Interview With Mike Hauben, Jewelry E-commerce Expert and Marketing/Creative Director for the Centurion Jewelry Show

In Episode #15 of the Joy Joy Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share my first interview! I had the privilege to chat with jewelry e-commerce expert, web developer, and content marketing specialist Mike Hauben. Mike is the editor of JewelryEcomm.com and the marketing and creative director for the Centurion Jewelry Show.

Mike’s father Howard Hauben founded the Centurion Jewelry Show nearly 20 years ago. Mike’s current focus is to enable jewelers to stay competitive in today’s market by teaching them how to use digital tools. In this episode, we discussed topics like:

  • Resources for jewelry brands seeking to improve their e-commerce presence
  • How to choose a marketing consultant and when it’s essential to partner with one
  • Jewelry website trends
  • Some of the challenges that jewelry brands will face in 2019
  • Why video marketing is so important
  • And how jewelry Brands can win at marketing this year

Below are some highlights from the interview with their corresponding time stamps, so you can skip to the relevant position in the interview if you’re interested in hearing more about any specific topic:

2:15 – Marketing Takes More Work Than Many Jewelry Brands Realize
“It’s all digital now, and the stores that are closing down and not doing so well – it’s really because they haven’t jumped on board the digital wagon. And we’re seeing year after year after year that the digital skills you need are real skills. It’s more than just making a cute post on Facebook. They’re real skills. And it takes a lot of work now, marketing takes a lot of work.”

10:45 – Even If You Have a Brick-and-Mortar Jewelry Store, Digital Marketing Matters
“I think people are realizing that everything starts with the web now, regardless if you’re looking to sell online or if you want to increase foot traffic – it’s all originating from the web. And I think jewelers are kind of getting that, and you’re seeing more and more people making an effort now in the digital space. They used to really kind of ignore it.”

14:45 – Content Is Everything for Jewelry Brands
“Content is the start of everything, and marketing has changed so much in the past 10 years. It used to be pretty simple, you know, you would basically run an ad in the paper and then people would see the ad in the paper and then they’d call your store or come to your store. But now we’re in a world where people want information immediately. And with Google and social media, people expect to get a lot of information before about the product and about your brand and about your store before they ever come into your store. Content is really the only way you’re going to get people to your site and engaging with your brand.”

16:45 – Jewelry Sales and Marketing Have Merged
“You’re seeing a shift in how sales are done. The marketing team and the sales team used to be pretty separate things, and now they’re really one team because the marketing team is responsible for creating all this content…people are looking for that content. And they’re almost making a decision before they even walk in your store. So content is the most important thing because if you can’t get people to go to your website, they’re never going to step in your store.”

18:20 – Why Facebook Isn’t Working for Your Jewelry Brand
“A lot of jewelers don’t really do anything on social media except post an occasional photo or a special or a sale, but you have to put money behind your posts. And a lot of jewelers don’t realize this: Facebook only shows your content and the things that you post to about 2% of your audience. Jewelers don’t realize this because they haven’t really stayed up to date with digital skills. So, you know, they’ll make a lot of posts and they’re wondering why Facebook’s not working for them. It’s because you haven’t boosted posts. You haven’t run Facebook ads. You haven’t uploaded custom lists or done look-alike audiences. There’s a whole lot of work that goes into these tools.”

22:45 – How to Hire a Jewelry Marketing Consultant
“What matters the most is finding somebody that understands your vision and your goals and that meshes with you as a person. I wouldn’t work with a client that I couldn’t have a beer with. It’s got to be a comfortable fun thing, and they have to be passionate about your vision and helping you succeed. And I think that’s way more important than you know. Everyone has their own opinions on what works…but as a person that’s not a marketing person, you’re not going to know which ones in any better than the other…And I think what really matters most is you hire someone that shares that vision with you and that you get along with. Obviously that has a ton of experience.”

26:30 – Importance of Mobile-Responsive Jewelry Websites
“Your site must look good on mobile devices…the views are coming from mobile because it’s just so easy, even if they’re sitting on the couch. And they’re scrolling through something. That’s a mobile view…So your website has to be responsive…Mobile responsive and mobile-friendly are two different things. Mobile-friendly just means that your site’s going to appear on the phone. But what people really want is mobile responsive, which means the layout is actually gonna adjust and switch to be more of a vertical scroll on the phone.”

31:35 – Good Design Is Hard to Find in Jewelry Branding
“I think good design is very hard to find in this industry…people are afraid to use color. I think that’s crazy! Color is your brand…People are kind of just copying the looks of other jewelry lines’ sites that they like now…You’re not going to be able to survive much longer if your website just looks like this generic copy of everyone else’s.”

35:40 – Video Is Essential for Jewelry Brands
“The biggest challenge that jewelers are going to have is that video is taking over. Jewelers don’t want to do videos…but video is huge and the way that you can use video to market yourself is huge.”

42:00 – Jewelry Marketing Takes Time, but You Can Still Do It Successfully
“Marketing now takes a lot more time than it ever did.”

45:00 – Who Will Win at Jewelry Marketing This Year?
“The winners this year are going to be the companies that accept the new skill sets because these are new skills. Usually jewelers could do really well by just being super personable, having great relationships with people, offering tremendous customer service, having great products…But now you have to learn digital marketing.”

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