Images magazine Digital Edition April 2018 38 images APRIL 2018 Marshall Atkinson reports back from the hotly anticipated ThreadX conference in Palm Springs, California, where the biggest names in the US garment decoration industry gathered to share their hard-won wisdom end production. The more native and spontaneous it looks, the better. The takeaway: Test new ad types from Facebook to see if they can work for you. Facebook Collections works best with a video about your product or service. The average result is about a 5% call-to-action on the post. Facebook Messenger Ad allows you to directly target your customers and is better for B2B. Jakprints – Jacob Edwards ‘Print is Not Dead’ was the theme of the talk by Jacob, co-founder of mega print shop Jakprints. His presentation detailed how using the right print ideas could augment your digital strategy. He made a strong argument that solely relying on crowded and noisy pay- per-click marketing campaigns can be confusing, whereas creating authentic print pieces helps retarget campaigns and drive more business. He talked about making products fun by including special things in the box. These could be hangtags or other strategic pieces. Have fun and embarrass your competition by doing creative things that they haven’t thought about. The takeaway: If it’s in print, it’s almost like it’s frozen. The piece could be a brochure or even a simple sticker. It’s a real, physical thing that can be handed around and seen by others. You aren’t relying on a digital click. SapientRazorfish – Mike Niemczyk Mike is associate director of social content and engagement strategy at the digital agency SapientRazorfish and his background is in running campaigns for McDonald’s, Ford and Groupon. Mike’s talk focused on ‘The Importance of Making Mistakes in Social Media’. He presented two ideas: mistakes that you can afford to make, and mistakes A gainst a gorgeous Palm Springs backdrop, decorated apparel industry leaders gathered for two days of intensive networking and mind-blowing education in February this year. Organised by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and driven by its Garment Decorator Committee, this event focused on delivering around- the-corner, next level information on branding, social media, ecommerce, and new methods of selling decorated apparel. The speaker line-up was impressive. All were at the top of their game, and have a global reach in their fields. This wasn’t a bunch of trade show seminars on how Twitter works. These were advanced level strategy talks that walked you through how to get prepared for the future. This was a conference that made you think. Custom Ink – Rob Kramer and Andy-Louis Charles A defining moment of ThreadX was when these two walked up to the stage to the blasting sounds of Darth Vader’s The Imperial March from Star Wars. It was a fun poke at online custom apparel company Custom Ink’s success in the industry. Their talk was on ‘coopetition’, which is the idea that competitors in the industry can cooperate to grow. This collaboration becomes mutually beneficial. One of their introductory points was that Custom Ink spends a considerable amount of money each year on television advertising in the US. This increases industry awareness and raises the interest in the search category for all decorators. Custom Ink is also considering making its design lab tool available for screen printers to use on their own websites. In their presentation they argued that this is a $7 billion industry, but it hasn’t fully matured yet. This is why Amazon is entering the marketplace with Merch by Amazon, and Walmart is coming in as well with its Promo Shop. At this point, they are dipping their toes to understand what they can do, but haven’t fully launched yet. Rob and Andy-Louis also reported that after 18 years of being in business, they have about 4% of the market share. Eighty percent of the shirts sold are the least expensive blank on the site, and the other 20% are an upgrade blank, typically a tri-blend. The takeaway: The industry can’t be complacent. MuteSix – Steve Weiss Steve’s presentation was ‘How to run profitable and scalable Facebook ad campaigns’. As CEO of digital marketing agency MuteSix, he should know. Last year, on behalf of his clients, his firm spent $100 million in Facebook ad campaigns. The strategy that Steve recommends is to set initial goals for what you want to achieve. There are four choices that you can tell Facebook to optimise for: content, feed, sales, and acquiring new customers while excluding the old. The best results stem from using videos with captions and are under 15 seconds in length. Use the tools Facebook has set up and segment your audience based on the results you want to achieve. You can ‘clone’ your best results, and choose to show the content to at least one million viewers. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can have similar results there too. The video needs to be square in format, and is best if it isn’t too high- ThreadX – a mind-blowing experience BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT