September 7, 2023

Success Story: Footwear Retail Marketing | Interview with Toni Pons

In our newest PinMeTo podcast episode, we talked with Ricard, the Head of Marketing at Toni Pons - renowned footwear brand and the biggest Espadrille manufacturer, headquartered in Spain.

We chatted about everything from local SEO for footwear retail marketing to how Toni Pons uses PinMeTo to get seen online and handle business listings and reviews more easily.

"With PinMeTo, we were able to generate more than €130,000 of extra sales only from traffic that we generated on Google," says Ricard.

Watch the episode or keep reading to learn more. To listen, search "The PinMeTo Podcast" on your go-to podcast app or find us on Spotify.

Conversation transcript

The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

[00:00:00.190] - Ricard
Hi, my name is Ricard, and I'm Marketing Director at Toni Pons.

[00:00:12.660] - Bernardo
Hello, everybody, and welcome to another case study here at PinMeTo. Today, we are going to speak with one of our customers from Spain, Toni Pons, the shoe retailer and the shoe artisans, that are going to speak with us about their experience working with PinMeTo and the challenges they found along the way with the solutions that we provide. I spoke with Ricard, the Marketing Manager, and he gave us a lot of good insights about how it is to work with PinMeTo. Let's get to it.

[00:00:52.570] - Bernardo
Okay, Ricard, could you provide a brief overview of Toni Pons and the factors that contribute to success in the apple industry?

[00:01:16.160] - Ricard
Sure. Toni Pons is a shoe brand. We started manufacturing and selling Espadrilles, although now we sell multiple types of shoes. What makes us very successful is that we've been selling or operating for over 75 years now, and we still remain... Our core business is still the same as when we started. We're the biggest Espadrilles manufacturer. We have a great product. It's crafted here in Spain by artisans. It's a product that has roots in the past, a lot of history. It's a traditional Spanish style, but it is trendy now all over the world. That's what makes us special in the industry.

[00:02:06.380] - Bernardo
About your role as Marketing Manager, how do you feel how do you contribute to the overall objectives of Toni Pons today?

[00:02:18.960] - Ricard
Well, from the Marketing Department, we help create the company's marketing strategy. We create a strategy and we activate it in all markets and all sales channels. The wholesale channel, the retail, we help our franchisees through e-commerce as well as marketplaces. When activating this strategy, we try to communicate the value proposition to our customers, but we need to understand who those customers are in order to speak the same language, and so to understand what they value and what are they expecting from us. And so to effectively communicate with them, then we conduct studies and we monitor all digital properties, searching for feedback that allows us to create this marketing strategy and this communication that appeals to them. Besides understanding where customers are and creating a strategy to communicate to them, we also try to identify as many marketing opportunities to make sure that we extract as much value from what the market can bring to us. That includes, for example, SEO for our website, for also local SEO for our retail stores, and also in marketplaces, and other initiatives such as Travel Retail, where, for example, right now, besides offering products, we also offer experiences to larger groups of tourists that come to Spain looking to enjoy unique experiences and purchase products that are original from the country.

[00:04:04.300] - Ricard
We pursue opportunities like that from the marketing department as well.

[00:04:08.700] - Bernardo
That's great. Let's jump a little bit to talk about the challenges that you have and you had before and now working with PinMeTo. What were the key challenges in handling reviews and business information of Toni Pons' more than 25 locations? How were they impacting your operations and marketing efficiency?

[00:04:36.590] - Ricard
Well, managing all those stores was complex because we have our own stores and we also have franchises. And those franchises, most of the times they created their own profiles on Google Business Profile. For some stores, some other franchises didn't do it, and then they didn't monitor it at all. It was complex to create those profiles because of the validation process that most of the times is required by Google. It was always complex to manage those reviews because we didn't simply have access to those profiles. We couldn't edit the information, the schedule, the description, upload photos. It was just very complex to manage.

[00:05:25.930] - Bernardo
Of course, and that's why we are here to help. Can you provide some insights into the importance of monitoring reviews and ratings for your brand on platforms like Google and Facebook?

[00:05:41.870] - Ricard
Absolutely. Monitoring those reviews is important because for one, we can provide customer support to those users. A lot of times users leave very extremely valuable feedback, and that feedback also helps us reshape a little bit our communication, our marketing strategy, share feedback with areas of the company, such as product development, that can get valuable insights in terms of what problems are customers facing or what solutions they would potentially like to find. That is extremely helpful for the entire business.

[00:06:24.410] - Bernardo
How did you first come across PinMeTo? And what were the compelling factors for choosing our platform?

[00:06:31.630] - Ricard
We came across PinMeTo searching for local SEO tools and services on Google. And then we inquired some information and during the demo we realized that the platform was very easy to set up, which was a great thing for us. And it was also loaded with interesting functionalities. There was a team behind the tool and the platform that seemed to be dedicated to make everything easy and to help out. And that's why we realised we could extract a lot of value from it. And it didn't require a lot of investment from our site in terms of time and resources and energy.

