Steal The Marketing Secrets Of Lululemon & Pottery Barn



Jessica Shirra

Jess Shirra is a Fractional CMO, and the founder of Fractional CMO School. Her days are spent supporting her 7-figure clients, helping them grow their membership + course businesses. Additionally she mentors other marketers to launch and grow their own Fractional CMO business. With more than 15 years in the field, she's led marketing for both high-growth startups, well-known global names like Lululemon, Pottery Barn, Jenna Kutcher, Strava, and Deloitte to name a few. Jess' philosophy is rooted in customer-first marketing, which she believes makes marketing and sales effortless and cultivates fiercely loyal brand advocates. She upholds that the key to true excellence is focusing on doing fewer things, but executing them exceptionally well.

Scale your retail business with marketing secrets from Lululemon and Pottery Barn!

Learn how to plan campaigns across channels, focus on newness over discounts, and steal strategies from big brands. Jessica Shirra shares insider tips from working with top retailers. Discover how to stand out from the crowd and drive sales with intentional, multi-channel marketing. 

** There are 9 strategies I use when helping retail/e-comm businesses move their stock fast so they can reinvest that money into new business. Head over to to know exactly what those 9 strategies are and how I use them.

Salena Knight 0:02
Hey there, and welcome to the bringing business to retail podcast. If you're looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or E commerce business, then you're in the right place. I'm Celina Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires. To move to the next level. I'll provide you with the strategies, the tools and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action, ready to get started?

Salena Knight 0:52
Well, hello there and welcome to the brainy business to retail podcast. Now I am recording this just a few hours before I head to the airport. To go on a slightly unexpected trip to the UK. We're off to visit my husband's parents whose health is deteriorating, and decided that seniors we didn't get the house at auction last week that we were really hoping to get that right now we have the time and let's be honest, the money to head off and see them. So the trip was a little bit unexpected. I think my husband decided on last Tuesday, and today is Tuesday. So I pretty much had a week to get everything ready and shipshape before we were to hit off. Now going on a holiday or on a trip isn't usually a big problem. But what I do find is there are a bunch of things that just seem to fall through the cracks beforehand. And on the day of me leaving, I'm always rushing around. So this morning, I had my team call and then I'm fluffing around in the spare bedroom to get it ready for the house sitter. And then just yesterday, I pulled out my suitcase to potentially start packing and realized I do not have a suitcase. Holy crap polar. That the last time I went on a trip was down to Melbourne for the retail Academy live. And I'd forgotten that on my way home, the airline smashed a whole big section off of my suitcase. Yes, a whole quarter of one side got ripped off. Now even more of a ripoff is the fact that they kept denying my claim for damage. Despite the fact it was very obvious that my suitcase was perfectly fine before it hopped on the plane. And it came back on usable. So that had been thrown out and I completely forgotten, you know, Christmas, all those sorts of things. And so I had to head off to the big shopping mall because I didn't have any time. I had back to back meetings from 7am till 6pm. And I just had this tiny little window of one hour where I could go and get this suitcase before the shops shut. And so I headed down to the mall, you know, the big shopping mall, it's never my favorite place. There's only one luggage place anywhere nearby, like one luggage store. And I walked in I checked online beforehand and I found the suitcase that I wanted. It said it was in stock it was in my budget. So I headed down and I showed the lady a picture and said I would like this suitcase please. Oh, we don't have that in stock. But we can get it for you by tomorrow. Like well that's great, but I leave tomorrow. And so then she proceeded to show me a bunch of suitcases as any good salesperson would. And realistically, I have two choices. I can choose a great suitcase in black. Now I will never buy a black suitcase ever again. My last suitcase was teal, the one before that was pink, the one before that was green. I want to have a suitcase that I can see coming off the conveyor belt. So I had a couple of choices. One, a black suitcase that fit my price fit what I wanted and was available on the day or a bright yellow suitcase that fit the bill. It was in my price range was it was actually $20 More than I wanted to spend. It had all the pockets inside that I wanted I'm very fussy on my suitcase because I don't pack a lot so it needs to be able to be compartmentalize. So this one had the pockets on the little zip up thing on the inside. It was expandable and it was a color that you could see of course bright yellow. Now you know me I'm not one to shy away from color. I love color. I don't own anything black in my wardrobe. But this suitcase. This suitcase is as the delightful Lee Salisbury called it on my Facebook page minion yellow and hence forever and from now on it will be called the minion suitcase. So think of the color of a minion and yes my friends That is the color of my suitcase. All it needs is some glasses and some blue overalls. And it would literally look like I was dragging a minion through the airport, not necessarily the color I would have chosen. And I made it really, really clear. In fact, I was a little bit of a bit bit kind of testing this out to see this is an independent retail store. And I wanted to see how good the training was that they put this salesperson through. And so I made it really clear that one, it was $20 More than I was prepared to spend. And it was a color I really, really did not want. And I kept saying it over and over again. And I just wanted to see if she would either bumped down the price. Or if she would give me an alternative. And she did. Well she did one of those things. She gave me the alternative. She's like, well, you can always choose the black, like the black has all the things the Black is in your budget. Or I can try and get one in before you leave tomorrow. What time are you going, but she was not backing down. And in my heart, I was like giving her a big, big fist bump a big high five, because she stood her ground, she knew I had no choice. I was either I was walking out of that job with a suitcase, I was either buying the black one, or I was buying the yellow one. There was no other option. And so of course, she won, she got the sale, and I got the yellow minion suitcase. Now, the point of this story is not that I am now the proud owner of a suitcase that looks like it should be on TV. It's that the training whether the company had put her through that training, or she was just a great sales associate, the simple fact was, she was not giving me a discount to try and get the sale. She knew the value that she held all the cards, she knew the value to me was being able to walk out with a suitcase that I needed pretty much within my budget, and that I could use straight away. And I know in a lot of cases, you guys listening, if you're working in your store, you probably would have conceded defeat Trust me, I am good at this. I was really really pushing, I reckon you would have dropped the price $20 to get that sale. And so my question to you is next time you have somebody that is in desperate need of something like I was, don't discount, sit there and listen, show them the alternatives. You can have this or you can have nothing. You can have the yellow suitcase if there was no black suitcase, she could have quite simply said, Well, you've got the yellow one. Or I guess you could drive 25 minutes to the next closest store like do you have that much time to be able to go and do that did not have that much time. I had one hour to get there and to get back. And so she was smart. Like guys, if I was looking for a salesperson, I would have picked her and headhunted her to work in my store. And the thing is, big box retailers will train their team to do this. Most chain stores will train their team on sales strategies. So you have to be looking at what big box stores do well, and they do a lot of things. Well, they have a lot of things process sized and systemized in their business. It's just rinse and repeat, cut and paste. Those kinds of things like some sales, training and not backing down and listening to the customer. Those things will change your business. But there are other things that big box stores do or don't do, that you can seriously leverage. Their customer service is usually pretty crap. Their follow up their attention to detail. Not all that fantastic because generally the people working in these stores are overworked. They're short staffed, there's not enough people on the floor. or dare I say it, they simply don't care. They're getting paid whether they sell or not. So with that in mind, this is a great segue into today's episode where Jessica Shara is going to share with you the marketing strategies that big box stores use that you can put into your store. This is a great episode and you'd be surprised at the things that she is going to share with you. So I'm going to take my minion suitcase. I'm going to load it up and head to the airport. I'm going to sit in the lounge and have my glass of wine. Before I jet off many, many hours. I think it's 29 hours altogether to the UK. You my friends. Please listen to this podcast with the amazing Jessica Shira. And I will see you back here same time, same place next week. Bye.

