Confusion. Now Available in Digital.

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I’m having a LOT of conversations about the need for digital talent. There seems to be an endless stream of confusion around this topic in general and even more questions around who to hire and for what type of role.

We’re just not sure exactly what we need. We’re having a hard time distilling down our goals into a translatable job description and functional position. How do we structure the role within the larger organization; who are their cross functional partners? 

Does this sound familiar? Let’s all take a deep breath and consider the solution…

Step 1: Determine leadership level

You know you need digital leadership but maybe you can’t afford a senior level executive. Hey, no hard feelings. This is real life. Director level talent will still offer the leadership you need to develop strategy, build and guide teams while still having close hands-on experience with execution. 

Step 2: Name your price

On a budget? Forget the C-Suite, skip the VP and aim for Director level talent. This will cut your price tag in half. Literally. Decide what you can afford, realistically.

Step 3: Structure the role

You have a lot of needs but aren’t sure how to structure a position that reflects your goals. I could wax on about the various functions within DTC but instead I’ll break it down into three major camps of talent for the sake of sanity and simplicity. Emphasis sanity.

Digital Marketing: Integrated marketing channels i.e. SEO, email, paid search, paid social, PPC, etc. Highly analytical and driven by KPIs and metrics.

Brand / Content Marketing: Brand communication strategy. Establishes creative tone, content and copy through channels. Typically, more creative and conceptual.

eCommerce: Site functionality, site experience, operational and sales. Customer acquisition and retention.

Major broad strokes but most Digital and DTC roles will align with one of these three. You can mix and match or combine elements from each role as well.

Customize. 

There’s no one size fits all. When we develop digital positions, we begin by determining the long term strategic goals and then reverse engineer the position based on these goals considering the company size, needs and circumstances both immediate and future. 

Happy Hunting

Digital Customer Experience, and the Curation of it All

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Author: Maggie Walsh

Aesthetics and ease are the two most important components of the digital customer experience (DCX). Websites aren’t just selling product anymore. They’re selling experiences. Customers want to enter a digital world and feel like they belong, or that they aspire to belong. And they want it to be simple and pain-free. The companies that prioritize these ideals create a winning DCX, and ultimately, customer retention.

Companies like Glossier and Bando have a vibe that makes their customers feel like part of a lifestyle.  The photos are curated and interesting, product descriptions are pithy, and graphics add to the overall feel of the company - all of it elevating the DCX. In online retailing especially, the product can’t speak for itself the same way it can in a brick-and-mortar retail store. The website has to assist in telling the product story to make customers buy into the products, and by extension, the brand.

Aesthetics include not only beautiful product and graphics, but quality. Quality of a website enhances the DCX, making the customer feel comfortable entering their personal and financial information. Professional and secure websites are instrumental in gaining a customer’s trust and loyalty.

Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule. Amazon, the online giant no one can slay, has arguably the worst aesthetic of any online retail superpower. What they have done right is make it so easy to shop, it’s sincerely hard for any customer not to. Amazon Prime, recommended/related items, and Alexa have created a user-friendly online eco-system that keeps a customer enmeshed in the Amazon of it all. One-click purchase and high page loading speed prevents frustrated customers from abandoning their cart. A January 2018 article on Inc.com proves the importance of technical ease, “just a 1-second delay in load time can hurt (purchase) conversion rates by 7 percent.” Amazon has made it a priority to make the journey from product search to order confirmation a frictionless process. What Amazon lacks in beauty, it makes up tenfold in utility.

DCX extends to all digital platforms – including social media presence and mobile friendliness. Customers are increasingly online shopping from the comfort of their phones.  A difficult experience during a mobile session is a surefire way to lose a customer. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, the customer will find one that is. Websites have to translate their aesthetic to social media in a way that makes sense for the brand, while creating interesting content that customers want to see beyond product placement.

There aren’t a lot of subjects I consider myself an expert in, but online shopping is one of them. While waiting in line at Starbucks, I’m just as likely to be browsing dresses on Shopbop as I am to be scrolling through Instagram. The sites and brands I return to again and again are the sites that are fun to look through and easy to navigate. They feel most adjacent to walking into one of my favorite stores. That is the winning formula for DCX.

 

 

 

 

 

Endangered List:  Chief Digital Officer

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Author: Maggie Walsh

When it comes to C-Suite positions, executives can generally count on the staying power of their position. Most companies will always need a CEO, a CFO, and a CMO. But what about the relatively new Chief Digital Officer (CDO)? Can they count on a tenured spot within the company? The strategy for most CDO positions is a relatively short-term one. Companies expect a CDO to come on board, right the digital ship, and then move those maintenance and update responsibilities to parallel executives, like marketing, technology or information.

A November 2017 study predicted that the CDO will be phased out of most companies by 2025 (gartner.com). That feels counter-intuitive, given how digital-driven life has become in 2018. The reason for the disappearing CDO is twofold. One, a lot of the responsibilities that belong to the CDO are duplicates. Two, the main goal for the CDO is to take a company who is behind in their digital strategy and bring them up to speed. Luxury fashion, for example, is an industry that is notoriously behind the technological times. Luxury has felt somewhat exempt from the digital revolution for all these years. However, they are finally realizing they can no longer hold out, and are modernizing their strategies with the help of CDOs.

