how your target audience communicates.
Q: Would you recommend hiring a new person to look after social media – as obviously this can be very expensive or impossible for smaller brands?
I think people should be trained internally because they’re the people that know the business best. An agency is not going to be in a strong enough position to react in a way that actually adds value. There are some fantastic government initiatives around at the moment that will help to pay for [digital] action to happen around your company (greatbusiness.gov.uk/businessgrowthservice/)
Q: Do you think brands underestimate how much has to go into becoming a digitally minded company?
100%. You can’t just decide to start Tweeting – there’s no purpose behind it. The place I come from is all about the way that you content market your business; from initial promotion to the text that you use to connect with an online audience. I’m sure many brands can’t believe how well they are doing when they put their products on Asos, for example, but they are doing fantastic because they know how to market product to their target audience.
Warren Knight, How Technology Has Disrupted Sales and Marketing, September 6, 11am-12pm, Olympia Room; Think Digital First: 7 Simple Steps to a Socially Savvy Business, September 7, 2.30pm-3.30pm, Inspiration Theatre; Social Media Advice Clinic, September 7, 10am-11am.