This article was written by Julia Simmonds, Itchy Baby Co.
When I decided to share my natural products for eczema with other parents who, like me, had a child suffering with relentless itchy, dry and inflamed skin I had no idea about how to start and grow a business or how to put a marketing plan together. All I knew was that I wanted to help other parents in my situation and the only way I knew how to do that was to share my experience and to communicate openly about my journey and the products I had developed.
What is authentic marketing?
Being true to me and the reason why I started my business is what has led me to marketing authentically. It means expressing myself and beliefs and what is important to me through all interactions anyone has with my brand. It’s creating a place where people are encouraged to interact with you and each other, and to share their experiences of your brand, and know that they will be interacted with as if you were friends meeting up for coffee.
How do you market authentically?
Know your core values and identify ways of expressing them
From the beginning I understood the core values for my business and the importance of expressing these values to my customers in ways other than through my products. Itchy baby co. values empathy, support and honesty with our customers. We express this through our handwritten notes at the time of purchase, our personalised follow up emails asking how are customers are going using our products as well as our individual responses back to our community who engage with us about all aspects of managing eczema. The time we invest in supporting our community of parents who have children with eczema is an expression of our core values.
Create open dialogue with your customers
The second thing I was sure about was the importance of creating open dialogue with our customers and sharing with them everything I knew which I thought could help and support them on their eczema journey. In doing so we have built our itchy baby co. community. In every communication with our customers we ask for and encourage feedback about our products, our services, and invite customers to share their thoughts with us. Some days it feels like our customers are sharing a lot more information about our products with us and each other than we are with them.
This open dialogue has also led to the innovation of our product pipeline and the influenced our communication strategy. It has also created a space where customers feel comfortable is openly sharing their experiences using our products with other parents as well as with us.
What does authentic marketing achieve?
For itchy baby co. expressing our core values, which is the passion behind my business, and communicating transparently through open dialogue has led to the building of our itchy baby co. community. Our community is made up of like minded mums and dads who are drawn together through their child’s eczema and searching for a way to better manage this condition and improve the quality of life for their families. Each member of our community is an ambassador for our brand and spread the word about us, and so our community continues to grow.
About our 2017 AusMumpreneur Ambassador :
Julia Simmonds – founder of itchy baby co.
Julia Simmonds founded Itchy Baby Co. two years ago which offers a range of natural products to target eczema and itchy, dry skin, as well as offering health information and tailored advice and support to families suffering with eczema. Currently they have a team of 5, a customer database of over 30 000 families who have bought their products, as well as a social media community of nearly 80 000. Learn more here…