I was honored last evening to be featured as a new member at the Kauai Chamber of Commerce Annual General Membership Meeting. I am so pleased to be a part of these talented business professionals, to get acquainted, and to become part of the community. There is so much entrepreneurial spirit here across a number of industries.
As a new member I had a display table to do some traditional event marketing with other local businesses. It was great to meet new people and to learn about their business ventures. I was in between the dancers from ‘Auli’i Lu’au and the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. While I focus now on digital, online marketing, I have also done a lot of traditional marketing in my prior roles in technology and consulting companies. You may have a business where you can rely solely on digital marketing, but many businesses still need a mix of both. As a business and marketing professional, I would not hesitate to recommend a mix if it were the right fit. There is still a huge value to connect with others in your own industry as well as in others and to form those relationships both in person and online.
One of the things that I love about being located on the island of Kauai is the common view that we are all in this canoe together. The canoe is such an important part of Hawaiian history and culture. It is such a powerful symbol to me that when we row and steer in a common direction we all reach our destination faster and safer. This is part of the culture and values of Kauai that drew me to locate here. For the canoe to move forward, we need to work together. All as one. One canoe, one ohana, one community. And I believe it is a strong value to guide our business interactions.
KaiKini Case Study of Traditional and Digital Marketing
In learning about the business ventures of others based here, I was especially struck by the story of the founder and CEO of KaiKini Bikinis. She shared with me how she started with an idea and vision and acquired the skills she needed along the way. She envisioned designing and making bikinis in her unique style and optimized for wear while being active. She did not know how to sew, but she bought some commercial sewing machines, experimented, and taught herself to not only design but also to manufacture the pieces. She used traditional marketing and selling to get some local stores to carry her pieces as part of starting her business. She also focused on digital marketing and began social media marketing to engage her customers and to gain further visibility. She got additional retailers on other islands to stock her products. As the business started to grow, she hired others to train to sew. And she taught herself to set up a website. She now has several employees and continues to grow her business as a manufacturer and wholesaler while also selling directly worldwide via her ecommerce website at kaikini.com. She uses blogs and social media marketing as well as Google Adwords PPC ads in her digital marketing mix. A consultant manages her PPC ads for her so she can devote her time to other business initiatives. She uses BigCommerce as her web hosting and tools provider. What an inspiration that she has built a business to market and sell Hawaiian-made products all over the world. And the digital marketing and sales are a key growth area of her business!
What a great evening with the Kauai Chamber of Commerce!