Interview with Geraint Clarke, Head of Marketing at Ellusionist.com
Geraint Clarke is a creator of bespoke marketing campaigns, magic tricks & more. He can provide strategic consultation on one’s marketing objectives, product releases & brand image. Currently, he is the Head of Marketing at Ellusionist.com, largest online magic retailer. At Ellusionist, Geraint Clarke is responsible to create, develop and execute product strategies and campaigns with a focused goal of maximizing revenue and profitability.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.
I started as a Digital Marketing Assistant. My degree was very focussed on web-design, e-commerce and the future of social media so it was easy for me to insert myself into that space.
Digital marketing at the time was secondary to experiential marketing, so my job was to ‘support’ my colleagues by promoting the event, new product or service online.
After partnering with a YouTuber in Finland (when my boss told me not to) for a viral video, it was clear to me and the company’s CEO that the link between digital marketing and sales was stronger and more profitable than other efforts. One box of free samples helped sales grow, which ended up being worth millions in the Nordic regions and later, beyond.
From there I’ve worked my way up to a management position as the ‘Head Of Marketing’ for a few firms. Constantly learning and constantly focussing on the most low cost way to generate sales with a clever campaign.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work across almost all marketing channels, but the big 3 for me as a B2C marketer are:
Website – My advice would be this, website optimisation and conversion is often forgotten in big firms. As a young marketing professional, you can make great waves by finding new techniques to polish and refine your website. A 1% increase in conversions could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout the year, so do what you can to reduce friction for customers. Whilst shopping online, take note of the pop-ups, buttons and upsells that make you take action… then copy them unabashedly.
Email marketing – As the space becomes more competitive it’s important to constantly change the format of your emails, who it comes from and what you’re saying. Swap between plain text and HTML layouts. Try a simple format. Maybe change the company name to your name at company name. eg. Geraint at Ellusionist.com.
Change is good and it helps to increase open rates. One of the best open rates we ever had was “F*@$! Sale ends in 24 hours.” It may be against your brand guidelines to curse or even censor your cursing, so it’s not for everyone… but because it’s not for everyone, it stood out in people’s inbox.
Social media – The number one rule is MORE FOLLOWERS DOES NOT EQUAL MORE SALES. When cultivating an audience or promoting on social media it’s about action and not reaction. Just because your photo with a puppy standing next to your product got twice the likes, it doesn’t mean it will make twice the sales. It’s not a success if it doesn’t sell.
Brand awareness is another way to say no sales. Think about that next time you run a campaign. Unless you’re Apple or Nike, who have money to burn, it’s better to focus on people clicking your link and buying from a post.
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?
Out of sight, out of mind. You’ve heard that before right? We all have treat cupboards in our house to help us forget we have chocolate when we open the fridge. Once you’re not looking it at, it’s easier to avoid.
It’s kinda the same with sales online. When they leave your website without buying, it’s really important to give them another chance. Retargeting software is very important. It tracks a user and shows them ads online for what they just looked at and similar items.
Those lost sales are sometimes recaptured after a day or two. Perhaps they looked before pay day. Now they see your ad 4 days later and they’ve just been paid. Say hello to my add to cart button. .. I can’t live without it. At the moment I use Criteo as unlike some other services it’s cost per sale and not cost per action. Some companies charge to get a click, but if 2/3 people abandon cart, you’re paying 3x the price for 1x the sales.
I also use a ‘Customers Also Bought’ service to upsell our products and increase AOV (Average order value). Are they buying a watch? Perhaps they want a different coloured strap too? Or a pair of sunglasses?
Customer acquisition is the hardest part of B2C marketing. But selling MORE to the same customers is the easiest part of marketing.
Which companies, according to you, are your competitors. How do you differentiate against these?
We have 3 main competitors at Ellusionist:
- Murphy’s Magic
I can’t remember who’s philosophy it is, but you can be one of 3 things:
- The first.
- The best OR
- The cheapest
Ellusionist positions itself as ‘the first’, we have no interest in low profit margins or being the Walmart of our niche. We pride ourselves on being the first place people learn magic. We, as a company, created the custom deck market, the video tutorials in magic, the higher production value, trailers, wild campaigns, the first Netflix-style streaming service for magic etc. We like to be the ones to constantly push the envelope and do it first. That way we’re not focussed on copying or out-doing our competition, because our competition is a product of what WE do..
Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.
To most people Marketing is throwing sh*t at the wall and seeing what sticks. To stand out, excel and progress in this space, it’s important that you show ROI (return on investment) for every action you take. Or don’t take it. There are a lot of imposters in this domain.
To read Geraint Clarke’s practical marketing advice, sprinkled with humor, check out his blog on Medium.com