In a study conducted by PwC, only 19% of organizations reported having a CDO in 2016, and 60% of those CDOs were appointed between 2015 and 2016 (pwc.com). What seems like such a vital piece of a company’s overall health appears to be in the hands of, essentially, temporary employees. The CDO comes in when the digital situation is dire, and they improve the internal and external digital user experience, and move on - acting as digital “fixers”. The CDO of Shiseido succinctly described the purpose of the CDO to Glossy.com, saying, “CDOs are temporary. We are here to inject a new way of working, one that is about ongoing experimentation, trial and error, fail forward, push forward . . . We can be successful in this job if we are out as fast as possible.”

CDOs face the exciting challenge of reviving a company’s digital scope, while maintaining its original DNA. While this can be difficult, it is a high risk/high reward situation - especially in retail, where revamped web sites historically produce a stronger revenue stream, an easy measure of success. Getting there can be difficult, as CDOs often aren’t given their own team, but rely on various marketing or tech employees for strategy execution.

Why do CDOs only exist in a short burst? Why don’t companies want to continue to evolve their digital footprint and experience even after tech mistakes have been corrected? Isn’t there room for a CDO as the importance of user experience, systems, and a company’s digital face continues to grow with the technology available? In order to continue to NOT have a digital problem, it feels essential for companies to keep a CDO who will continue to grow the digital side of the business. I guess we’ll have to wait until 2025 to get the answer to that question.

 

 

Digital Advertising in a New World

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Author: Maggie Walsh

We all know that feeling . . . you were just emailing or texting a friend about something, and suddenly an ad for that thing pops up in your Gmail and haunts you for weeks. You feel like “big brother” is virtually watching you, and you wonder how much he knows. As recent news is telling us - quite a bit, probably. But, that’s not the only problem with digital ads. Do they work? Does anyone click on them purposefully? And is advertising anywhere except with Google or Facebook worthwhile?

According to AdAge, an industry web site, the internet surpassed newspapers as the second largest advertising medium (after TV) in 2012.  An average of 89% of Americans watch TV at least once a week. But, just like print, times are changing. Video killed the radio star, and YouTubers are killing the sitcom star. More and more people are moving to streaming services and cutting the cable cord. In order to stay relevant, advertisers have to be nimble and react quickly to the market - go where their customers go. Nielsen reported that digital ad campaigns reach their intended audience 59% of the time, and mobile ads are even stronger for reaching narrower target audiences.

One advantage of online advertising is that digital advertisers have the ability to customize their advertising, using algorithms that track user clicking habits and recent page views to provide custom messaging on targeted web sites. However, this practice can make users uneasy about personal data being collected, and companies have no control over where their ads are landing. Some companies may not want to be associated with certain web pages that customers are surfing. And, quite frankly, digital ads can be annoying. Videos pop up loudly in a public place, or you can accidentally click on an ad, taking you away from your intended destination.

In a recent report from Zenith, Google and Facebook represent 20% of global ad spending, almost double the percentage from 2012. Google alone received 79.4 billion in ad revenue in 2016. Advertising with Google in some capacity is almost a requirement at this point for any internet-based business, and you have to pay to play - the pay ain’t cheap. Even though the Facebook and Google behemoths of the internet take up a large chunk of effective advertising, new and creative avenues open up all the time.

New digital advertising opportunities pop up as quickly as technology changes. Social media and podcasts are a few relatively new ways to advertise. Companies use “influencers” to sell their products to their engaged audiences, almost like getting a recommendation from a friend. For example, I can’t tell you how many Instagram accounts and podcasts I’ve seen MVMT watches advertised on. They launched in 2013, and already have grown to over $60 million in revenue, according to Forbes.com. Companies can make a smaller investment with a smaller, more engaged audience, in addition to more traditional digital advertising.

Digital ads have to move and adapt as fast as the internet does in order to stay relevant and effective. Advertisers are challenged to engage their audience and find new ways to reach them in meaningful ways. As soon as consumers learn to navigate around unwanted ads, the advertisers have to come up with a better plan to reach them.  As for me, excuse me while I buy those shoes from the banner ad to my right.

How These Market Leaders Boosted Their Sales With Digital Marketing

The world is fast shifting to digital marketing, making the Internet more and more important to luxury and brand sales in general. In the fashion industry, it is predicted to drive about 40 percent of the average projected sales growth beginning 2013 until 2020.

Not many fashion companies, though, give digital marketing or e-commerce enough attention. Only a few, like Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Kering, are aggressively investing in improving their digital presence. With the changing landscape in marketing, you need to have the foresight of these digital marketing leaders to generate a decent online performance. Check out how these frontrunners are carving their positions in the industry.

Burberry

Burberry’s brilliant use of digital marketing catapulted this 150-year fashion brand to the top, like it was born with it. It eagerly innovated and embraced digital marketing strategies to bring the brand to where the customers are, effectively blurring the boundaries between its brick and mortar shops and online milieu.

Its websites are among the finest in the Web - fabulous usability across all devices, beautiful imagery, effective CTAs, and the easy access to e-commerce. Even more exciting is how the digital layout of the websites has been mimicked in their flagship retail store to seamlessly connect the online with the brick and mortar shopping experience.

Its pioneering spirit in the social media made it a power to reckon with; Facebook alone has a 17M-strong following.  The major factor that won many hearts in the social media arena is Burberry’s unique digital content, such as the Art of the Trench, Burberry Acoustic and Burberry Bespoke.

