Food Bank of Delaware
The Food Bank of Delaware’s vision is a community free of hunger. Conceived in 1977, the food bank has grown from a small group of people dedicated to hunger relief efforts to a statewide organization with locations in Newark and Milford. The organization, led by President and CEO Patricia Beebe, works with more than 500 partner agencies to collect donations from all sectors of the food industry and strives to safely and efficiently redistribute them to more than 114,000 food-insecure residents throughout the state. Kim Turner, who joined the food bank as communications director 10 years ago, has worked to get it online, build its social media presence, and bolster its digital marketing efforts. “The challenge is always getting the word out there because we rely on the generosity of the community to make our business run,” she said.
After receiving a Google Ad Grant for nonprofits, Kim began trying Google Ads. “Google Ads is very helpful to our organization because it puts our listing at the top of the page when somebody’s looking for a charity in Delaware,” Kim said. In 2018, over half the traffic to The Food Bank of Delaware’s website was a result of both paid and organic clicks on Google Search. Kim also uses Google Analytics to measure the organization’s web traffic and YouTube to host any video content her team creates. “One in six children are at risk of hunger in our state, so our job as an organization is to mobilize the public and inspire them to act,” said Kim. “It’s important that we utilize platforms like Google to share our story with the community.”
According to Kim, dialing up the organization’s online presence with Google has made it possible to spread awareness and share the stories of the people it serves. “I feel good about the communications work that I’m doing because it’s making sure someone is fed that day,” she said. Thanks to the support it has received from its digital campaigns, the food bank will be doubling its footprint in 2019 with a new 80,000-square-foot facility. The building will feature an onsite cafe that will serve as a training location for culinary students and as a respite for workers who want to unwind after a volunteer shift. In the next six months, Kim plans to increase the food bank’s marketing efforts and put more money into digital. “It’s a really exciting time for our organization. We’re just patiently waiting to get into that new facility so we can start the new programs that we have planned,” Kim concluded.
Carpet & Tile Mart
New Castle, Delaware
When Sam Longwill opened his first surplus carpet store in 1967, it just made good business sense. “He figured he’d take a run at selling all of the rugs he’d accumulated in the rug cleaning business over the years,” his grandson Michael Longwill explains. Three generations and over half a century later, Carpet & Tile Mart has become a one-stop shop for all of the Mid-Atlantic’s flooring needs. They carry carpets, decorative rugs, hardwood flooring, ceramic tiles, luxury vinyl, laminate flooring, and more. “We’re not your average carpet and flooring store,” Michael says proudly. “Most home improvement stores have two aisles dedicated to carpets and flooring. If you take those aisles and blow them up by 100 times, that’s us.”
For decades, Carpet & Tile Mart relied on print and television advertising to reach their customers. In recent years, however, “we have moved more and more to digital,” says Michael. “This is what’s effective now.” The company launched their first e-commerce website in 2015 and uses AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to connect with consumers searching for their products. “Last month, about 40 percent of our online traffic came through Google ads,” says Digital Marketing Director Kim Matthews. AdWords also works with their Google My Business listings to drive foot traffic to their physical locations. “We are one of the few companies that are continuing to open stores and grow their brick-and-mortar business,” she adds. And YouTube provides a platform for sharing the company’s long history with customers. The 51-year-old business posts fun commercials and videos from decades past to show how far they’ve come. “The videos are a blast from the past for us. They let us look back on some of the trends from the ‘70s and ‘80s and have a little fun with our audience,” shares Kim.
Carpet & Tile Mart now operates 12 stores across Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and South Carolina, totaling over 600,000 square feet of retail space. Their online sales continue to grow at a double-digit rate every year, and over one-quarter of their advertising budget is now committed to digital. “It’s our goal to give customers the best shopping experience possible, one you can’t find anywhere else,” Kim says. “To do that, we need to make our online and store experiences seamless for the customer. So whether you’re shopping at home or in our stores, we can help you get the right tools you need to complete your project."
Eric Brinsfield founded Calvert Retail, a kitchenware business, in 1999, catering to consumers who love to cook, bake, grill, and entertain. He's since expanded to eight stores and three brands—Kitchen & Company, Reading China & Glass, and Southern Season. "Everyone loves to eat," says Marketing Manager Stephanie Graves, who describes store visitors as "anyone who loves to cook for their family or invite friends over for drinks, as well as chefs and restaurateurs." Today, the company uses the power of the web to draw “guests,” as Stephanie and other Calvert Retail employees call them, into their brick-and-mortar stores. “When you walk into one of our locations, it’s like you’re walking into our home. We want you to have the best possible experience.”
AdWords, Google's advertising program, helps Calvert Retail attract consumers searching for a range of cooking and home-entertainment items. “We just want to show people that there's a local and relaxing shopping option with friendly, knowledgeable staff,” explains Stephanie. “AdWords lets us do that.” Their Google My Business listings keep guests up-to-date on all of their stores’ information, especially during holiday seasons. Stephanie notes that the listings are always accurate, which eliminates confusion and builds trust with their communities. They use Google Analytics to measure the success of their online campaigns. “Three clicks, and I have the data I need,” she adds. And G Suite tools, including Gmail, Docs, and Drive, keep internal operations cooking. "Google is very user-friendly. We can jump in and do things without a big learning curve. That's a huge relief for a small business."
Calvert Retail is “small, but mighty,” Stephanie says. They host canned-food drives that benefit food banks all across the East Coast and try to support programs that teach kids the importance of nutrition and developing confidence in the kitchen. They plan to open more stores in the mid-Atlantic and southern states and hope their community impact will grow alongside their locations. "We love to see our stores packed with happy people," Stephanie says. "It’d be great to share our vast selection of products, company values, and the great things that we do now with everyone.”
Harvest Ridge Winery
Harvest Ridge Winery has 20 varieties of wine sold online
After making wine in his basement for many years, Chuck Nunan planted his first vines in 2011. His Harvest Ridge Winery was only the fourth winery in Delaware when he and his wife, Chris, opened for business with their sons in 2013. Located on the Delmarva Peninsula, their farm spans the Delaware-Maryland border as well as the historic Mason-Dixon Line. “We are not in a region that people typically associate with winemaking,” says Sofia Horvath, Social Media Manager. But they are certainly making their mark.
The winery relies on the Internet to communicate, build the brand, and sell wines online. “I live and die by Google Calendar, to see what’s going on,” says Sofia, who works remotely from Minnesota. Gmail keeps everyone in touch. Google Analytics gives them insights into how people are finding and interacting with their site, which helps them keep the website relevant and user-friendly. Google+ is an important part of their aggressive social media strategy, which reaches some 15,000 people, and the winery has their own YouTube channel as well. Harvest Ridge also uses AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to connect with customers searching for wines. When they hold their special events each year to benefit local charities, they turn to AdWords to geographically target potential guests.
Harvest Ridge Winery has a noticeable impact in their rural community. “We have reached a lot of the locals, who are really excited that we’re there,” says Chuck. “It is something new and different for them.” The business now has ten full-time employees plus 20 to 30 part-time workers. They have launched a sister brand to make hard cider, which they expect to market and distribute nationally. Overall, about 75% of the marketing budget goes to online activities. “We have found that you get more bang for the buck online,” Chuck says. “We really think that we can get out beyond just Delaware and the East Coast. That’s where we’re going.”