John Stanley is a globe-trotting retail consultant, sharing useful insights with shopkeepers and traders on industry developments and technological impacts.
He warns of the destructive potential of multi-national companies and online superstores. However, through the use of online networking, he champions opportunities for community resilience.
In his talk “Ghost Town, Clone Town or Home Town’ directed at local business in my own home town of Denmark, Stanley presented the necessity of engaging with and investing in social media. He was talking to my local target market. So for me this was good.
As a content creative and technological solutions team, Open Copy have been delivering website services from our home office in Denmark, WA for over two years.
We have been in websites and online marketing for much longer than that, but it is only in the last 2 years that websites for small businesses have really started to make sense.
Websites need traffic. Without social media activity the opportunity for small business to direct traffic to their website is limited.
Social networking or simply ‘networking’ has always been a big part of doing business. But now the whole interactive electronic media bit has entered into things, we all feel a bit bewildered. Yes online marketing professionals get bewildered too. I’d love to hear from one that doesn’t!
The big heads up for me was from self-dubbed Social Media Rock Star Kate Buck and her consort Ryan Deiss. In the preamble to their ‘how to’ on social media management, they tell the story of how marketing giants Pepsi Cola gave the world a big clue, back in 2011, that social media was here to stay.
The story goes: Pepsi had for decades displayed a huge banner advert in the prime position of the Hollywood Super Bowl. Probably cost a lot, perhaps? In 2011 they withdrew the banner saying they were putting the money instead into social media marketing. The world responded, quite rationally, by going social media nuts.
Social media management is not the main service offering of our online marketing business. However, Open Copy does everything to make sure all the websites and content assets we produce for our clients are as fit as possible, for play on a social media field.
I believe social media works best around events, which is why it was wonderful to hear Stanley cite, as an important part of the ‘Home Town’ preservation jigsaw puzzle, ‘Events and Festivals’.
I’m sure all of the event and festival planners, managers and supporters assembled were also glad to hear their endeavours applauded.
Everyone at the talk seemed fairly engaged and pleased. Perhaps this was because the model presented, of a town of jigsaw pieces, really bestowed importance upon each element, interest and process that makes up the town. Each piece is important.
As well as the online services and marketing providers, and the aforementioned events and festival planners, all tourism providers were given vital jigsaw status, too.
That’s a good portion of the business community, especially since Stanley quite rightly includes ‘secondary’ tourism. That’s all the services that you don’t think of as being touristy, but do indeed impact on a tourist’s experience. Such as petrol stations and supermarkets etc.
And the Shire got a couple of mentions, and family facilities and environmental preservation. Put all the competing interests together, to make one bigger picture of resilience against being taken over or being blown away by dubious outside forces, and suddenly the feeling of solidarity is quite overwhelming.
So we are all in the room, and listening to Stanley’s rallying cries. We are all important. And we all fit together. But exactly how? That was the bit that Stanley has left for a future presentation; or for us to work out on our own.