Salena Knight 9:35
Hey there, and welcome to this week's episode of the brainy business to retail podcast. Now I know that having a marketing person in your business full time is the dream for so many retail and e commerce Store owners. But the simple fact is for a lot of us we either can't afford or don't even need a full time marketing executive. So But what do you do when you want a marketing person in your business? But you don't have a role for them full time? Well, the answer is a fractional CMO. Now, you probably have heard if you listen to the podcast for a while that I have a fractional cmo in my company. And today, Jessica Scheer, who is a fractional CMO is going to come on and talk to you about what that model looks like. But more importantly, how you can steal the secrets of some of her top clients that she's worked with like Lululemon and pottery barn, she's going to give you the insider behind the scenes secrets, and show you how you can put those into your business. Now this is the great thing about having a fractional CMO is you get all the experience of someone who has worked with much bigger clients or even in a different industry, and they get to put all of that knowledge into your business for a fraction of the price. So welcome to the show, Jessica.

Jessica Shirra 10:57
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here. Oh,

Salena Knight 11:01
I'm excited about talking about, I just call it functionality. I don't know if that is actually a word. But we have fractional CFOs. We have fractional CMOS, like fractional CEOs. Basically what it just means is like a part time person inserted into your business, but it's they're not an employee as such. Yeah, yeah,

Jessica Shirra 11:21
exactly. And I know the model, sort of the fractional model has been around for a while when it comes to CFOs. Typically, when I when I talk about it in that way, people something kind of clicks, they're like, oh, yeah, okay, I've heard of it. But it's definitely new. When it comes to the rest of the executive team. There's been a big growth, the fractional cmo role function, CEO roles, and fractional executives as a whole for sure over the last five years.

Salena Knight 11:47
So what made you jump into inserting yourself into so many businesses? Because my brain just feels like that would be a little bit exhausting? Because you have to go all in as if you were working in there. Yeah,

Jessica Shirra 12:01
yeah, um, I think it's honestly a little bit how my brain works, I really, I've always really loved variety, and thrived on like, lots of moving parts and like fast pace roles. And so this feels like a really natural fit. And I generally do well, with context switching. And I have, I can really, really focus and kind of like, you know, when I'm working on one thing, I'm really deeply in it. So I think it is partially how my brain works, I don't think it would be for everybody. But the other side of it, like the more kind of human emotional side of it is I had my daughters. And my oldest is five, almost my eldest is five, and my youngest is turning three soon. And as you're having them, I just, I couldn't really see a world in which I went back to a traditional Monday to Friday, nine to five, I love working. And I love what I do, I'm super passionate about it. But I also just wanted the balance to be able to pick my kids up or how to take them to an appointment if I needed to, and just have that flexibility in my life. So I started out consulting and kind of fell into this fractional cmo role almost accidentally, actually.