These pursuits for aggressive digital presence gave Burberry record sales and a growth that is about 14 percent higher than its competitors in the fashion industry.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton, the popular 156-year old French label, is intensifying its use of digital marketing. It has recently made significant progress overhauling its website to step up its online presence. The effort has successfully eclipsed Burberry in terms of user experience. The site’s emphasis is on content supported with exciting imagery and stunning videos, purposely promoting luxury lifestyle.

Louis Vuitton’s heightened use of social media and online video to engage consumers resulted to a sizable following in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, ignited by David Bowie’s "L'Invitation au Voyage" ad campaign.

Similar to other luxury brands, Louis Vuitton is faced with a difficulty in creating ecommerce that can also deliver a slick and friendly user interface (UI).

Kering

Kering is the former Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) known for its smaller and mid-sized fashion labels – Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Puma, and Saint Laurent among others. It managed to stay focused and consistent with its digital strategies by forming an alliance through a joint venture with YOOX in August 2012, except for Gucci, Gucci is its biggest luxury brand, which independently creates its own digital marketing strategies. By embracing the digital revolution, Kering makes ecommerce a strategic priority.

The digital effort brought the holding company nearly $400 million online sales in 2014; this is on top of its successful drive for brand awareness. The encouraging performance made the management decide to invest more in the development of its websites and other online-related operations.

Fashion industry executives must be aware that catching up and adapting with the latest trends in digital marketing is never easy because they are continuously evolving. To stay competitive, stay current with the best practices that the world’s top digital marketing leaders, like Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Kering, are using. You may not be able to replicate their systems, but there is a lot to learn about their marketing philosophies and principles to help you calculate risks, innovate and stay competitive.

 

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Photo: RPM & Co

Is Poor Digital Presence Slowing Your Conversion Rates?

The Consequences of Poor or no Digital Media Marketing

We've all heard the term social media marketing. It's a phrase that is common in every industry today. Why is it necessary and what does it have to offer the fashion industry?

Digital media has turned the business of fashion upside down. Fashion retail has been reeling since the advent of social media and digital marketing. As is often the case, most companies turned their attention to the actual media. They were progressing steadily and continue to do so. Burberry, as a good example, became a master of the "in the trenches" conversations with consumers. Tiffany began a mobile media application known as the engagement ring finder.  It was uncharted territory for them and they were making the most of it.

Many companies did not follow suit. For others who did and are continuing to do so, some aren't getting the most out of the digital media marketing opportunities. The issue lies in the fact that once they arrive in that new territory known as social media, many company heads, fashion directors or marketers for the company are in unfamiliar territory. They aren't in the least savvy about how to navigate all those new spaces.

Digital media has remade the way in which we communicate with our consumers. In fact, it's probably fair to say that social media has created the way in which we communicate with our customers.

The customer today is growing used to companies that offer them sale pricing via SMS or applications. They are accustomed to companies who will answer their questions on social media or live chat applications. Brands and retailers need to be communicating with their customers today. Those who do not are going to fail or lag behind those who do.

In a digital age, the model for a successful business must include digital communication and offerings.  It's a far smaller world than it has ever been. Information is everywhere. Those who provide the most information in return for their customers business are going to do the most trade. When something that a specific designer is working on shows up on digital media, customers react. They see, they desire and they buy, it's as simple as that.

If you're not showing your customers what you're doing, offering them the means to get their hands on your work, your competition is. The consequences of not having a good digital marketing campaign today are, bluntly speaking, that you're going to lose to those who do. If your competition is working hard to share their products and services on social media, offering a wide range of programs that make it easy for customers to see and to hear about new products and services they are getting noticed. You need to be emulating their actions and putting your own stamp on them, making your products and services part of the digital limelight.

Social media is the wave of the future.. Ride the wave or sink.

 

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Increase Effectiveness With These 5 Digital Marketing Tools

Digital Marketing: Tools for Digital Marketing Executives

A digital marketing executive searches daily for the best way to create, analyze and produce positive results for his company through online marketing efforts. Similar to a carpenter, this executive accomplishes the job more efficiently with the proper tools. Tools exist today that provide help with a number of different tasks from content curation to managing social media input and feedback. If you are a digital marketing executive, you need to seek out the right tools to assist you in your tasks.

1. Curata

Curata provides a Content Marketing Platform and Content Curation Software to allow you to perform content marketing in an effective manner. You will be able to perform tasks ranging from analyzing the impact of the company's marketing and sales pipeline to publishing and promoting company content.

2. Rankwatch

Rankwatch provides a full line of features to increase a company's effectiveness in digital marketing such as:

  • Rank tracking will display the company's current ranking with 177 search engines with the website's present keywords
  • Website analysis audits and evaluates the website to discover the strengths and weaknesses of its design and effectiveness, and it will determine whether or not the website is mobile-friendly
  • Discovers and optimizes keywords that the company already has success with, but this feature also discovers new, effective keywords for the company digital marketing efforts
  • A backlink analyzer calculates backlinks within a matter of seconds according to various, relevant parameters
  • CEO or agency dashboard provides management and control over the features

3. QuillEngage

QuillEngage provides Google Analytics reports that are easy for you to understand. You receive instant insight, relevant analysis and actionable advice to improve your company's performance in the digital arena.

