Jan 11, 2012

Mountainsmith Doubles Video Production to Bolster Online Presence

Ask Mountainsmith National Sales Manager Jay Getzel about his to do list for 2012 and you would think you were talking to an IT manager. It all revolves around the company’s online presence.

His priorities for the year include:

  • Redesigning the company’s web site so that the marketing department can post photos and videos and have the capacity to nimbly change other content, keeping the site fresh and engaging.
  • Launching a new blog to help educate and inform customers and fans about who we are and what Mountainsmith is all about.
  • Doubling video production for the company’s growing array of online outlets.
  • Developing special websites for QR code scanners in a bid to communicate more directly with consumers while they are in stores.

“Often times we get really jazzed about a product launch,” notes Getzel. “We go to the show, tell our reps. The reps tell the retailers and it hits the retail floor and then fizzles on the store floor unless you have really energized store staff. So, having a well-rounded online presence allows us to tell our story directly to the consumer and inspire them to seek out our brand at their favorite retail outlets.”

Thanks to Smartphones, brands can reach more consumers no matter where they are or what they are doing. In Highlands Ranch, CO, architect, mother and avid outdoorswoman Stephanie Bodie uses her Smartphone to track Mountainsmith and other favorite brands and companies via Facebook. She likes to use the site not only to keep up with nearly 100 friends, but to track new products and promotions being launched by her favorite brands.

“They are all part of my daily news feed,” Bodie, 40, said of her Facebook page. “I use it to track sales, and if I am thinking about buying a product, maybe a coupon for 10 percent off is enough to push me into the store. It’s better than hearing an ad on the radio.”

This summer, Bodie won a free day pack from Mountainsmith for a story she submitted about a camping mishap in response to a contest on the company’s Facebook page. (Lured by the aroma of unsecured food, a bear wandered onto her campsite.)

Such numbers may seem trifling, but through Bodie, Mountainsmith could reach more consumers at a fraction of what it would cost to buy Google ad words. Importantly, the company is able to engage in a two-way conversation.

In exchange for a few hours of work per day and an annual budget of about $1,000 for schwag, Mountainsmith is promoting its product, getting feedback for product development and building its fan base, which doubled to 3,000 last year.
“We can post product reviews and magazine reviews, but we find the most compelling hits are ones that start conversations not just between us and the consumer, but among consumers themselves.”

Bodie, for instance, considers herself a bit of an outdoor evangelist. She recently turned one 57-year-old friend on to mountain biking to help him reduce his cholesterol and has persuaded others that they can continue to hike comfortably in the winter if they just buy the right gear.

“We always try to educate friends and family about products better suited for the outdoors,” she said, noting that many of her friends and family in the Midwest look to her for advice. “If I like a product I am going to recommend it to every one of my friends.”