Salena Knight 13:14
So tell us about that journey, because you have worked for some very big names like, I am so excited to hear about what we're going to steal from the big guys. And it's so easy for us to compare ourselves as business owners, to companies that are so much bigger than us. And I always say you build a brand store that build a brand that chain stores can't compete with, because you are never going to be able to compete with their marketing budgets and their teams of people and their multi store locations, and fulfillment centers, all around all those things. But what you can do is take the things that they do well, and terminate, put them into your business or exploit the things that they don't do well, and those two things will be the reason that people will shop with you rather than going to a big box store. So tell us about your journey to get into here because you have a wealth of experience.

Jessica Shirra 14:09
Thank you. So I started out actually in the startup space, which was a great place to be just to learn like all areas of business sales marketing. I moved over into the tourism industry for as Time moved over to agency where I got to work with tons of different brands and working on all sorts of projects. And that really gave me exposure to like varying sizes of budgets, strategy from all sorts of perspectives. I loved that so much. And then I worked at Lululemon for quite some time as well. So there I was running their global marketing campaigns. So the biggest campaigns that they were doing, I was in charge of those with massive teams massive budgets. It really was like what you know younger Jess would have said was like my dream job. It was it was fantastic for that phase of my life. Then I had my first daughter and went on maternity leave. And again, like it was mentioning, like things just shifted for me and I needed a change. So I ended up doing some marketing consulting and found the world of fractional CML. And I really love it. I think my favorite thing about doing this work now is being able to draw from my experience with working with those huge brands with huge budgets. And I love what you said about you know, taking lessons from them, or cues from them, but then also leaning on the things that they just like can't do and can't be because of, it's almost like their strengths or their weaknesses at the same time. So I love being able to take the learnings and experience and strategies from that and like right size them for my clients now,

Salena Knight 15:55
what was your most favorite campaign that you've ever worked on?

Jessica Shirra 15:59
Probably when I was with Lululemon, I worked for the girls brand for a period of time when I worked there, that brand was called a viva. And we did some amazing, amazing campaigns of them. One of them was we did their first ever like literally first ever as a brand giveaway. like Lululemon hadn't done one Aviva hadn't done Monday had just like at that point in time marketing as a whole like you're kind of pushed marketing for Lululemon was new like they did have they've showed up on social data in the community side of things for a long time, but actually showing up and like doing intentional sales emails and paid marketing on on social media and, and doing things like contests to build their email list like the kind of like true marketing, it was new. So we wanted to within this Aviva V was a feel kind of felt like working for our startup inside of Lululemon. So like well funded lots of amazing brains on the brand, but you're in this like, nimble, agile, and have cool environment where you can like move really quickly. So we did this contest. And we had these this goal to grow the email list, I can't remember the number now I want to say like 10,000 or something over the duration of two weeks. And we hit that goal in a few hours on our first day. So that was such a cool experience. Just being able to like build that out it being the first time they had ever done that. Seeing us hit our goal. Like just that quickly. It was really amazing. And then we just I did a lot of other campaigns with that brand. And I love it. Because as you know, Lululemon is very, like brand forward. They're they're always about, like, how are they making people feel? And what's the community impact and like, and that element of it. So working for the girls brand was really cool, because we were able to support and impact girls who were, you know, like tweens kind of younger, impressionable

Salena Knight 18:07

Jessica Shirra 18:09
Yeah, so it just, it just was really cool. We did a lot of campaigns that had like empowering messaging, and it just was it, it was a really cool place to like, kind of have a meeting of like brand and marketing and just be able to experience the impact that you can have on a big scale.

Salena Knight 18:26
Awesome. There. You said something in there, which I would love to dive in deeper if it's okay with you. You said push marketing. Now, that's probably a term that most people who are listening haven't really heard before or maybe don't animate, they've heard it and they don't understand it. So can you kind of dig in a little bit more as to what that is? What does that look like? Maybe give us some examples of other push marketing

Jessica Shirra 18:50
that you've done? Definitely. Yeah. So it's funny, it's making me think of like my university days and marketing definitions. So there's push versus pull marketing and Pull Marketing is like, you know, as a brand, you're going to go on social media and show up and you're going to, like, it's softer, you're going to be like, Okay, if you're Lululemon like maybe showing somebody running like you're showing them living lifestyle so you're it's software you're not like direct sells selling

Salena Knight 19:19
was like the aspirational side of things. Totally like the

Jessica Shirra 19:23
brand side so the who you are as who are you as a brand what kind of experiences and feelings do you want to create like, that's kind of like the poll so polling seeking, like you're attracting people to you. The push marketing is like, the more like go out and get them like a little bit more aggressive and a little bit more pointed. So the idea of Lululemon like, like trying to build an email list was like, actually a new thing like they they had they were Lululemon and they grew from being a brand and being a movement that people wanted to be a part of, so they hadn't really, up until this time. I've dabbled in like literally paid marketing, which is like, you know, paid marketing is probably like the strongest form of push marketing where you were, the way I like to think of it is like, you're infiltrating into someone's world or space, kind of uninvited really in a way, because they're just, you know, scrolling through social media or doing something and you're like, in it, right? You know, they're a little bit chatty, chatty. Yeah, yeah, totally, instead of them coming to you to your website, or your Instagram or your, you know, channel or your store. So it's just that now, and I think both are equally important. But it was so new for them at that time. So it was an interesting time to be there. Now,

Salena Knight 20:43
I know, this is not going to be the Lululemon show. But I would love it if, like, a lot of people will know the brand all around the world. And I've heard some stories about how they got started, like, I have heard that they got their first original brand awareness by giving out Jim ware to a whole bunch of teachers and getting people to call up and say, you know, to retailers and say, Do you stock Lululemon, I would love to know the real story behind it. Because it's really easy for us to think, oh, my gosh, you know, this, this brand became so big, and they are so community focused, we use them quite a lot, in our case studies because they've done an amazing job of building a brand that is very purpose driven and community focused. But the reality is, there's money there right from the beginning. So can you maybe give us a little bit of background so that people understand when we're talking about this, that their drivers at the beginning, were very different to probably our drivers of the people who are listening to this podcast?