4. Sidekick by Hubspot

Sidekick provides you with in-depth insight into your contacts from your email inbox. You will be able to build and maintain important relationships with the integrated email tools that Sidekick includes in its services. View your contacts' email and professional histories along with other important facts. Learn which contacts open your emails through the email-tracking feature. The feature even tells you how often the contacts view the same email, what device they are using, when they read it, and where they are at the time. Schedule when to send emails or send yourself reminders. In addition, Sidekick will notify you when a recipient receives your email according to your schedule.

5. Hootsuite

Hootsuite offers social media management capability to all types of businesses and organizations. Manage your social media pages in an efficient manner through scheduling messages, interacting with your target audience and even keep track of your ROI from your Hootsuite dashboard.

Let this information be a starting point for your executive search for effective tools to assist you in your efforts with digital marketing. Do not risk failure by not using the best methods possible throughout your journey to reach your company's goals. Instead, increase the bottom line just by utilizing the right tools, such as the ones mentioned above.

 

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Photo: Curata

Solutions For Marketing's New Digital Age

The marketing world is rapidly changing, and as it does, we are forced to find new methods of getting our message across. As marketers, this can be a serious problem, especially if we have not managed to learn the latest tips and tricks. If other companies beat us to the punch, we will be hard pressed to catch up, if we even can. It all depends on how determined we are, and if we can even absorb the new material. One of the most important things for us to remember about marketing is that it is no longer a batch job, not by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it is a continuous process and it requires the aid of technology.

There was a time when marketing and demographics were collected on a case-by-case basis. They could be collected through mall surveys, or they might be collected via mailed cards. Today, however, these surveys are typically conducted online, and even better, the demographics are often built by monitoring the links customers click on various retail sites, and of course, by watching what actions convert into sales. These days, getting information is simply a matter of ease, more so than it ever has been before.

A new era of marketing trends and insights will change the way marketing is carried out forever for a few reasons. First, marketing must be simplified. Complex marketing tactics are a good start, but if you want to expedite the process and put the results to use in a timely manner, they need to be simple. Another important thing to remember is that the simpler your marketing methods are, the easier it will be for everyone to pick them up. For example when you hire new employees, you will find it much easier to train them on a simpler marketing method, and your company will not lose steam as it attempts to assimilate new workers over time. Adopting programs for the move into the digital world is without a doubt the best thing that a company can do.

In the past, a marketer might have looked back on the old ways of marketing, and perhaps even remember when the new ways began to interfere with their marketing strategy. Looking back now, however, is not an option. The future has begun to catch up to us, and soon, marketing without a digital presence, and especially without a social media presence will be unheard of. The question is whether your company will be ready to adopt marketing strategies that will simply be a matter of course as time goes by. It’s time to let the old ways die, and start looking to the future. You might be amazed at what a difference the new tactics will make, allowing your business to grow beyond its original limits.

 

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Photo: PB Works

Avoid These Digital Marketing Mistakes

Whether you're a large corporation or a small company, the chances are good that you've embraced digital marketing to some extent. The question is, have you embraced it correctly?  In spite of the fact that digital marketing is relatively new tous it is evolving rapidly. It is now a necessary and an integral part of our business marketing world.

Each of the many and diverse digital marketing channels requires attention on a regular basis. While nearly every company is using digital marketing, many are not using it correctly and what's more, they aren't aware that they are not.

The top mistakes that small and large companies are making in digital marketing are these:

  • Not being mindful of their content. Very often companies believe that any content is good content.  They put out content in hoards and don't consider that it should be meeting a need or addressing a problem for their customers in order to compel them to read it. Using your content as a problem solver gets you on the map and people notice. Just putting up bland content that really addresses no issue or doesn't offer an innovative use of the product is a sure fire way to bore your users and prevent them from coming back to your site or social media area.
  • Following current trends rather than developing and engaging their customers in their own unique way.  As an example of this, there are some very common trends in website development. Many business sites look a great deal alike. A large header and slider and a great deal of colorless space. If every company has the website with the fat sliding header and yours is sleek clean and well designed in splashes of dynamic red, you're going to get noticed.
  • Not paying attention to what people are saying or asking for. It is after all, a company that is supported by its customers. If you're not hearing them and addressing their needs, there isn't much point in marketing because you're sending the wrong message. Take a long look at what your customers are asking for and then offer it if you can.
  • Not keeping a close watch on the data that you're gathering with your marketing. Mining the data and reviewing it periodically to see what you're doing so far as your marketing forays is imperative and gives you a good look at how you're doing and where you can improve.
  • Two marketing entities operating separately. Both traditional and digital marketing is required to keep your company moving forward. Keeping the teams from collaborating with each other is a mistake that is very common, particularly in larger companies.

Digital marketing can offer you a great deal so far as improving your visibility, improving your brand and increasing your rate of growth. When used wisely, digital marketing can afford you a solid reputation and increased sales.

Make sure that you guard your online reputation zealously to get the best from your digital marketing.

 

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Solutions For The Top 3 Digital Marketing Challenges

Marketing has gotten easier now that it has moved into the digital, but there are still plenty of difficulties and challenges faced by companies, especially in such a competitive time. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common challenges faced by the top fashion brands today, and explore some potential solutions. Perhaps you will even find your own solution here.

Problem #1: Awareness

Your ultimate goal is of course to generate leads for your sales team, but how can that happen if no one knows about you? In the early days of the internet it was a little easier to build a brand, but things have changed significantly over the years. As more and more brands appear on the internet, it seems that the potential customer base is scattered, but this is not the most dire of your problems. The biggest problem that you are likely to face, is the fact that you don’t know the proper channels to go through, or even how to fully utilize those channels.

