Having been a long-time fan of iheartretail.com - a fantastic online magazine highlighting shopping local with great style - I was excited to meet Lisa Jeffries, the Editor-In-Chief, at a work presentation a couple of years ago. As I quickly learned, Lisa is a multi-talented woman and inspiring marketing expert focused on the retail, hospitality, and service industries. This year, we are delighted to partner with her company Raleighwood Media Group + Raleighwood Event Group in celebrating independent fashion in NC!
Redress Raleigh: It sounds like your company does a little bit of everything related to branding and marketing. How would you sum up what those 2 different words mean and how you help your clients reach their goals?
Lisa: Branding is an ongoing effort that grows and evolves over time, while marketing itself is made up of smaller, incremental tasks... often aimed at increasing awareness via branded elements. One couldn't exist without the other, really! We work with a wide variety of clients representing diverse industries. Some are just limited-time and scope engagements where we might be brought on to help with a specific deliverable, others we've worked with on a continual basis for many years. The part that keeps the job engaging for me day after day is that no two clients are the same! It sounds cliche to say, but as a full-service agency, we work with our clients to produce a suite of services from traditional marketing (think public relations and print advertising) to digital-first campaigns that start with a responsive website design and grow to include social media management. One of the areas that makes us really different is how many commercial events we play a hands in for clients, too. In that space, we work on everything from trade show logistics to producing the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival!
Redress Raleigh: Having been in this area for quite a while, how have you seen the retail / style scene change over the past few years (if at all)?
Lisa: The barriers to entry to getting into this space have all but dissolved completely. Anyone with an email address can setup an e-commerce business that isn't constrained by the high costs of traditional brick-and-mortar retailing and start small. There are tons of examples of hardworking entrepreneurs who have started online and grown to including a thriving brick-and-mortar business, too. (Or, who are completely content and successful to still be hammering away at the home office and never jumping into the brick-and-mortar scene.) Consumer behavior is what has caused the bulk of this shift, in my opinion. Those who couldn't shop between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. are no longer kept from buying. They can buy with the click of a mouse (or a tap and swipe) 24/7. This isn't newsworthy to anyone by any means, but I don't think we often think about how many barriers that has broken down to the bootstrapped go-getters out there!
Redress Raleigh: You seem to love living in Raleigh and the South in general. What is one of your favorite places to go or event that happens in this city?
Lisa: I'm really fortunate that I've had a lot of opportunities to travel both personally and professional. One of my favorite things about travel is coming home to Raleigh, though! It would be impossible to pick just one favorite place or event, but more broadly I would say I love that if you want to get out on a Tuesday night and find something new to you to experience, it's a real possibility. There are meet up groups, networking events, rec sports leagues, food and beverage, live music and cultural spots galore... whatever your interests are, there's no need to sit at home and do nothing at all. (Unless of course, that's exactly what you want and need.) I will have to say though, I don't think I've ever passed up a boat ride or Jeep ride with loved ones. April-October, you can find me outside any chance I get! Even in the sweltering heat. Bring on the sunshine!
Redress Raleigh: We work with a lot of emerging designers / small brands - what would you say is your best piece of advice for a growing business to effectively build their customer base through marketing?
Lisa: Don't forget the call to action! Much like the old sales mantras "never be afraid to ask for the sale" and "always be closing", as marketers (even those makeshift marketers who are doing it themselves to propel their brands instead of being able to hire an experienced practitioner), it's so easy to forget to tell people what is we want them to do when we've compelled them to take notice. Ask for the sale, encourage the email opt-in, nudge for product review, incentivize the referrals! Make it easy for people by telling them what you want them to do and why it will benefit them.
Redress Raleigh: What is one of the events that you have coming up that you're really excited about?
Lisa: Submitting the final draft of my master's thesis at the end of August! Hah, just kidding... sort of. Professionally, can you keep a secret? We're launching a cocktail week program this fall as a sister event to the Raleigh Food & Wine Festival that takes place in May! Oops, guess the secret is out. :-) Y'all stay tuned and come have a cocktail with me and my team!
Redress Raleigh: Where can people find out more about your company and how to contact you?
Lisa: We are everywhere! RaleighwoodMedia.com is our digital home - my email (Lisa@RaleighwoodMedia.com) and contact forms are littered all over the place there. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram daily. @ncsulilwolf personally and @rmg_reg professionally. Same usernames on both platforms. And I'm out and about all the time, so literally, just come up and say hi if you see me around town!