Jessica Shirra 21:43
Yeah, yeah, definitely, I will say, I know that even at the very, very, very beginning of the company, there was a function and like technical importance placed on product, which I personally think separates them from, I will say everybody, because there's lots of brands doing what they do now, as well. But I still don't know that many brands are on par with the, like research that they put into fabrics, and use of fabrics. And just like the innovation, like they have an entire innovation team. I think they renamed that they were called white space when I was there. But they have a whole team that literally just does innovation. And of course, they didn't know at the outset. But I do know that the idea came from Chuck Wilson doing yoga and being like, Okay, I'm sweating and uncomfortable in this like hot cotton outfit, like there has to be a better way. And kind of solving a problem for himself. And saying, like, let's try all of these fabrics. And let's see what's comfortable, what's breathable, what stretches, what washes Well, what lasts. And I think that they always have held on to that at their core. When they make products and they're expensive, like people are there's so many complaints you go online and the little Linux social media team, like there's there's a big department around that, like it complaints about pricing. But it's it's kind of warranted because there's their quality is there and the the science that goes into what they create, like they fit past things. And they don't just put it on a model and zip it up as like, they put it on the model. And then the model goes and rock climbs or like runs on the treadmill for an hour and a half or like they're putting these things to the test. So they've always held true to that, which I think is really cool. And, and I know that that was there from like, day one.

Salena Knight 23:34
So why was why was that bull market? Why was that? Push marketing? Not like, not at the forefront? Because I mean, everyone listening here now knows that one of the first things that you should do is build your email list. And so why was that? Not a focus at the beginning? Yeah, I

Jessica Shirra 23:56
mean, I think a couple of reasons. I mean, obviously, the marketing landscape and how you market has changed massively since they've they've started. It wasn't what it is today, at all by any means. I also think too, though, that they grew. They had like this really grassroots community approach that. I don't know, if you were to start a company today, if it would work the way that it did then so I think it was a little bit of like, timing of where things were with technology and with marketing strategy at the time, but then also the founders and the founding executive teams just had, like the I know that chip doesn't always have the best reputation. But that aside, like she is like a magnet for great talent and just people who are just geniuses in their craft. So the people that were like part of Bill thing that like his his ability to select the right people I would say was like, what Grudem because the community piece was it but it was like, how they did community and how they built relationships and like there was it was coming from a place of like, deep desire to connect with people and build something bigger than an apparel brand.

Salena Knight 25:20
Yeah. And it's it's funny like that you say that, that today would be it's a very different landscape. And there are so many purpose driven brands and community driven brands that it does mean they have to do something to stand out. And there are a lot of stories like that I've you've been in this industry Well, I've been in this industry since like the beginning of internet 2006 So I have seen all of the things flash websites thank goodness they're gone. But I agree with you I think now the it's almost the it's almost if you weren't a purpose driven brand then you stand out like you and this this I think I'm not gonna say that I agree with it, but I think this is why so many of those like, Bro marketer influencer guys on Tik Tok, because they are, I'm gonna say being nasty. I'm gonna go you lots of other people say bucking the trend is that attracting people because they are standing out. And this is where it becomes really difficult. And I would love to know how you help brands do this. Because if you are purpose driven, if you are community based, if you're slow fashion, all of these things that we think our customers want, how do we make ourselves stand out?

Jessica Shirra 26:38
Yeah, it's a great question. And I don't think there's a simple answer. When I come into work with a client, I'm looking at everything from like a to z and their marketing. And the reason I do that is because it's not simple, like I can come in and say, you know, let's focus on your social, because I think that's going to make you stand out. But if there's a product problem, like if there's, if there's something foundational where, you know, they're, they're not getting repeat customers, or they maybe don't have enough like variety in their product, or maybe they, you know, their pricing is off. Like if there's something like that, then all of the best marketing the world isn't going to solve that. So I do like to look at everything and really understand the business strategy and sort of the foundations of it. But, you know, assuming there's no issues there, I think it's, I really think it depends, like I'll tell you, I'll give you two examples of clients that I have right now that I think I've done an incredible job standing out and are growing because of it. So one client is actually located where I am. So I'm in Kelowna, BC, Canada. And I live in a region called the Okanagan. And the Okanagan is a vacation spot. It's like absolutely beautiful. We used to come here before we moved here. And before we had kids and do winery vacations, and it's not the lake and it's like, it's so fun, it's like such a good place to be. And this brand, there is actually their 10 year birthday coming up this year, this brand was was birthed by a now friend and client of mine to celebrate the region, but also always to give back and what she created was something that is like there was nothing like it here. And she was also early, almost a little bit too early, but stuck with it. And then her brand has like exploded and it's been so cool to see. And the clothing. And so if I talk just about the product, the logo and everything is like representative of the region. And it's really well known. So there's there's not only like a sense of pride in wearing it if you're a local here, but there's also like people like like I just mentioned people that vacation here and they bring their son their friends here and friends sorry family here every summer to vacation and things like that they have all these memories, and it's nostalgic for them. Like there's that element too. So there's this like, emotional piece woven into what she creates.

