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Today’s Big smallTalk: Plum District Portland

Greetings! I’m back from a much-needed break and slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things! First up on my list: reconnect, and frequent, some of my favorite PDX small businesses! In honor of this, today’s Big smallTalk is with Marlynn Schotland,  Regional Manager for Plum District Portland.

Marlynn is one of my very favorite females in Portland (and perhaps on the planet!) for many reasons:  we met last year at The PowerMOB conference, an organization she founded in 2006 for mom-owned businesses. She is also the powerhouse behind Urban Bliss, the inspiration for this blog, which I (finally!) launched at Bloggy Boot Camp in June, and one of the most energetic, creative, and genuine people I’ve had the honor of getting to know over the past year. And did I mention we share a love for the Beastie Boys?

BSB: What was it about the Plum District brand appealed to you when you considered taking this role?

MS: As the owner of a design & marketing strategy studio, I was most drawn in by the brand’s authenticity. Every person who works at Plum District is a walking, living, smiling reflection of the brand. Being the best in the nation in this competitive marketplace and bringing amazing deals to local moms by local moms comes absolutely naturally to the people at Plum District. The brand promise is one that truly delivers, and I was highly impressed.

BSB: Who is your target customer?

MS: Moms and their families! We are the #1 daily deal site for moms, by moms. We aim to make moms’ lives easier and more enjoyable by offering them daily deals at some of their favorite spots and also helping them discover new gems.


BSB: What marketing outlets are you using to launch the brand in Portland? What role does social media play?

MS: Never underestimate the Word of Mom! Our mom salesforce is the heart and soul of the company, and our “outlets” are ourselves! We moms are insanely busy juggling a lot, so when we find a store, restaurant, dry cleaner, family fun place that we LOVE, we tell EVERYONE, right?  Our marketing efforts are merely authentic, organic conversations, from mom-to-mom.

We see social media as a way of connecting our mom subscribers and our business partners in a fun, engaging way. We genuinely love getting comments on our Facebook page and replies to our Twitter account from moms who found their Plum District deals so helpful to their busy lives and who were so happy to have discovered new local businesses through Plum District deals. Social media engagement with our moms helps us do our jobs better, and we’re really excited to grow our local Plum District mom community.


BSB: How has the initial response been in Portland?

MS: Plum fabulous! :) As a native Oregonian, I’ve always known how wonderfully supportive the local community can be of new, family-focused businesses. The moms I talk to are so excited to have awesome daily deals that are truly tailored to their needs and wants.

And, the businesses we’ve worked with have been receiving wonderful, quality customers who often spend more than the voucher amount, become repeat customers, tell all their friends about the businesses, and are just kind customers overall. I’m truly grateful for the support Portland has shown Plum District just in this short amount of time.

BSB: Can you share a preview of any upcoming deals?

MS: Nice try! :) I can share that we will be launching our Eastside district soon! Portland parents can sign up right now to receive the Portland: Eastside emails, so just stay tuned for those great SE & NE Portland deals coming soon! Otherwise, let’s just say we’ve got rockin’ deals for local moms including a popular family play space, a super fun & highly acclaimed mom-owned restaurant, a local gym, and more coming soon to your inbox!

BSB: Thanks Marlynn for taking a few minutes out of your uber-busy week to talk with us! You can learn more and follow Plum District on their Facebook page and on Twitter.

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