What channels are available to you? Are you utilizing social networks? Are you blogging? Do you use affiliate links? These are the tools you need to use in today’s world, and it will take you quite far if you let it. By knowing your audience and using the right channels, you can proceed to make a huge impact and really stretch out.

Problem #2: Targeting

Who are you marketing to exactly? Do you know their likes and dislikes? Do you know what type of media they will be monitoring? Let’s say for example you are trying to target senior citizens with your product or service. Chances are they will not be using the internet outside of basic e-mail, meaning you will have to use a different means of contact. You could rely on television ads, though they are expensive, or you could move toward e-mail ads rather than simple banner ads. Most consumers use social media platforms. You can create a targeted advertising campaign that will reach your intended audience.

In order to really address the problem, you will need to develop a good picture of your target audience. In other words, try to identify their needs, figure out what they are looking for, and appeal only to them. You can’t appeal to everyone, so make sure you stay within your niche.

Problem #3: Failure to Utilize Social Media

When social media was new, most businesses had no idea how to use it. They knew that they needed to make use of it, but how? These days, most companies are on social media and they know how to turn their traffic into cold hard cash. Having a presence on a social media site isn’t enough; you need to be engaging, and you need to create leads for your business.  For this reason, you need to hire experts, and you need to make sure your business is getting the exposure that it really needs. It’s more important than you think!

These are three major problems that marketers in the fashion industry will run into. The world has become a much smaller place with more and more companies turning to the digital world for their advertisement. Make sure you’re following the bandwagon – or be left in the dust.

 

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Photo: Kay and Way

Marketing Solutions For The Digital Revolution

Marketing executives are faced with unique challenges in today’s marketing environment for a number of different reasons. The world is changing, first of all, meaning new advertising methods need to be adopted if a company is to actually survive. How is the world changing exactly? What does it mean?

The world is becoming digital, and as a result, it is becoming much smaller. This has an interesting effect on businesses as they are able to reach out further, and this is especially interesting for smaller companies that do not have the same resources as their larger competitors. Thanks to the power of the internet, virtually anyone can become a success so long as they capitalize on the opportunities they have been presented with.

This is great news for marketing executives, of course, as they will be able to reach a greater audience with less effort. It does, however, mean that every other company will be doing the exact same thing, ultimately forcing you to not only be on your guard against other companies, but to make sure you are using the same techniques, or even better techniques than they are using. Keeping up is hard to do, but let’s go over some of the most common new methods in today’s world so that you will not only learn to spread the word about your company, but turn your views into conversions.

Views vs. Conversions

Proper marketing will get you both views and conversions, but the journey between the two can be difficult, to say the least. What is the difference between a view and a conversion exactly? A view is exactly what it sounds like: someone looking at your webpage or product though they may not take the leap toward buying the product. A conversion ends in the customer making a purchase, and perhaps even coming back for more. Getting from the view to the conversion requires a bit of work on your part.

Solutions for Marketing Executives

The best solution for marketing executives in this case is to gather as much information on the consumer as possible. In today’s market, it is best to do that through electronic means. Sending a survey card through the mail is obviously not effective, but you can collect online surveys from your customers by offering them various incentives. Some surveys might offer free merchandise such as t-shirts, or even electronics. Surveys do not always have to be so inclusive of rewards, however. You can actually just monitor customer trends on your own website, or purchase the information from a company that specializes in data collection. This is information that will take both you and your company far, ensuring that you are marketing to the right crowd, and perhaps finding new customers to appeal to.

Remember that surveys are not the only tool at your disposal. There are plenty of other ways for you to market, from social networking, all the way to e-mail. It is critical that you use every tool available to you, and ensure that your customers are able to interact with you. As the world continues to change, new tools will become available to you, and you will need to not only adapt, but learn how to best use them to your advantage. It's time for a change.

 

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Photo: Clara Bridge

Are You Making These Common Digital Marketing Mistakes?

Common Digital Marketing Mistakes Fashion Brands Need to Avoid

Many fashion brands spend a lot of money on digital marketing campaigns to build their brand and improve sales. Unfortunately, simply starting a new digital marketing campaign doesn’t guarantee great results. It’s essential to ensure that your brand’s marketing dollars are spent well.

While a good digital marketing campaign will offer results during the promotion period, great campaigns help you enjoy results after the promotion period is over. If you want to make your marketing campaigns work hard for you, even after your promotion period, it’s essential for fashion brands to avoid these digital marketing mistakes.

Forgetting to Use Social Media Share Buttons

Overlooking the importance of social media share buttons is a common mistake. Social media share buttons offer a lot of potential if you use them correctly. When placing these buttons on your fashion brand’s website, it’s important to know which buttons offer the best results and you’ll also need to think about whether your images are really shareable.

Instead of simply using all the social media icons on your pages, understand which platforms offer the best results for your brands. You don’t want to confuse your customers with too many buttons.

It’s also essential to make sure you use shareable images. Many fashion brands use images that don’t appear correctly across various platforms. Ensure you use the right image size so it looks as it will on social media platforms.

Not Leveraging Social Media Content and Data

While tweets, pins, likes, comments, and shares all offer social proof for your fashion brand, you can use this social media content and data beyond this application. You can use the numbers to help you come up with business intelligence programs for your fashion brand.