Salena Knight 29:18
And a bit of version of an I Love New York shirt. Oh

Jessica Shirra 29:23
100% Exactly that. So you're like Yeah, exactly. Like not only is it cool, it looks cool. She's done a great job, like picking out the fabrics and designing them and styling them so they look cool, but they're also you're also like I love this place like I'm proud to wear this I'm proud to say like I go there every summer like where I live here like it's it's a it's some pride, like built into it. And then from day one, they've been very, very impact driven. So they're always part of like community initiatives or big things happening or partnering with with people who are doing cool stuff in the community. And so I think they've become No, like way beyond the, you know, the shirt or whatnot, like they're just they're known for, like, if there's something happening, or something. We had a huge we were known for forest fires in this area and we had a bit, one of the biggest ones we've had in 20 years, this summer and bird as the CEO and the brand, were, like, I, I can't even find the words for like how impactful their efforts and they're, they're just like response was to the community like everything from their store, turning into a master point to donating things to helping raise money, like they were all focused on this, you know, helping the community come back from this disaster. So it's, it's really like, there's so much heart in it. So that's one example. And then another example, I'll give you a little bit of a shorter answer. I working with this client who has started a beautiful pillowcases, and so she had some health issues and needed you Do you know them? dosi? No, I

Salena Knight 31:05
do. But I need to know. I just saw clearly she could see my face going home. Yeah, I was

Jessica Shirra 31:11
like, Oh, she started it out of Australia. Oh,

Salena Knight 31:15
I need one because that yo, I'm getting a little bit older. And I have you know, I've got my asthma medication. And I've got all these things, and I'm about to go on holidays. And I'm like, have to get one of those ugly plastic ones, because the ones only have like two days. And I'm like, today's is not getting me anywhere. So I am gonna have to look at this one up

Jessica Shirra 31:35
there beautiful. Like she ended there. So she made these beautiful planners. Now she has tons of products, and she expands the product line based on like gaps in the market. So not just like, oh, I want to do this or that. Like she's, she's truly like listening to her customers and really deeply understand them and what they need. And she's created something that just doesn't exist. There's no alternatives out there. So

Salena Knight 31:58
I was thinking I would create this thing because it didn't exist. What is the name of that brand?

Jessica Shirra 32:02
Josie do sey Okay,

Salena Knight 32:06
we're gonna write that one down. Um, yeah, I would love to know, I would love to know if we can go back to the first brand. Because immediately My first question is, so many people listening to this podcast would do exactly the thing that you just said, and resonate with that. But what I have found, and I've worked with hundreds of retailers all around the world is quite often that that impact comes at a cost and that cost is not making money. So we'd love to know, how do you ensure that the all the givers out there, don't just keep giving, but actually still bringing in the money and still looking at the numbers to make sure that they've got a profitable viable business?

Jessica Shirra 32:51
Yeah, that's a really good point. Um, I think if I can sort of look how they have structured things online, I would absolutely say like have a have a really strong CFO who can help advise because truly, like, they're going to help you structure and think ahead and plan for these things. But I would say like some of the creative things that they have done is like their shop closes at five. And so they rent out the space for evening events. And like they just had one the other day, that was some community counselors coming in talking about, like burnout and, and all of these different like, not mental health things. So there's, there's ways to get creative, like they have space. Of course, other things are they use sometimes product that hasn't been sold, and they'll donate or though they're like upcycling it like turning in something else. So I think it's about getting really creative. I don't think it means you have to take all of your profit and then go like donate to something like I think there's there's lots of different ways to be community minded and like show up and support even the example like you with the fire. A lot of that stuff didn't necessarily cost them money. It was it was the time and energy of course, but just showing up in like, you know, their brand is like very much a person like an extension of their CEO it was like a very giving loving person.

Salena Knight 34:14
Yeah. So what are some of the strategies that you have taken from the big guys and put into these brands? Like a dosi and that gonna say, I can Naga? Australian people we can put we can put the twang on it

Jessica Shirra 34:33
I love it. Yeah. Oh my gosh, so many things, so many things and so many things I don't do because it like I have to, you know be realistic to my clients team size, their budget, like what's actually what can they like reasonably do. But I think at the highest level, I would say I've taken threats from everything that I did at Lululemon and some of the other big companies I worked for. So For example, you know, data and personalization and understanding your your KPIs like. So when I say all of that what I mean is, I think a lot of companies I come into who are small or medium are tracking KPIs, so marketing metrics, but they're not necessarily sure what they should be tracking what should be moving forward, or maybe they're tracking stuff. And they're like, okay, but really, at the end of the day, I'm not growing my sales. And so what Lululemon was great at was understanding the right metrics. So you have all of these metrics, and it's great to track them. So if for whatever reason, you need to dig deep into something, you have the information, but I like to, when I'm setting up metrics for clients, I like to have sort of your executive level and then your team level. So your executive level level are all the things that will feed into revenue driving. So if we need to grow revenue by a certain amount, what needs to be true and marketing. So you know what, maybe it's like website traffic number that you need to hit because you know, you have a conversion rate of X percent. Maybe it's that you need to grow your email list by X number to keep it at a certain rate, because you know that your emails drive 4000 a month, or each time you send it or whatnot. So it's understanding how the performance of each of your marketing channels actually is and what you can do. It's almost a math equation, like how do you break down your revenue goal into marketing activities, to make sure that you're doing all of the right things to actually get to that goal.

