Ricky Gordon, General Manager, Digital at Vistaprint takes the time to chat about Vistaprint’s recent technology partnership with Wix while delving into a few marketing and martech best practices for B2B SMEs:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Ricky, tell us more about your role at Vistaprint?
Hi! I am Ricky Gordon the General Manager of Digital at Vistaprint, the marketing and design partner to small businesses. My team and I oversee the Digital line of business (LOB) which at Vistaprint focuses on providing Digital Products and Services to small businesses globally. Our main goal is to enable small business owners to start, run and grow their business through the use of our digital and physical products, our design services from 99designs by Vistaprint and our world class CARE support team. The mechanics of how we achieve this are simple:
- We partner with the best in the industry – an example of this is Wix
- We build or buy where we see industry opportunities or gaps
- We provide best-in-class support to our small business customers and their evolving needs
At Vistaprint, everything we do within the Digital LOB and across Vistaprint is aligned to achieve our goal of serving as the expert marketing and design partner for small businesses around the world. Our team of around 50 dedicated and experienced members oversees Vistaprint’s digital offerings, which includes Search Engine Manager (get your company found online), Domain Names, and Email Marketing along with partnerships like the newly announced partnership with Wix.
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We’d like to hear from you about the recent partnership with Wix, what inspired this and how does this change the game for marketers and end-users?
Having a website is table-stakes for small business owners, especially coming out of these turbulent COVID times. While today we offer our own internal website builder (Site Builder 4), we needed to improve our web offering drastically to better meet the progressing needs of small business owners. In exploring how best to do this, we asked ourselves a few simple, but very important questions:
- How can we best meet the evolving needs of customers?
- Rather than always building the solution, are there existing products, services and solutions out there that meet and exceed customer needs? If the answer is yes, Is there a way to partner with them in a manner that benefits all of us – Vistaprint, the partner and our customer?
In the case of the best web builder, Wix was an easy choice. It has everything we were looking for in a partner including desirable attributes like brand equity and great tech, along with deep industry and product knowledge. The partnership also includes years of cohort data that we believe will help us market their products and drive intentful purchases leading to higher engagement and retention, moving our users from transactions to relationships in line with Vistaprint’s overarching goals.
With Wix, we now have a competitive product that we can confidently market to existing and new Vistaprint users. We believe the Wix product partnered with our full spectrum of Design Services and excellent Customer Support will surpass our customers’ needs today and tomorrow. We have a partner whose success is linked to ours, the best type of partnership to have.
How has Vistaprint evolved over the years to meet changing business and end-user needs?
Vistaprint already has a track record of evolving to meet the changing needs of small business owners, but that has mostly been within the Print category. We are continuing to innovate in Print to meet today’s customer’s needs; there was a time when business cards and flyers were the primary small business need, but now we see things like packaging and stickers popping up as more businesses move online. The more glaring evolution for us however is our heavy investment in Design, with our acquisition of 99designs, and now Digital, with partnerships like Wix. I have only been part of the Vistaprint team for nine months, but I’ve already seen many ways in which we’ve evolved to meet changing business and end-user needs. Our customers are not monolithic; they are not just focused on print or design or digital, but instead are on a journey. We know we need to meet them when and where they need help. Data will help us predict and understand when those needs are about to arise, and we will use that data to offer the user the right product, service, solution or subscription at the right time.
For small business marketers who still face challenges with customization, what tips would you share with them?
As a new or existing business one of the most important marketing tasks to complete is to secure your business identity online. Securing your identity is relatively simple but will take some time with tasks ranging from buying your domain name and securing your social and business identity on social media and online channels like Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Angi to utilizing Vistaprint’s design services to create your business logo and website.
Why is this so important? If done right this can, when paired with other forms of effective marketing, drive users to your business with minimal financial outlay. Users searching on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Angi and others will be able to find your business, follow or contact you. All these steps can be done well before you need (or want) to spend money on advertising your business.
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A few marketing best practices that are especially useful for smaller businesses and teams looking to scale, in your view?
Rather than recommend a specific piece of technology such as an Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, or a Retargeting tool, I will talk about marketing attribution and how important it is for small businesses and teams to scale. Attribution, or user insight, allows companies to measure how successful a marketing, acquisition, engagement, or retention campaign (ROI/ROAS) has been through user actions or events like clicks, purchases, upgrades etc.
Understanding the impact of communications or advertisement success metrics and measurement is essential in growing your business. It helps business owners to determine where they invest their hard-earned dollars while providing important insights on how their customers prefer to be engaged such as what email tactics they respond to, or when they’re most active on social media. It is important to also acknowledge that these tactics may differ dependent on the target cohort business lifecycle, industry, type, location etc. The goal is to build out a marketing playbook of what works and what does not, tied to accurate, insightful data gathered through user attribution.
Some last thoughts and marketing / martech takeaways before we wrap up?
The long-term goal of the partnership with Wix is to offer customers a seamless experience as they leverage our shared offerings for their small business. As a real-world example, let’s look at a business owner designing a business card using Vistaprint. That business card is sure to include many design elements including fonts, primary and secondary colors, contact information, and a logo, which may have been created using Vistaprint Design Services. Once the customer is happy with their design, they’ll be ready to print and distribute. Next on their list is a website. They can either tackle this project themselves on Wix or engage with a 99designs by Vistaprint designer to help them. With the customer’s permission to share their data, the design elements they’ve already created for their business card with Vistaprint will be available to them on Wix – allowing them to fast forward their website design and easily bringing their brand to life online.
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Vistaprint is the design and marketing partner to millions of small businesses around the world, empowering each one to live their dreams. For more than 20 years, we have helped small businesses look, work, and feel credible through high-quality marketing products and solutions that include signage, logo apparel, promotional products, face masks, flyers, postcards, business cards, websites and digital marketing. With Vistaprint, small businesses are able to create and customize their marketing with easy-to-use digital tools and design templates, or by receiving expert graphic design support.
In 2020, Vistaprint acquired 99designs to expand its design offering via a worldwide community of more than 150,000 talented freelance designers to make it easy for designers and clients together to create designs they love. Vistaprint is focused on making great marketing and design accessible to every small business owner, allowing them to create a cohesive brand image for use in-store, online and on-the-go. Vistaprint is a Cimpress company (Nasdaq: CMPR).
Ricky Gordon was recruited in November 2021 as the GM/VP of Vistaprint Digital Services, with the mandate to reinvent the Digital Services product offering for small businesses.
Prior to Vistaprint Ricky worked as a Product leader across start-ups and blue-chip companies including Ticketmaster, Global Crossing, Metropolitan Police Telewest & Hutchins Telecoms. Ricky’s most recent role prior to Vistaprint was as the VP of Product & Innovation at fuboTV leading a transformation of product and audience from a Sports-only OTT provider to a Sports, Entertainment & News offering, resulting in growing the user base by 10x over 2 years, increasing retention by 30% and ending his tenure with a successful launch on the NYSE.