For example, if you track the numbers for specific images, you’ll learn more about your customers. When certain images perform well, you can note what works, capitalizing on similar images in the future.

Failing to Deal with Dead URLs

What are dead URLs? They are hyperlinks that aren’t active. Many fashion brands forget to watch for dead URLs, and over time these dead ULRs begin to pile up. It’s not enough to concentrate on links on your brand’s website. You also need to consider links shared by customers on social media sites. Finding a way to effectively deal with dead URLs will help you leverage the value of all your click-throughs.

Using Boring Online Copy

While you probably have good online copy on your fashion brand’s website, you may not consider the copy on shared content when users click a social media share button. It’s important to ask a few questions about the copy on shared content, including:

  • Is the summary text really relevant?
  • Will the copy bring in more customers?
  • Does the copy seem personal?

Take the time to write descriptions that work well with your images, ensuring that you use a personal touch that doesn’t feel like an ad.

Having Unrealistic Expectations for SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to become more challenging for fashion brands, particularly if you’re working to have specific product pages ranked in the search engines. Don’t make the mistake of thinking SEO efforts will immediately provide results. SEO often requires a lot of trial and error. Many fashion brands may benefit from using pay per click ads, which over time may help to boost SEO results.

Sometimes fashion brands rely on digital marketing campaigns to drive sales and awareness. Although it’s great to use these campaigns, don’t overlook the importance of on-going efforts. If your fashion brand relies on promotions, you may need to think about how you can use some of these tips to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.

 

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Digital Marketing Solutions For Your Brand

If you want to spread the word about your product or service, the best way to do it, is to enter the digital world. There was a time when the internet was not taken seriously, at least from a marketing standpoint, but now, without the internet, a company might as well close up shop. As a marketer, it is your job to make sure your product is out there, in the world, and your company stays at the forefront of the industry. If you cannot do that, well, you’re not a very good marketer. So what are the best practices and solutions for digital marketing? The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re reaching everyone.

Reaching Everyone

One of the best things you can do with digital marketing is try to reach anyone and everyone you can. This can be accomplished in a number of different ways, but social media, e-mail, and banner advertisements are the best way to go. Just with the internet in general, social media was once thought to be a waste of time, but gradually, businesses learned how to be productive with social media, and now, if you aren’t on some form(or all forms) of social media, your business is doomed to lose revenue.

E-mail marketing might seem like an antiquated method of advertising but there are still those who check theirs on a daily basis. This type of advertising allows you to use either plain text or a more complex display method, or both. In addition to that, you will be pleased to find most people check their e-mail on mobile devices, making it much easier to reach everyone.

Similar to e-mail marketing, you can also make use of text message marketing. This will simply entail an application that sends a text message out to those you are trying to reach. It might sound a bit archaic, but there are still those who will use text messages on a regular basis and certainly do not mind seeing advertisements.

Finally, make sure that there is a connection between all of your digital marketing. What does this mean exactly? Facebook and Twitter can be connected so that your tweets will show up on your Facebook page, and you can even find a way to synchronize your other social media platforms. The idea is to ensure that everyone can go to one place for everything rather than forcing them to visit multiple locations to find their information. It sounds like a lot of work, which is true, but it pays off big in the end and keeps the customer happy.

 

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What Digital Marketing Professionals Can Do For Your Bottom Line

Whether your company is large or small you should consider hiring digital marketing professionals. An offline store should have an online version as well, so that you can reach more potential consumers. This is the right path to take, if you want the world to see what your brand has to offer.

Marketing can be a challenging task, especially if you do not have an expert on your team. In-house marketing is more effective, but your employees must have the proper skill set, experience, and knowledge in tackling digital marketing. Hiring a digital marketing professional is the most practical and cost effective option you have, if you really want to get ahead of the game. Here are a few benefits that come from hiring a digital marketing professional.

1. More than just expertise in marketing comes your way

Once you decide to hire a digital marketing professional, you gain access to the latest marketing technology; you have cutting-edge strategies, and priceless experience. Your digital marketing campaigns are timely, relevant, and agile.

2. Your company can use the latest technology in digital marketing

Digital marketing professionals have access to high-level technology in digital marketing. By hiring them, you incorporate that technology into your company. The proper marketing tools are necessary to improve your fashion company’s performance, efficiency, and productivity. Digital marketing professionals can hook you up with top-level analytical reports and software, so you have value for your money. In addition, advances digital marketing tools need digital marketing professionals to interpret the data they provide. With the help of these professionals, you can make the right decisions.

3. Current employees can focus on what they do best

Stress is never a good thing in any business. Digital marketing tasks are very taxing and delegating them to your present employees just makes things more difficult for them. If you hire a digital marketing professional, your employees can concentrate on what they do best. The stress is reduced and they become more efficient.

4. You do not need to train a digital marketing professional anymore

Digital marketing professionals are fully equipped to do what they do. You do not have to rack your brain in training them. They have a unique approach to launch different marketing campaigns for your business.

5. You are constantly updated with the latest marketing trends

If you just have your in-house marketing team, you are not updated with the latest marketing trends. The reason is that they have their own daily tasks to accomplish. Reading more about the latest trends seem very difficult to fit into their schedule. Digital marketing professionals keep themselves updated because digital marketing is what they focus on. As a result, they are fully educated with the latest trends, which help them improve your fashion business.

