Retailer Marketing Series: Krista Eliason, President of International Design Guild
To learn more about how brands are engaging their retailers in co-marketing, we spoke with Krista Eliason of International Design Guild (IDG), the only luxury flooring alliance in the United States. During the interview, Krista shed some light on her experience with co-marketing at IDG.
About International Design Guild
IDG is a co-operative that works with a small group of specialized retailers who sell decorative floor coverings to a tight niche of clients. IDG seeks to build the businesses of these retailers and the designers who work with them by offering exclusive new products and customized marketing initiatives. Recently, Krista has also been working with Promoboxx to optimize IDG’s marketing efforts.
According to Krista, most of her retailers prefer in-person marketing at scheduled events with featured speakers. During these events, the retailers are able to connect with their target consumers and build relationships. IDG’s retailers also make use of Facebook and Twitter to help these newly-formed relationships grow after the events end.
IDG’s retailers sell a high-end design-oriented product that requires visual marketing. When new product lines are released, the retailers post images to their Facebook and Twitter profiles, and connected customers are able to view the images and consider making a purchase. According to Krista, this marketing method currently brings in the best results for IDG retailers.
Providing Support for Retailers
Like retailers in many industries, IDG’s retailers have varied experience with social media marketing. Though the early adopters understand its potential, many retailers working with IDG aren’t as comfortable with social media as they’d like to be. “They [IDG's retailers] are artists,” Krista says. “They work with tactile products, and it can be a challenge to move away from that. That’s where IDG comes in.” Retailers are eager to learn but, according to Krista, “there is a definite need for tools and help in this area.”
IDG’s main goal is to support retailers by helping them to grow their businesses. In order to help retailers become more comfortable with technology, IDG invited all of its members to a summit where they each received a brand new iPad. During the summit, IDG’s team worked with showroom owners to help them learn how to use their new tool.
Online Marketing with IDG
When asked about her retailers’ use of social media and other online marketing tools, Krista said that her retailers engage in online marketing with significant support from the IDG team. In addition to teaching its retailers to use the iPad, IDG also offers support by providing content for members’ Facebook pages, as well as regular e-mail marketing communications. According to Krista, IDG provides each retailer with the level of support they need in order to accomplish their marketing goals.
An Optimistic Outlook with Promoboxx
For our final question, we asked Krista what development has her most excited about the future of her company’s co-marketing efforts, and she quickly named Promoboxx. “Promoboxx is new to us, but our retailers are going to jump on it,” she says. “Our retailers are visual, and Promoboxx puts everything together in a single screen so they can see it all at once, front and center.”