Keen Footwear’s Kristina Smith: Adwords, Email Marketing, Partnerships and more (episode 173)

Kristina Smith is the Global Digital Marketing Director at Keen Footwear. Where she’s responsible for all direct-response marketing and Marketplace Marketing activity. Including the target to double the active email list in the next 2 years! Keen are a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of performance footwear. Established in 2003 they’ve already donated more than $15m to non profit organizations and causes around the world.

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kristina smith keen podcast
About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
  • Product Range Scale – niche
  • On Salesforce Commerce Cloud
  • Established in 2003
  • Based in USA, selling worldwide

Getting Started in Digital Marketing

Kristina got her start in digital marketing as a tax consultant. She got her degree in accounting, was a tax consultant for seven years, and then decided to go back to school to get her MBA and focus on marketing. She stumbled into an SEO role with Amazon in 2007 without an understanding of what SEO even was and has accumulated many digital marketing skills since then through various roles in an ever growing digital world.

Listen to be inspired by the initiation and growth of a career in Digital Marketing.

Best Marketing Methods

Kristina started off with SEO and although she holds a unique appreciation for it, she does struggle with the patience required to test its effectiveness over the span of several months. She prefers to analyze PPC (Paid Search) in order to see what people search for online, what ads they click on, what actions they take on the Keen website, and other cause and effect stats out there for interpretation.

The Team

The Keen Footwear digital marketing team is a combination of in-house and outsourcing across the globe. Keen chose to hire externally through agencies because they had difficulty finding the right talent in Portland, the company’s headquarters. Kristina has individuals working in-house on the marketing team and in SEO within the U.S. and Canada. She has an individual working in the Rotterdam office and in the Tokyo office covering all of the basics as well.

Accelerating Marketing Tools

Native Displays are display ads that offer recommended content integrated into a website to make it look as if it’s a part of that site, when it’s really an advertisement. This marketing tool has been on the rise the past couple of years, and Kristina predicts that we will be seeing a lot more companies implement native displays in the near future. Strategic partnerships, particularly in relation to email activity, are growing rapidly as well. Brands are joining forces to promote each other through sweepstakes and product promotion, then sharing email lists and expanding each other’s email marketing campaign reach.

Listen to learn how to take advantage of the most rapidly growing marketing tools.

Most Awesome Thing Right Now

There is a lot of aggressive growth right now in the apparel footwear eCommerce industry that is outpacing the general growth of the online retail space.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • There is a place for brand term bidding in paid search. If you’re in a competitive space, you need to make sure you own your brand presence with every opportunity. The best way to optimize is to combine SEM with SEO.

You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…

Tool Top Tip

  • Slack’s functionality maximizes the ability to multitask and communicate.

Growth Top Tip

  • You cannot manage what you cannot measure. You absolutely have to get your reporting and analytics nailed down from the very beginning in order to understand your supply chain and cause/effect marketing.

Interview Links