Each month, we’re interviewing members of Volusion’s leadership team to gain insight into the people behind the company. This month, we’re talking with Volusion’s Director of Studio, Terrence Brown.
How did your background prepare you for joining Volusion?
I’ve spent 10+ years working in marketing communications capacities for a variety of companies, from finance to real estate. I initially began my career in public relations, but soon pivoted. Ever since, my roles have had an emphasis on branding, design, corporate communications, digital marketing, and search engine marketing. Leveraging this experience in the ecommerce space and helping merchants apply marketing strategies to their own businesses has been so rewarding.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
A very wise colleague, and now mentor, once told me “Never present a problem without offering a solution.” At the time, I was young and just beginning my career, so the comment seemed incredibly insignificant and trite. But 15 years later, my mentor’s advice has helped me communicate better and attack problems with the right energy and focus.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for ecommerce businesses at the moment?
I’d have to say competition is the most significant challenge within the space for all businesses—there’s constantly a new player in the game, or some entity offering the same product. Oftentimes, I see owners of ecommerce businesses that have been around for a while stick to what they’ve been doing year after year, simply because it’s generally worked in the past. While I’m not against this mindset, those that keep their competition top of mind are the ones that are able to thrive. The businesses that are vigilant in understanding who their competition is and spot potential competitive opportunities are the businesses that are able to rise above the fray.
From a marketing standpoint, what is the most important visual aspect of an ecommerce business?
All ecommerce businesses should continuously diversify and evolve their digital strategies for both design and marketing to help grow their success. With new competition cropping up daily, it’s crucial for businesses to ensure that they don’t have all their eggs in one basket. A business may not need SEO because they have a stronghold on a specific keyword crucial to their business this week, but what if Google changes its algorithm and knocks the business off of page one for that query? This could be catastrophic for that business! With this in mind, ecommerce businesses should identify the percentage of revenue generated by each marketing channel. If the channel that accounts for the highest percentage of revenue was cut by 50%, how would it impact the bottom line? In most cases, that dip would hurt! A general rule of thumb is to ensure that any one marketing channel doesn’t account for 50% or more of revenue.
Does your team have anything exciting in the pipeline?
The Studio team is constantly looking for ways to improve our services and strategies in order to help our clients be more successful! Over the coming months, we will be exploring alternative channels for paid media advertising to ensure our merchants are able to increase awareness for their target audience at the lowest cost.