The horse and the builders' merchant

Published:  03 December, 2013

Parker Building Supplies’ Hailsham branch has had an unusual four-legged visitor.

Earlier this year, staff were stunned when a trade customer entered the branch to settle his account with his horse in tow. Under the guidance of Jamie Pierce, head of marketing, they were quick to use social media to feature the amazing moment – including the above video.

Mr Pierce used the experience to demonstrate the power of social media to more 30 business leaders at a meeting of the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex (ACES). He spoke about how best to embrace Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to promote a business brand, generate sales leads and drive footfall.

Christina Ewbank, chief executive of ACES and Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was fascinating to hear from Jamie how social media can be used to drive new business at very little cost, and how a horse at the counter of a builders’ merchant became a great marketing opportunity.”

Mr Pierce said: “It was a pleasure to address the business community in Sussex and to highlight the real marketing power of social media, which is still seen by some as a distraction rather than a tool to drive sales. It’s not every day a horse pops in to your business so there is a need to be creative and proactive to ensure social media works to its maximum potential, which it certainly is for Parker Building Supplies.”

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