Salena Knight 36:36
It's just reverse engineering. I know people get so worried about numbers and math, but quite often, it's just simple. It's like, I want this much money. This is my average order value. This is how much traffic I need to the website. These are how many sales? So now you can say to your marketing team, you need to drive me X amount of sales at this price, or I need X amount of sales. What's that going to cost me like, based on your expert knowledge? What should I be spending?

Jessica Shirra 37:03
Totally, yeah.

Salena Knight 37:05
And then what do you have at that team level?

Jessica Shirra 37:07
at the team level, I would say, I think that one's a little bit different. So Lululemon, obviously had massive teams, like they would have a specialist for a specialist for specialist, like every single function of marketing had a person doing it. And so but I think the thing that I take from that is, like, I have now worked with the best of the best of the people that are doing like very high caliber work within their expertise. So when I go work for a client, it is very quick and easy for me to come in and evaluate their team and see like, Okay, let's see, we have one person doing their social and their email and their website stuff. And it's really easy for me to come in and say, like, okay, they're really strong at this. And they're, they just are not doing well over here. Like, maybe we're not hitting metrics, or maybe the execution or the, the experience just isn't there for them to approach that channel strategically. So I think just seeing people in their zone of genius, at a deep level is allowed me to be able to assess teams really quickly and see what we need to, to like bolster the team. Okay,

Salena Knight 38:18
so first of all, I think you kind of dug into the fact that you really need to know what like who you are, what you stand for, why you're doing the thing that you're doing, why your customers drawn to you that whole kind of brand identity. So that was one of the things we're going to steal. The other one is obviously tracking your metrics, but understanding which one of those you need to look at. And which ones that maybe if you have your team working for you, or you have an agency working for you, which ones are they responsible for? But more importantly, actually doing something with the data? Like holding people accountable? Looking at it and taking taking the time to understand it? If you don't understand it? Ah, ask. Yeah, so what else? What else can we steal and put in our business, it could be actual campaigns, it could be those more foundational things, and I'm gonna milk you while you're here, we're gonna get all the all the details.

Jessica Shirra 39:09
Yeah, I would say actually, one thing that I almost forgot because it's a basic one, but it's actually like sometimes missing more than it's there is I would see planning out your marketing year. So having your revenue goals by the year by the quarter by the month and understanding your revenue drivers. So you have those goals, but what are you going to do to get there? So what kind of campaigns or tactics are you going to do so planning out? For sure for sure any of the retail holidays, so Mother's Day Christmas, whatever is relevant for your brand force. And then layering on on top of that, so when I think about like dosi for example, I mapped out their their marketing calendar for the year and because they They are a brand who is in like the pill space and sort of edging on like mental health and wellness and things like that, there were a few holidays or events or themes that we wanted to take part in, like, I can't remember exactly now the World Mental Health Day or things like that, where it just felt and made sense for them. So pre planning that stuff, because then your team or if it if it is just you, you can actually be, you know, showing up and taking an advantage of that in a timely fashion. I think that for sure, I see a lot of brands just kind of flying by the seat of their pants, and like two weeks before a retail holiday, like trying to scramble and put some posts out and in an email or something, and I think, you know, not approaching it really sorry, and I'm not I'm not approaching it from like, a plan full place, just means you're going to be sort of on your back foot, like you're it's not going to be super strict,

Salena Knight 41:04
it's never going to be a great campaign is it's never going to get the results that you want. And if you have a team, I'm gonna say this from experience, and I talk about this quite a lot, I was that kind of person. And all that does is put so much stress and anxiety on your team. Because now they're like scrambling to do the best job possible. And you're talking about dosi I'm not sure if you have it where you are. But here we have, are you okay D which is like a mental health thing. And that is not, it's not a an occasion that a lot of people would get, I'm gonna say commercialize by it, what it does is it gives you this opportunity to spread your message at a time that's relevant. And if you do have a product that helps people, then it is helpful to put it out there. So it's easy to say grab the grab a calendar, write down all those big events, but there probably are these different types of events or occasions or days, that would be a great opportunity for you to highlight your brand, and how it helps the consumer as a result. Yeah,

Jessica Shirra 42:08
yeah, that for sure. And then I would say to like, on top of that, a lot of what I don't see from brands are strategies or goals around the channels that they're on. So of course, they have a website, maybe they have an email list. Maybe they're on some social media channels, but they and they might have a contractor or they might have an agency. And they kind of they're like, I don't know, is it doing anything or they're reposting? But I'm not, I don't often see strategies and goals. So if you have a channel, why are you on that channel? What is your goal, you know, what shouldn't actually be driving for your business, because everything you do in marketing, especially when you're small, and you have limited resources and a limited team, everything you do in marketing should be having an impact on your business. And on the bottom line, really, at the end of the day. So great understanding like the actual goals and what you need to hit, you know, each week each month to actually get there. I think that is so

Salena Knight 43:09
important, because so many of the retail and ecommerce businesses that we deal with, think that posting on social media is marketing. And it's like, well, it is marketing, if people know that you exist, and they want your product. But if nobody sees it, or 12 people see it, your time and your efforts could be spent elsewhere. And yes, there is a time and a place for building that brand awareness. But realistically, if you need to focus on revenue, what could you do with that time, that would be more revenue driving, to allow you to build up the money to be able to hire someone who's who has the time and has the energy and understands those platforms? Even better?

