Business Masterclass with Teresa Gomez - video transcript

This is the transcript from a video at the Lord Mayor's Business Forum on 24 June 2013 with Teresa Gomez. She talks about how (and why) their marketing strategy for Threadbare.co -- an online fashion retail store -- is a mix of online and offline channels. Teresa also shares her insights on minimising the pitfalls of having a digital presence.

Julian Simmonds - To introduce our next speaker, Teresa Gomez from Threadbare. Ten years' experience in the marketing world; started off working for Louis Vuitton, a good place to start, and eventually up to some major shopping centre chains. Her job involved travelling the world to the major fashion centres of the globe - I don't know about you, I'm pretty sure I'm in the wrong business - but had started Threadbare, co-founder of that and managing director, an online shopping portal. So please join me in welcoming her up to the stage.

[Applause]

Julian Simmonds - Now, it can't all be about set speeches and slides so we're going to do something a little bit different just to keep things going, and that is we're going to do a bit of a quick interview. I'm going to fire a few questions off to you first, if you're okay, questions without notice - and I promise they won't be too much of a worry - and then I'll turn over to you as the audience to ask a few questions. First of all, we'd better start with well, what is Threadbare, and why did you choose an online shopfront rather than the traditional physical one?

Teresa Gomez - Okay. When Threadbare is an online fashion store that caters for premium fashion brands, that's Australian brands as well as international brands. The reason for having an online store is because 10 years ago when I was working in the UK I was wanting to shop online. That's a long time - actually, it was more than 10 years ago - and that wasn't available, I couldn't do that to shop Australian brands. So I saw that gap in the market and so when I came back to Australia I was I have to do this, because being over there that was already happening and everyone was immersed in digital, digital shopping.

Julian Simmonds - Ten years' experience in the marketing industry, and marketing is something that every business ums and ahs about, are they getting it right. What's been your marketing approach for your own business? Has it all been digital or have you used a couple of different methods?

Teresa Gomez - That's an interesting question, because being an online store we do have a lot of online mediums, so online channels, so social media, e-newsletters, an e-magazine as well, which all work really well. We also have a blog. However what we've found in the last two years is that consumers are changing their consumer behaviour and why that is happening is because of technology.

If you think about it, 10 years ago how you accessed online was in front of a computer and that was it, but now it's literally in your fingertips. We're walking around with a phone and PDAs and you have access to anything that you want. So the information that you've got available is worldwide information. What that means for us is that our marketing strategy has become a lot more comprehensive to involve an approach where our consumers have an offline and online I guess connection with us. Because an online strategy is not enough now [laughs] because as you know when you're at a coffee shop, you're at a coffee shop but you're on the internet and you could be checking your emails and updating…

Julian Simmonds - So even as an online retailer, online itself isn't enough?

Teresa Gomez - That's right. Online and offline are merging together and that's where things are going.

Julian Simmonds - I've heard you speak before about this omni-channel marketing approach that you take. Can you just describe that a little bit for us and what that means?

Teresa Gomez - Omni-channel marketing is different to multi-channel marketing. Omni-channel marketing is the outgrowth and evolution of multi-channel marketing. Multi-channel marketing is the brand having a presence across a multiple number of channels where omni-channel marketing means that all the channels that you use in your marketing strategy need to be working together simultaneously and it needs to have the customer at its centre. What this means it that it becomes very personable to the customer, so that if I'm on your Facebook page or if I'm on another social media channel like Instagram that I am being spoken to and engaged in the way that I need to be in that particular channel.

Julian Simmonds - Okay. You've just gone through the process not too long ago of starting up a digital business. There's probably businesses out here who are looking to start up their own digital presence. What would be your top tips I guess for the best way to go about that?

Teresa Gomez - To start?

Julian Simmonds - Yeah. What are some of the things that you've picked up along the way of how to maximise your digital marketing?

Teresa Gomez - It comes back to that whole correlation of what you're doing. All of your channels need to be really working together simultaneously. So when you speak to people on Facebook, the reason why - you need to think about why they are on Facebook and why I would be on Pinterest and why I would be reading a blog and then approach it that way. So your communication strategy has to be effective this way so that you can engage the consumer at the earlier shopper experience and then they can move on to the next channel, which would hopefully be a website, if you've got a website presence.

Then if you are an offline, a bricks-and-mortar store, that when they get to the website that then it's engaging as well and that they - then you get them to give you - that's where you've got your call the number or you've got a subscription form that they can then book a service with you. So those are the things; it's having a communication strategy that pushes from end I guess to the final contact towards you.

Julian Simmonds - There is digital - having a digital presence is very important but there are some pitfalls. We know that with social media and things like that. How do you minimise some of the pitfalls, making sure that you're getting good reviews from your customers and that customers are having a positive experience through your digital channels.

Teresa Gomez - Well, it's about knowing who you are as a brand [laughs]. You've really got to ask yourself all the questions - as a business, what do I stand for and who are my target consumers? Because when you know your target consumers then you can speak to them effectively and you're not going to bore them, you're going to engage them. The main thing is that I think now, because there are so many things that people can use I think businesses get that whole, I don't know what I should be doing [laughs].

When you know what your brand is you're going to pick the right things for your brand. So for us, as a fashion store, our market, they're really social so we need to be on social media. For someone else like - another example in another industry like an electrical trade or something like that, they're not early adopters of technology so you don't need to be doing everything on social media. Just pick - obviously Facebook I think is something that a lot of people are on - so pick the things that your customers are going to be on and do it, do it well so that you engage them.

Julian Simmonds - Okay, so you don't have to pick everything, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, the whole hog?

Teresa Gomez - No.

Julian Simmonds - No? Better to pick one and do it well?

Teresa Gomez - Yeah, and even SEOs. SEO, you're competing. It's like probability, it's like you've got a big basket in the hope that they're going to reach out and get that one red ball whereas if you make it about a real, concise digital strategy that is really targeted at the targeted consumers, and you again focus on it and do it well then you're going to get results.

Julian Simmonds - One of the other questions I always ask our marketing experts is it's not an easy business environment out there at the moment, costs are always tight and marketing is one of the first things that tends to go in the cull. How do we get into the digital space without spending too much money, without it being a key cost driver but having a big impact?

Teresa Gomez - Well, that again goes to that concise strategy approach that you need to have. I was just speaking to someone a little earlier and they were talking to me about SEO. There are so many - it goes back to well, is it going to make me return on investment? What are my objectives for doing this? You need to track everything that you're doing weekly, and online you can, that's the beauty of it. Everything is measurable. You have Google Analytics so you can gauge all the traffic that's coming from all your different channels.

Facebook and any social media is free [laughs]. The only thing that costs you money online is Facebook ads and SEOs. Facebook ads are actually more beneficial for you because they're going to drive people to your actual Facebook wall. There's ways of seeing how I'm going to do this in the less expenditure.

Julian Simmonds - So a digital strategy doesn't necessarily mean big marketing dollars, it could be very targeted?

Teresa Gomez - No. Yeah, that's right.

Julian Simmonds - Excellent. Well, thank you very much for taking the questions without notice.

Teresa Gomez - Thank you.

Julian Simmonds - You've done very well. 

Go back to the Digital Business Masterclass videos.

11 February 2016