• HTDC Launches Extensive E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Program for Local Businesses in 2022

    December 06, 2021
    Information session happening on December 9, 2021 (Thursday) from 11:30am to 12:00pm. 
    Program to Focus on Scaling Businesses for Manufacturers, Makers, and Value-Added Producers
    HONOLULU — INNOVATE Hawaii (IH) has announced its next training program for 2022 with a focus on e-commerce and digital marketing, targeted towards manufacturers, makers, and other value-added producers interested in scaling their businesses. This marks the third time the training is being offered following two successful cohorts since the program’s inception in 2020.
    Throughout the pandemic, the INNOVATE Hawaii program within the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) has been assisting these companies to meet these challenges. As the state’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network Center, INNOVATE Hawaii’s core mission is to enhance the competitiveness of Hawaii manufacturers through an array of programs and services, including coaching and training, consulting, collaboration-focused industry programs, and grant opportunities.
    The upcoming program is a three-month virtual workshop series brought back by popular demand. Participants will gain learning and application opportunities through lecture content, assignments, and one-on-one consulting with HTDC’s network of vetted experts, including AkamaiSEO, Hew & Bordenave, Hidden Gears, Hoku Marketing, Jaxon Communications, Lilikoi Ladies, Mana Means Communications, Momentum, Tapiki, and more.
    There will be two separate tracks within the program to cater to companies with different needs. The e-commerce track is recommended to companies with little to no experience in e-commerce, while the digital marketing track is better suited to manufacturers with an optimized e-commerce website who are ready to scale with more resources dedicated to digital marketing.
    The e-commerce track will cover content on critical areas that a manufacturer needs to build an e-commerce site, including strategy, user experience and user interface (UX/UI), branding, and search engine optimization (SEO). The digital marketing track will kick off with guidance around customer segmentation and deep dive into strategies around content marketing, email marketing, social media, and analytics.
    Up to 15 manufacturers will be admitted into each cohort per track and will learn together through 10 classes taught over Zoom.
    This upcoming cohort will join two previous cohorts which saw 20 manufacturers successfully completing the program. Past participants have included Aloha Drapery, Aloha Edibles, Dana Labels, Honolulu Mushroom Company, Kai Wahine Designs, Me Ke Aloha Popcorn, Sweet Brown Hawaii, and more.
    Deanne Ho, President of Jade Food, participated in HTDC’s last e-commerce cohort after a fellow business owner recommended it. “I knew for some time that the company website needed an update to become more visually appealing to increase online sales. When COVID-19 brought regular business operations to a halt, I knew it was time.” Ho recognized that she needed professional guidance, and, during the e-commerce cohort, was able to speak with marketing experts, consult with website design professionals, and receive one-on-one assistance for Jade Food’s website updates.
    “Since working to make updates to the company website and implementing guidance gleaned from the e-commerce cohort, Jade Food has seen a steady 150% rise in online sales,” continued Ho. “We anticipate that sales will continue to increase as we continue to improve our site.”
    While the program typically requires an investment of $6,000, IH is offering participation in the e-commerce and digital marketing program at a subsidized rate of $600 ($60/class). Participants are encouraged to provide at least one digitally savvy dedicated person from the company who will participate fully in the program.
    Local manufacturers, makers, and other value-added producers who are interested in learning more about the program are welcome to attend the information session happening on December 9, 2021 (Friday) from 11:30am to 12:00pm. Companies ready to apply may do so at www.htdc.org/ecommerce.
    For all inquiries, please contact Nicole Pfeffer, at nicole@htdc.org.
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    About Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC)
    HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). HTDC’s mission is to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s high technology industry. HTDC is providing capital, building infrastructure and developing talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. HTDC’s 80/80 Initiative is to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs that will provide high paying jobs for Hawaii residents. For more information, visit www.HTDC.org.