Jessica Shirra 43:50
Yeah, exactly. And I think like, probably one huge one that I would take from a bigger brand or a lesson I would impart would be that. You know, I think a lot of smaller companies will look at bigger brands for inspiration and say like, oh, I want to do that because they're on that channel and they're on this channel and whatnot. And it's funny because what they're not thinking about is is exactly what I said like companies like Lululemon have massive teams just for tick tock just for Instagram just for email, like the email team alone when I was there, it was like 15 people. So you know, when I see like I see this with almost every single client I come into there on way too many channels trying to do away too many things. So we end up is a execution that's like really watered down and nothing is done excellently. So when you look at like the impact of your marketing actions, it's just not there because you really can't do anything really well. Yeah. So I'm always coming in and trying to help them figure out like, what's the right places to be based on your product and your target on audience and your team size in your budget. Like, let's scale back and just focus on absolutely nailing it in this one or two areas, rather than trying to just be everywhere and not seeing any results from it.

Salena Knight 45:14
Yeah, oh, people just going oh, you just repurpose that from another channel? Like, that's, yeah, that's not gonna get you anywhere fast. No,

Jessica Shirra 45:22
it's definitely not like each channel is very specific, and has, you know, there's certain intricacies about it, and content that works better than you know, for other channels and whatnot. So you're gonna go faster, if you're just really super dedicated to that one thing and growing there. And then similarly, like, this is really on a similar thread, I will see people hire one person and have them try to do everything. And it's just, it's funny that it's become the norm. And when you think about it, it's actually kind of crazy, because it's like, how can we expect one person to be really good at all areas of marketing. So that's why I really love the fractional model. It just allows me to work with clients and be able to come in at that rate size, which is usually like, for a small amount of my time, but it gives them the foundation of like, okay, I know marketing deeply, and I know ecommerce and direct to consumer very, very well. So let me come in, get a strategy in place. And then you don't need me anymore. Or maybe you need me on advisory, but you don't need me every day in your business. And I'm not going to be, you don't need me to be like posting your social media posts, like that's kind of a waste of my time, and you are trying to so it's like, allow someone at that strategy level to come in and set up a really strong foundation for you. And then have some contractors come in and fill those executional gaps for you and make sure you're getting the right people the right, you know, who have the right expertise to actually do that function really, really well. Yeah.

Salena Knight 46:54
And it is, quite often it is you get what you pay for. And if you're prepared to pay a little bit more for someone who's an expert, they'll often get it done in a fraction of the time compared to someone who's trying to work it out as they go. Yeah,

Jessica Shirra 47:08
absolutely. Yeah. All right. And then lots will be there, too. Yeah,

Salena Knight 47:12
I have a question for you about campaigns. Do you find that from all of your experience with a lot of those bigger brands, that there are specific types of campaigns that work in retail in E commerce? Because you mentioned before, things like giveaways and the email growing? Are there things that work well, across the board? Or conversely? Are there things that those smaller businesses really should steer away from? And just leave it to the big guys?

Jessica Shirra 47:39
Yeah, that's a great question. Um,

Unknown Speaker 47:44
I mean,

Jessica Shirra 47:47
at the highest level, I would say when I think about a campaign, I'm always structuring it to be multi channel. So. And I don't see that a lot with my smaller clients, often there thinking about like, one or two places, but not everywhere. So when you're planning out a campaign thinking about like, how does this campaign show up across all of my social channels, email website, paid ads in my store, with partners, and you know if there's any other like channels or places that you have, so that would be one is really looking at it from like a multi channel, multi pronged approach. And then, as far as campaigns that work well, for big and small brands, I mean, it's a tough thing to say because I feel like when you really boil it down, they all campaigns are the same. It like as far as like formulaic like what's included and, and the how long they are, and it's really just like on a smaller scale or a bigger scale. I think the things that I see work well at big brands that any brand could do would be making sure you have really strong brand photography, because especially in this day and age, like visuals are so key, actually the client I was mentioning earlier dosi they grew so quickly because she did invest in really great brand photography and videography, and they blew up on Tik Tok. And she was just focused on tick tock so it's kind of a cool story to see that like, you know, you don't need to be doing all things like she didn't there was a bunch of things in her marketing she wasn't doing that are now on her plan as your team grows. But she was very laser focused and just invested in that so I would say definitely the the content being important if especially if you've got a product that's you know, something like tangible

Salena Knight 49:51
and then

Jessica Shirra 49:53
yeah, I think it really depends honestly on like time of year what you're promoting your price points, but I mean Yeah, I do. I do think all campaigns are, are that the same kind of bones? Yeah,