6. The professionals can reach your target audience easily

A digital marketing professional has the time and expertise to align your company’s core values with their marketing strategy. This results in a more effective audience reach.

Hiring a digital marketing professional will not only make things easier for you and the sustainability of the brand. With these knowledgeable, well-trained people, your short term gain and long term gain results in increased profitability.

 

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How To Better Reach Your Customer With Location Analytics

Tom Cruise’s mall experience in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report is not an impossible thing anymore. That scene gives us a glimpse of what the right technology can bring to businesses and to the customer’s experience. The high-tech mall in the movie has billboards that automatically present personalized messages to Tom Cruise as he passes. Through the eye scan if Cruise’s eye, the mall’s technology is able to know what to tell you specifically.

This elaborate vision of the near future is very close to the present reality. Various businesses are acquiring large amounts of data, only to provide you with anything you may need and want, anytime, anywhere. Fashion is one of the industry that follow this trend. Fashion involves personalized service, which can only come from engaging with customers. This is possible with today’s location analytics

What is Location Analytics?

Location analytics is a visual means of analyzing and interpreting information from historical and real-time geographic data in businesses. The data produced in businesses contains geographical elements, which help determine the spending habits or behavior of their customers in various locations. Companies use this information to increase their sales and retain their customers. Once they know their customers well enough, they are able to distribute products better. They can even aim their advertisements to more specific consumers.

Location analytics helps the fashion industry in very significant ways:

  • This technology helps fashion companies determine which trends appeal to certain kinds of customers in specific locations. With this information, fashion companies are able to deploy the right kinds of boutiques and brands. The effort results in happier customers and more profit.
  • Monitoring the entire mall can be taxing, especially if you want to make sure that every customer is served on time. With location analytics, business owners can monitor the wait times of every customer. This makes sure that the customers are served quickly enough.
  • Since everyone is connected through the Internet, location analytics can also help attribute online campaigns to offline stores.
  • It can also help executives spot the right site layout and design, by determining traffic flaws and hot zones.

The Technologies Involved in Location Analytics

Here are the technologies that make location analytics possible:

  1. Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE. Also known as, “Bluetooth Smart”, BLE is part of Bluetooth 4.0’s core specifications. It is the lightweight derivative of the original Bluetooth.
  2. iBeacon. This technology is found in your iOS. It extends the iOS location services. It can activate payments, once the customer leaves the store. It also helps promote sales and complementary items in various sporting or music venues. iBeacon also helps deliver free e-magazines in coffee shops and alert people about weather changes or travel delays. If used in the home, iBeacon can also help remind you about turning lights off and the like.
  3. Global Positioning System or GPS. This is a navigation system, based on twenty-four satellites, established by the US DOD or Department of Defense. It is free. It functions all day, on a global scale.
  4. Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a known wireless technology, which uses radio waves in providing high-speed network and internet connections.
  5. MAC Addresses or Media Access Control Address. This identifies every node of a given network.

Location analytics can help the fashion industry in establishing a tighter bond with their customers. Though there are some privacy issues to deal with, this technology can help improve the overall customer experience. You do not have to wait to get that perfect dress or handbag. Once you enter the store that has location analytics technology, your product will be sitting there, waiting for you.

TASTE THE BEACON SANDWICH

Know your customers, just by determining the places they frequent. This is one of the benefits of location analytics. For fashion brands this high level of technology can enhance your relationship with your customers. Knowing their preferences and purchase history enables you to cater to their preferences. At the same time, your customers have a better experience whenever they go to your retail store. You have to be familiar with the latest technologies, which help location analytics possible. One of them is the Beacon.

What is a Beacon?

Beacons, in general, allow Bluetooth gadgets to receive and transmit data within short ranges of distance.  It is comprised of the receiver, represented by the smart phone application, and the broadcaster, represented by the beacon device. The receiver is the detector of beacons. The broadcaster makes known of its presence and identity. Take note that the effectiveness of beacons depends on the distance.

The data broadcasted by beacons allows the app to tell the distance of the phone from the item, to allow it to perform certain actions. This helps a lot when the client enters a retail store. The app can then offer discounts, open doors, turn lights on or off, or even send alerts on certain popular trends.

Various Uses of Beacons

Below are some of the basic uses of beacons:

  • Tracking of resources. With the use of beacons, the servers can be told conveniently to dispatch orders. Their PDAs allow them to select a table number, every time they take orders. The beacons make it possible for the mobile app to identify the table being served. The app displays the order and the name of the customer. The beacons allow the restaurant owner, to see which employees spent more time on certain customers and to determine their paths through the restaurant. Once you understand this information, you can improve the efficiency of your employees. The same thing happens in hotels, malls, and hospitals.
  • Facilitating learning. Beacons can also be applied on an educational setting. It can help stimulate the minds of the students, through certain games that require them to move about. Technology, geography, logic, context, and automation are only some of the subjects aided by beacons. With beacons, students become more interested in them.
  • Making zoo trips fulfilling. There is a zoo app, which helps visitors during their trips to the zoo. Once a guest gets close to zoo attraction, the mobile app starts showing additional information about what the guest is looking at.
  • Making sushi smarter. If you go to a modern sushi restaurant that has a conveyor belt, beacons can help provide more information about the sushi coming your way. You can also keep track of your orders and your bill as you take your sushi.
  • Adding more fun to shopping. With the help of beacons, you can simply walk into a store and immediately get information about offers. When the customer enters your boutique, you can take note of the time it takes for service to be completed. Beacons also make customer service more personalized.
  • Getting things automated. Beacons can also enable the automation of your home or business. Your doors can open or close (even lock or unlock) automatically. Your lights can turn on and off on cue as well.

