Hello from Rhinebeck, Yarnie Haven of the World.
Whether they knit, crochet or spin:
The second weekend of October is spoken with reverence by those bound together by their love of fiber.
Beyond sheep and alpacas, fiber aficionados trek from across the US to The New York Sheep and Wool Festival.
The garment of choice for attendees:
The Rhinebeck Sweater, which is made specifically for the occasion.
My husband limits his activities at the fair to sampling the offerings of local food and liquor vendors.
Our weekend outing allowed us to explore the new and improved Moynihan Train Station. It was a major improvement over Penn Station’s Amtrak outpost.
This station proves how a location can be handicap compliant and respectful of people’s sexual orientation. (Take a fly-thru the station on Amtrak’s YouTube channel.)
Even better at the Rhinecliff Station, David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR was in the “Take A Book” sharing shelves.
Actionable Marketing Lesson of the Week
This year’s New York Sheep and Wool Festival at the Dutchess County Fair Grounds adapted to post-pandemic conditions.
Tickets had to be pre-purchased online. Further, they limited the number of attendees per day and vendors per barn. While the more popular Saturday tickets were sold out, we had no trouble getting tickets for Sunday.
The entire festival is a lesson in marketing. In the pre-pandemic times, sellers had to work their way up to a prime location in one of the main barns via annual applications.
Yarn sellers distinguish themselves in a variety of ways. Most frequently through the type of sheep (or other animal) fiber, dyeing process or yarn weight.
Among the special yarn sellers:
♦ Miss Babs offers an eye-popping assortment of colorways. An astute businesswoman, she was one of the first yarn dyers to made samples of the most popular Ravelry patterns.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Create alluring names. Miss Babs uses a wide variety of unique names to inspire buyers.
♦ Optic Fibers is one of my go-to yarn sellers. Unlike many of her peers, Kimber Baldwin uses a dyeing procedure based on scientific research. Depending on how the yarn is dyed, the resulting knitting creates different designs.
I bought a red yarn called Rogue containing a variation of hues. Unlike yarns from a mass producer the red isn’t one solid color.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Prepackage your product to help customers make decisions. Baldwin was one of the first dyers to package yarns together for a rainbow of colors or different shades of a single color. These lock in larger purchases and make decisions easier for customers.
♦ Tess Yarns from Portland, Maine, arranges yarns by color. This is in contrast to most knitting stores that arrange wares by the thickness of the yarn. Instead Melinda, Tess’s mom, puts a variety of yarn fibers dyed together in one place and prices them by fiber type.
Also, Tess Yarns offers a variety of premium fibers such as silk, angora and merino blends.
To get the prices, buyers must consult a price list by fiber contents. This allows Melinda to easily change prices.
Tess Yarns started with a small outpost at a number of yarn festivals and has built up their presence over the years to premium locations.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Figure out how you can stand out from your competitors
Voice and AI functionality are changing your business whether you adapt and integrate them into how you do business or not.
Because your customers, employees and local community already use them in their daily lives.
And I’m not talking about future science fiction stories, television shows or movies.
Rather, it’s happening now!
Real life examples include:
- Customers talk to their smartphone, voice assistant or other device to get “Near Me” purchase options.
- Employees carry smartphones at work to stay connected to people, gather real time information, and be entertained when not working or need music.
- In real time, people use devices in public spaces (like MTA kiosks in the New York City subway system), buildings (such as elevators) and retail and other business locations (such as check in at doctors and self-checkout at retail establishments).
► 2022 Talkwalker – Hubspot Research You Need
To get your marketing on track for 2022, read and assess this hot-off-the-presses research by Talkwalker and Hubspot. They have analyzed how customers now use social media. Get your own copy of this must-read ebook.
Their top 10 social media take-aways include:
- TikTok takes over social media, leaving other platforms to adapt to remain competitive.
- Social ads continue to develop despite reduced advertising cookie effectiveness. So brands must offer more personalized experiences.
- Social selling simplifies the customer journey helping buyers to make decisions.
- Post-pandemic, content shapes consumer needs and expectations for always-on audiences across devices, platforms and content formats based on their timing and location
- Omnichannel engagement changes how consumers engage across social media platforms since they’re using multiple channels. This results in more disinformation and increased concern with ‘fake news.’
- Influencer marketing finally comes of age and matures.
- Brands lead social media decentralization through communities on and off of social media platforms. Here’s what I said:
“Due to the seismic shift in marketing, social media and marketers must provide AI-driven voice-first experiences to ensure their message breaks through the increased content saturation in the right context on the user’s choice of device and/or platform based on how, when, and where they want to receive it.”
- Metaverse, an amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented world, and the virtual world continues to gain momentum at a rapid rate to connect customers. This term combines these technologies into one entity.
- Brand inclusivity as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to grow in importance from 2020 to the present and beyond. So brands must listen to and act on the social issues about which their audiences care. So business becomes the key to future global change.
- Communities continue to develop and take control. This gives consumers a collective voice. So together they can be more vocal and drive social changes that require brands to react and adapt quickly.
NYC Marketing Marketing Minute
► Modern Daily Knitting
Originally known as Mason Dixon Knitting, Modern Day Knitting was the brainchild of Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne. They met years ago in the Bulletin Board days of the Internet through their love of Rowan, a UK yarn.
Last summer, they quickly changed their name to show their support for changing views of the Civil War. (BTW—Andy Crestodina’s Orbit Media is the technical and design force behind this website!)
Together Kay and Ann have evolved their blog from letters to each other about life in Nashville and New York City to build an amazing community.
In a world where knitting books have all but disappeared, Kay and Ann have built a niche of small run paperback books. Each one features a designer or type of knitting. They hired an editorial and technical editors, and test knitters to produce books worth collecting. Due to the attention to small details, these books don’t look like independently published books.
BTW—Modern Day Knitting keeps up its blogging and email newsletter approach. They send a sales-oriented email letter on Wednesdays, and curate their posts on Saturdays with the title Saturday Snippets. Further, they have an active online community.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Don’t follow the competition. Shayne and Gardiner started publishing physical books when everyone else was going digital.
- Extend your distribution channels. In addition to their website and yarn festivals, Modern Daily Knitting distributes its books through yarn stores.
New Posts on the Actionable Marketing Guide:
Blogging Research 2021 shows that blogging continues to yield measure results.
Read this analysis to see how to get better results from your blog.
Of course you do since it:
- Builds audience trust through thought leadership;
- Supports search and social media marketing with limited extra work; and
- Yields measurable brand, house file and sales results that add to your bottom line.
Then make sure your team has this set of 10 content creation skills. (BTW, we have you covered with examples!)
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
Join me at these marketing events:
► October 20th – The Voice Den with Dr. Teri Fisher. The online ‘happy hour of voice’ is held the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 8pm ET. All the top people (and a few bots) will be there. Mix it up at the afterparty on SpatialWeb.
► October 25 – 27th – Project Voice X. Project Voice is the #1 event for voice tech & conversational AI in America. This in-person event takes place at the Fort Walton Beach Convention Center in Destin Florida.
Welcome new members: Grace, Zee, Lauren, Michael, Ritu, Ann, Sarah, Shailendra, Kimberly, Jen, Nicole, Javier, Syed and Alisa.