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Re-Cap- SDSI Marketing Panel: Lessons Learned: Turning Trip-ups into Triumphs
Chuck Scott, SDSI Media Director
Believe in yourself. Make sure there is something unique about your product. Connect with your customers by building a community around your product.
Those were some of the lessons imparted to a standing-room-only crowd by three marketing experts during a panel discussion organized by San Diego Sport Innovators on Dec. 2 at Yogi’s Beach Bar & Restaurant in Cardiff by the Sea.
“I think it's really important to connect an emotion to your core values,” said Mark “Schmiddy” Schmid, founder and CEO of ArtFunction Inc., which sells a patent-protected method for customers to display consumer products that they love; including skateboard decks.
“I want [my customers] celebrating who I am and the culture that I love and saying ‘I need to buy some more products from Schmiddy's company.’ That's not a manipulation, that's an honest, ‘Hey, I celebrate who you are and what you do, I'm into it.’”
Schmid was joined on the panel by Tony Finn, founder of leading wakeboard retailer Liquid Force; Kevin Flanagan, vice-president of marketing for Reef; and Bill Walton, executive chairman of SDSI.
Nearly 80 sport minded entrepreneurs, executives and owners of start-ups attended the panel discussion, “Marketing Lessons Learned: Turning Trip-ups into Triumphs”, sponsored by Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, one of the largest full-service business law firms in Southern California.
“When you are selling someone a pair of sandals you are selling them a lifestyle, a dream of something that is more important than what they are doing day to day,” said Flanagan.
This is a message he reinforces with his staff before trade shows because “You’ve got to build in the importance of what your product is and how it’s affecting people in a positive way. If you can sell that dream then people get excited, their sales presentations are better and you get better results.”
The panelists agreed that social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. – continue to grow in importance and have already become the dominant marketing method for many companies.
See page 2 for more about social media and "reverse mentoring"