The following is a guest post by Ashley Hawse and Lauren Zimmerman
When you think of marketing in the mattress industry, you might be tempted to take a snooze. At least that is what I thought when I first entered the bedding world. As an outsider, the industry seemed lifeless. Dull. Just plain boring. I mean how much can you say about mattresses?
That was before I became a part of the Sleep Geek community. As a Q’s Views reader you know that “bedding shouldn’t be boring.” And it’s not. The mattress industry is exciting. Just look at Sleep Geek. We created this online community for two reasons: 1) serve the mattress industry; with a focus on retail sales associates 2) inject some fun into the bedding business! You may have heard about Sleep Geek. It’s an online community purpose-built for the mattress industry. Members can get the latest on sleep related news, the mattress industry, and some good old-fashioned fun. Also, within Sleep-Geek.com lives Geek University, a free, professional development course tailor-made for retail sales associates and managers.
And here’s the cool thing – other industries don’t have this type of custom online community. Not only is Sleep Geek innovative within the mattress world, it’s unique for almost any industry.
To give you more insights about Sleep Geek, and the people behind the community we decided to do an interview. I’m Ashley Hawse. I’ll be the reporter and Lauren Zimmerman will be the interviewee. Now, let’s explore some of the unique and inspiring ways the mattress industry is shaking up B2B marketing through Sleep Geek.
Ashley: How long have you been a part of the mattress industry and what were some of your first impressions?
Lauren: I’m still somewhat of a newbie – I started working in the industry roughly six months ago. My initial thought was, “Wow I have a lot to learn.” I can definitely identify with new RSAs. There’s a big learning curve. Also, I noticed right away that people in the industry are extremely dedicated. They’re constantly looking for and developing new tactics – not only to increase sales – but also to further their knowledge.
Ashley: In what ways is Sleep Geek original? What value does it add? Why should the mattress industry care?
Lauren: Sleep Geek is the only community of its kind. We’ve even looked outside the mattress industry for similar custom niche social communities and haven’t come across any. Sleep Geek is cool because it brings RSAs and managers to one place where they can network and engage. There’s a lot of information out there, and Sleep Geek aims to be that ultimate go-to, all while adding our own cheeky flare. And with our Geek University program, we are dedicated to providing an educational resource.
Ashley: As a day-to-day manager of the Sleep Geek community, what has surprised you most?
Lauren: Everyone has so many unique and smart strategies they practice. For example, Jesiah M. keeps a shoebox that holds contact information for every customer he ever sold to, and also the ones he wasn’t able to sell to. He makes it a priority to follow-up down the road. Whether it’s on the sales floor or during downtime, sharing those tactics is extremely beneficial.
Ashley: What does the future of Sleep Geek look like? What are you most excited for?
Lauren: I can’t say too much yet, but July is going to be a big month for Sleep Geek. We really listen to the community and make changes based on feedback. The updates that’ll go live in July are probably the biggest changes since Geek University. Maybe even bigger. We are constantly developing ways to enhance the Sleep Geek experience. It’s the member’s community, and we are here to make sure it’s up to their standards. In addition to the July updates, one thing I can share is that Geek University is going to grow. That means if you already graduated get ready for more fun, entertaining education.
Ashley: What is the one takeaway you want to share with mattress industry members?
Lauren: Most people know how influential the RSA is in the sales process. We communicate with these wonderful people on a daily basis. I would encourage anybody in the mattress industry to talk to us. Do you want to learn more about RSAs? Get their thoughts on a subject? Know their dreams? We’re here to serve the industry. And as always, feel free to share your ideas, stories, strategies, or even a good mattress joke! We’ll probably post it on Sleep Geek.
Lauren Zimmerman and Ashley Hawse are Community Managers for Sleep Geek, a social network for the mattress industry. Sleep-Geek.com offers the latest news and entertainment on the bedding industry and hosts the free online professional development course Geek University.