Ashley Kingsley is a social marketing whiz. It’s probably best to list the things she doesn’t do. Hmm. We’re stumped. She’s a social media marketing strategist, viral and grassroots marketing campaigner and renowned for her abilities when it comes to social networking and business development and start-ups. She’s also a writer, blogger, event planner and public speaker.
She co-founded Daily Deals for Moms in Denver, which grew into quite the enterprise and is now found in more than two dozen markets throughout the nation, including Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas and here in San Diego.
She’s a big believer in the power of storytelling and its use in social media marketing efforts. Her personal story is quite inspiring in itself. A mother of two children, she started Daily Deals for Denver Moms to help families on tight budgets get some much-needed spending relief and to support neighborhood-oriented small businesses at the same time.
The combination Ashley put together of storytelling, community-oriented economic development, and social media is why we asked the Denver resident to answer a few questions about her story and how she went from reaching one neighborhood to reaching a country of neighborhoods:
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Talk about being on the forefront of the social media world. You co-founded Daily Deals for Moms in Denver in 2010 and now it’s in 26 markets across the United States. How were able to see the potential in this?
I launched Daily Deals for Moms soon after Groupon and LivingSocial made an appearance. As a Mom, I knew, the deals that were being offered through the bigger channels were ones I couldn’t relate to. I was warming bottles and changing diapers, I didn’t need a ‘skydiving adventure.’ I needed deals on things I could relate to. Moms are the most powerful consumers in the world. I assumed there were a lot of Moms across the nation who were on the same page and wanted to save on things they needed.
You targeted moms. Why?
Moms are responsible for 4+ Billion in annual spending and make at least 85% of spending decisions for the household. It is the power of the purse!
Have you been able to incorporate storytelling techniques into your social media endeavors?
I always aim to create content into my social media strategies. People don’t want to just be “sold to.” They want to relate and typically buy into a way of life, or an idea based on content and presentation.
Was there a particular story that was compelling to your target market?
When I launched Daily Deals for Moms, I was determined to support small business all across the country. While building the company, day-by- day, I made certain that I didn’t run deals with big box stores and large conglomerates. Keeping capital local while sharing great deals with Moms and families across the country was my main mission. When this story was woven, and told, it was incredible how many people gravitated to it and its mission. We weren’t ‘just like everyone else’. We were doing good while offering something that people needed. This story was the fabric of our company. People love this story and we received a great deal of press because of it.
And what story did mom’s respond to the most/least?
We always made certain, that no matter what stories we were telling and sharing, that we used HUMOR. It was vital to the success of our company, our growth and to getting through to our audience.
Our audience did not respond to simple sales strategies and messages. If we didn’t engage without our Moms through conversation of some sort, sales didn’t convert.
Is it difficult to do?
I find it fairly easy to do, because I believe that transparency is of upmost importance. If I am honest and lay it on the line, there are no question marks. As a business and a person, I think it is imperative to ‘be who you say you are’ online and off.
In your opinion, what’s makes stories so powerful?
I believe the power of story unfolds in how relatable and accessible it is to the audience. A perfect stranger can touch the lives of hundreds and thousands, with relatable content.
But the owner did something different…
Tony Hsieh, Founder of Zappos wanted not only to sell shoes, he was passionate about customer service, corporate culture and happiness. When Tony was asked, “what does happiness have to do with selling shoes?” He replied ,”At Zappos, our higher purpose is delivering happiness,” said Hsieh. Now this is a great story. And he is an amazing storyteller. “Whether it’s the happiness our customers receive when they get a new pair of shoes or the perfect piece of clothing, or the happiness they get when dealing with a friendly customer rep over the phone, or the happiness our employees feel about being a part of a culture that celebrates their individuality, these are all ways we bring happiness to people’s lives.”
Hsieh is a storyteller and he is also transparent which serves him very, very well. Hsieh has been able to turn shoe sales into a top rated experience and something really unique and special. He has done this through sharing stories, presenting, building his brand and staying true to his company culture, which celebrates the spreading of happiness.
He recently sold his company to Amazon.com for $928 Million.
You’ve left Daily Deals for Moms after giving it such a wonderful head start. So what’s your next project?
I would like to take everything I have learned in social media over the last eight years and bring it to companies who are eager to master the art of transparency and storytelling. There are a lot of companies out there who are not part of the conversation and really need to be. I would like to be that bridge.
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Thank you, Ashley. We look forward to hearing how your story continues.
Mike Stetz, Senior Writer
Collaborative Services, Inc.