Interview with Bianca Lessard, Co-Founder & VP Marketing at Qeebi Marketing Inc.
Bianca Lessard has over 10 years of experience as an executive manager in the digital space and innovative technology. She has specialized in e-commerce project management, web influence marketing & affiliate programs for the American and European markets for the past 15 years. Currently, she is the Co-Founder & Vice President of Marketing at Qeebi Marketing Inc.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.
After finishing my university degree in marketing, I worked in the field of retail and affiliate marketing. It’s now been over 15 years, including 10 years with the same amazing team. Two years ago we launched Etail21.com, a drop shipping technology platform and marketplace that connects brands and resellers. Etail21 features a collection of brands and allows retailers to easily import their products, synching inventory and prices in real-time.
I’m the VP Marketing of Etail21 and one of the co-owners. I manage the company’s marketing strategy and I’m responsible for the ROI marketing initiatives in the company along with other activities in the business that relates to creation, communication, and delivery of products and services that provide value to our customers. I also love to review analytics to get the true picture of our current positioning and needs.
I still study and read articles about multi-channel marketing strategies to find and try relevant tools or new marketing approaches for our organization.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?
The primary marketing channels I’ve focused on are targeted email campaigns, social media, and word of mouth marketing.
Building a mailing list and sending emails to our subscribers always has a great conversion rate because they are already highly qualified customers. It can also be beneficial to promote a third-party, complimentary product in exchange for the promotion of your products in their mailers.
Social media is a big player in the marketing world right now and I think partnering with influencers is the key. Don’t rely solely on the number of followers when researching the influencers you’d like to work with. Some of them may have a low number of followers, yet are very active in specialized areas. It’s important to focus on relationships with influencers who have an interest in your brand or products. Develop creative ways to collaborate together instead of paying per post.
Word of mouth marketing has always been one of the most effective marketing channels for us. Affiliate programs are a good way to get attention from B2B and B2C customers. Offer an incentive and make it valuable. When customers make money, they will talk about you to others. Go to trade shows and develop relationships. You will meet people who will introduce you to others.
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?
We developed an in-house marketing and tracking software, including a mailing system, to suit all our campaigns. Etail21 is also connected to a lot of retailer websites built on Shopify, Big Commerce, Lightspeed and Magento. All of these shopping cart platforms have good built-in marketing tools, tracking systems and sales management options, especially Shopify. There are also a huge amount of apps available on these platforms to suit every need.
In the past, we used Crazyegg, a heat map, and A&B testing software. It’s perfect for real-time analytics to see how users interact with your website pages.
Which companies, according to you, are your competitors. How do you differentiate against these?
Drop shipping and real-time inventory synching are quite in demand these days. There are a lot of new technologies emerging in that area. There are big players out there focusing on specific niche markets, such as connecting with Aliexpress as a single supplier or to Shopify as a single shopping platform.
Etail21 cross-connects with mid to large-size brands and retailers using the major shopping cart platforms including Shopify, Big Commerce, Lightspeed, Magento or directly to Google Shopping Feed. This means, for example, a brand can have its website on Shopify and we will synch and push all their product information to a retailer using a Magento website.
We are also different because we aren’t just a technology platform. We are a marketplace where we provide promotional support, order tracking, fulfillment, and payment reconciliation. We also research and refer customers to brands and retailers, etc.
Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.
Keep yourself up to date. Everything changes so quickly today in the technology world. What you learned, tested and worked on last year might be obsolete today.
Talk to people! Ask your customers how they use a product like yours and you will learn which marketing strategies you will need to use to reach people like them. Engage with your industry peers- you will also learn a lot.