[00:07:16.580] - Bernardo
What were the initial doubts regarding PinMeTo and what made you change your mind?

[00:07:22.650] - Ricard
At first we were a bit skeptical, I guess, because there are hundreds and hundreds of platforms and companies and services that they promise everything. They promise great results and everything seems to be very easy. Then when you start working with it, it's not as easy. The results are not the same. We were a bit skeptical because the average results that PinMeTo to present it to us during the demo were so good that it made us doubt a little bit. But also we realised that the potential benefit compared to the investment that was required, it was favourable. It made making the decision was easy.

[00:08:02.080] - Bernardo
That's awesome. And let's talk about results, what matters the most? We see the numbers are staggering. More than three times increase in monthly views and actions after six months of onboarding. What impact have you observed on your visibility since you started working with PinMeTo

[00:08:34.070] - Ricard
After I start working with PinMeTo, we were able to simplify the management of all the Google profiles, and that freed us from the day to the day-to-day requirements and necessities on Google, and that allowed us to start working a little more on optimizing those profiles. With PinMeTo, we were able to increase and enhance our organic position on Google for generic keywords, not just brand keywords, but also generic, such as Espedril in Barcelona, for example. And that allowed us to capture a lot of new stored traffic and a lot of sales within the first six months. We're able to generate, I think, more than €130,000 of extra sales only from traffic that we generated on Google.

[00:09:29.620] - Bernardo
Okay. How was the ability to make bulk updates through PinMeTo listings has affected your work efficiency? We know this is one of the things that our customers like the most.

[00:09:43.780] - Ricard
The process of creating and updating profiles is now much easier, which, as I was saying, it just allows us to dedicate time to set up and complete other profiles from our franchises over the world, which most of the times those franchises manage or they carry multiple brands, but those brands don't really support them as much as we are able to do now, especially, for example, on Google, because we have now the time to just simply create those profiles, update them, manage them very easy. And that is an extra value that we bring them and that other brands don't bring, don't generate for them. They feel even more comfortable now working with Toni Pons, which makes our relationship even better. So being more efficient managing all those profiles is just a great thing and it brings a lot of value, not just to our own stores, but also to our franchise.

[00:10:37.570] - Bernardo
Could you recommend any book to read or podcast to follow that helped you in your career?

[00:10:44.380] - Ricard
Sure. I totally recommend a book called Making Websites Win from Conversion Rate Experts. It's simply an eye-opening book about not just conversion rate optimization, but also the psychology of the customer and how we can improve our customer or purchase experience throughout tests and just measuring and analyzing data. It's a book that brings a lot of value to those companies that are selling online. I totally recommend it.

[00:11:20.770] - Bernardo
Good suggestion. Noted. What are your predictions for the coming two, three years on how AI is going to affect the marketing world? We know it's already affecting today. What's your advice? How does your team prepare for this new reality that it's surely going to happen?

[00:11:44.420] - Ricard
When I think about AI, I just don't think about a brain that will magically solve all our problems in a few years. I try to see it as a journey and how it can bring value to us today and as it evolves in the short term. For now, we use it mostly for copywriting, also to gather information, and also to facilitate project management. We use ClickUp for project management. They have an AI that helps us structure all the tasks and create them, and that is extremely helpful as of today. But we're also looking into customer service solutions to assist customers 24/7, but not just with a simple bot, but with a solution that actually provides solutions. Also to streamline some of the tedious work that we do every year on e-commerce regarding product photography. Product photography, we generate around 9,000 photos a year that we need to cut the background, exporting multiple sizes. We're looking into that. Although it's a little bit the AIs that exist right now, we believe they are still in the early stage, but hopefully in the near future, we're going to be able to save a lot of hours and manpower with those solutions.

[00:13:02.740] - Bernardo
I think it's going to be super fast when those solutions are going to get much better and useful. Last question. We got there. What are your other favorite digital platforms, social media, blog websites you are following frequently in your daily work for inspiration and stay informed? Anything you can suggest us? Sure.

[00:13:31.470] - Ricard
As Marketing Director, I need to be totally up to date with what's going on on the industry, and especially also regarding our own brand. What I do is every single day I try to read all the news using a press-clipping platform. In this press-clipping platform, we gather all mentions to our brand and to our competitors and all relevant news in the industry on print and on digital and TV. I think that is a great way to be totally up to date with what's going on in your space. I'm also subscribed in multiple blogs and generalistic, economic, and fashion blogs. For fashion companies in Spain, for example, I recommend ModaS and Fashion Network. Those are great blogs and great platforms.

[00:14:22.800] - Bernardo
Clipping to understand how your brand is perceived and how the market is going, where the marketing is going for your industry. That's it.


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