Salena Knight 50:05
I agree, we have a thing called the ultimate promo raunchy. And it does exactly what you said it covers all of the channels and kind of steps out. And it means you, like a really well executed campaign takes more than two weeks. By the time you by the time you have the deal, or the offer that you're going to do, and you write the copy. And the emails are planned, and you maybe talk to suppliers, or collaborators and all of those things, especially if you only have a very small team, or if it's just you, if you're going to do it this full time for two weeks, and that means nothing else is getting done. And let's be real, nobody's going to be doing that. So like, I think that, for me, some of the key things that you've said that I think people need to take away is you need to be planning, even if it's even if you don't know the exact promotion, you just need to, to identify that I need to have something for Mother's Day, by this date. I don't want to be yet and I'll reach out to suppliers or I'll do some recon and find out what that is. But by this day, I need this campaign. And I know that email works really well for me in this month. So I really need to have a strong offer that's gonna go out via email at this month. And it is just sitting down and planning all of those things, because that's yeah, and you'll find what works and what doesn't we we have been sorry.

Jessica Shirra 51:25
I was just saying that I will I one thing I will say to not do. If you can take one takeaway is don't discount your stuff all the time. If you're having put your things on sale all the time, like when I say plan, a campaign, like you know, a calendar year of campaigns, that is not sales, like there should be maybe one or two sales in your whole year amongst a massive amount of other campaigns. Like I think that's one mistake I see small brands do all the time out of a place of scarcity of wanting to drive sales. But if your product isn't moving at full price that to me, there's a bigger problem. Yeah. So I think like looking at the bigger brands Lululemon, like really, you take any, almost any big retailer except the gap, which has gotten themselves into this problem, a problem. Any big brand, like none of them really discount a lot. Like they might have one or two sales a year and hop on it. And they're not. They're not like even Lululemon is like 10% off, maybe sometimes. But

Salena Knight 52:27
it's still sending out dozens of emails every month, they still having promotions, and your

Jessica Shirra 52:34
emotions around like newness. So a new product offering or a new color or colors, yeah, value add, like, buy this, and you get this free or buy this and you'll get this like this signed whatever, like they work with a lot of you know, influencers or buy this and you'll you know, get, I don't know, like just there's ways to do promotions that are not sales at all.

Salena Knight 53:00
And that and it can be your right it can be something as simple as promoting a color, or promoting you know, it's spring here are spring accessories like spring afire your wardrobe like it is just thinking outside the box and understanding that customers want to see your stuff. And the best customers don't want to cheat. They want the full price. Totally. And

Jessica Shirra 53:23
like product education, I think is something that we often overlook as, as brands where it's like, you know, if we have a product, why don't we dive into the features like why don't we do a campaign, it doesn't even have to be new, let's say it's the shirt, and it's like a best seller, we can have a two week celebration or campaign around the shirt and talk about like, I don't know, maybe the buttons are like little pearls, or maybe whatever, maybe you give styling tips or something like there's so many ways you can get creative about like leaning into one product or product line or color or season or something like that. So I think it's all about like how you approach your campaigns.

Salena Knight 53:59
And it comes back to what you said it's sitting down and giving it some thought and, and creating a plan and putting some metrics in place around it. What I was gonna say before is we have and I'm sure you have something similar, we have a campaign debrief form, it's just a simple one page form. And every time you run any kind of promotion, you just map out, you know, what did you want to achieve? Did you achieve it? What did you do? Well, what did you maybe not get around to doing? What would you do differently next time and it literally takes 10 minutes. But if you're doing that every single time you start to see those areas where it's like, oh, you know, we're terrible at sending SMSs or, you know, we're really strong here. And that seems to be working. Let's do more of that. And I think it just gives everybody that accountability, especially if you do have a team is everybody puts their input in and then you can sit back and it's not judgment. It's just looking at what works. What doesn't what do we have to do more of what do we do less of what do we try differently?

Jessica Shirra 54:54
Totally. Yeah. Yeah, I love a good debrief.

Salena Knight 54:59
That Something that I've taken from big businesses and put in place in a lot of our businesses.

Jessica Shirra 55:05
Definitely. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, everywhere for us. That's, that's a larger brand has been great at doing that and carrying those lessons forward.

Salena Knight 55:13
Awesome. Well, Jessica, thank you so much for sharing all of this stuff with us. I like I think what you're basically saying is a lot of the stuff to be successful is really back to the foundations. It's not catching on to the latest fad. It's not being on all the channels, it's sitting down and being intentional about your business. Would that be correct? Absolutely. Yeah. Awesome. And if people like this girl really knows what she's talking about, and I would love to chat more about working with her. Where can they find you?

Jessica Shirra 55:42
can find me on dot Jess, or my website is Jessica So je s s ICA s h I r Awesome. Well, thank

Salena Knight 55:56
you so much for sharing all these great tips with us.

Jessica Shirra 55:59
It was so great. Thank you for having me.

Salena Knight 56:18
So that's a wrap. I'd love to hear what insight you've gotten from this episode, and how you're going to put it into action. If you're a social kind of person, follow me at least Selenite and make sure to leave a comment. And let me know. And if this episode made you think a little bit differently, or gave you some inspiration, or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action. Then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review on your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and E commerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it's a win for you. A win for your community, and a win for your customers. I'll see you on the next episode.



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