Location analytics can deliver more to your business. Like any other innovation, beacons are not for everyone. Just be aware of the privacy concerns and you are well on your way to a more convenient, more futuristic daily experience.

 

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6 Tips To Surviving The Digital Revolution

Across many industries, information technologies continue to significantly change business operations. Technology-driven companies, such as Google and Apple, may be ruling the world, but many traditional businesses and brands are paying the price. For example, Uber continues to take away from traditional taxi service business all over the world. If fashion brands fail to adapt to today’s technology, could they also lose out to technology-driven brands?

Consider the fashion industry’s retail side and it appears that this may be the case. Digital champions, such as Vente-Privee, Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, and Zalando have quickly risen in popularity, taking billions of dollars in revenue away from traditional fashion retailers. Unfortunately, much of the fashion world continues to ignore the rise of technology, continuing to hold on to old habits. If fashion companies want to survive in the digital world, it’s essential that they begin following a few digital tips, embracing today’s tech revolution.

Tip #1 – Focus Marketing on Data and Digital

Today’s consumers aren’t spending as much time with traditional media – they’re spending more time online. This trend continues to grow as mobile technology becomes even more popular. It’s essential for fashion brands to follow customers to new devices and platforms. With social media, fashion brands have the ability to directly engage with consumers, using their content and using consumers as brand advocates. These interactions can be tracked as well, allowing brands to collect a huge amount of customer data via social media, stores, and websites. This allows fashion brands to better understand their customers, as well as what is influencing their sales.

Tip #2 – Rethink the Physical Retail Experience

Take a look at how Apple handles the physical retail experience. They eliminated tills, humanized transactions, and maximized their selling space. Fashion brands might consider taking a page from Apple’s book. Today’s brands must provide consumers with multichannel experiences, focusing on delivering an “experience” in their physical stores, offering great service and increasing the chances of upselling while the customers are present.

Tip #3 – More Direct and Less Wholesale

Instead of relying on traditional wholesale, which brings multiple challenges, brands should focus on direct selling. The web makes it easy for fashion brands to sell directly, which offers several benefits. Just a few of the benefits include presenting entire collections, staying in control, creating relationships with final customers, and increasing margins.

Tip #4 – Focus on Product Innovation

Products that blend fashion and technology are available, but most of them are coming from the technology world. One example is the Apple Watch. Fashion brands not only have the power of their brand, they also have design and style skills, which many technology players lack. New products should integrate new technologies, such as 3D printing and smart fabrics, all the while ensuring that new products are aligned with the lifestyle proposition of the brand. Fashion brands can also come up with innovative products by collaborating with technology firms.

Tip #5 – Create Digital Brands

When fashion brands embrace technology, it offers them the ability to create new digital brands, offering special products only available on the web. For example, Misguided, a UK company, has built a womenswear brand that has seen great success, and it was grown organically by word-of-mouth marketing. Other digital brands that stand out include Warby Parker, Reformation, Bonobos, and NastyGal.

Tip #6 – Transform the Funding Model

The transformation of finance and the availability of alternative funding available to fashion entrepreneurs can offer many benefits to fashion brands. Venture Capital is an alternative funding option, and crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter and Angellist, offer the ability to raise money. Fashion brands can also find new ways to fund working capital from platforms like Lending Club or Funding Circle, which is useful at a time when most banks are cautious about lending.

As technology continues to move forward, fashion brands must adapt and overcome. Using these tips is essential for the survival of fashion companies. After all, the fashion industry cannot continue to ignore technology.

 

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How These 5 Companies Won Digital Marketing

With old advertising methods being tossed out and 70% of marketers allocating more budget to digital advertising along with social media advertising, the need for innovation is at an all-time high. The old ways are fading, and digital marketing campaigns are quickly becoming the way of the future. Recently, several digital marketing winners not only showed the world that digital marketing was feasible, they did it using new forms of innovation that should serve to inspire anyone. Let’s take a look at some of the winners and examine precisely what they did.

Adidas

The popular sport apparel brand took a significant interest in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. To promote it, they created a series of YouTube videos. Collaborating with several well-known soccer players, they were able to create a Twitter campaign that engaged customers and users like never before. With the #AllIn tag they convinced users to commit, and with that, they gained a neat 5.2 million increase in followers. Those numbers are nothing to laugh at.

Topshop

This fashion retailer also used a unique tag, #AW15, to bring users together. For this they set up a live stream for their catwalk show, and allowed users to take snippets of the show that they enjoyed, sharing their favorite outfits on Facebook. While an individual with video editing experience might not find this to be especially impressive, there are those who appreciate having this ability. Users were also given the opportunity to download the music directly from the catwalk, making the event a truly interactive experience.

Marc Jacobs

This world famous fashion designer is another master social media user. During their campaign, users were able to claim deluxe samples of the Daisy Fragrance perfume by using the hashtag provided. Users could also post the most inspiring photos on Twitter, using the hashtag for a chance to win both Marc Jacobs bags and jewelry.

Burberry

Though they already had a strong social media presence, they managed to strengthen it recently by allowing users to purchase items right off the catwalk. More than 8,000 tweets were sent about their brand, and Burberry was the number one brand on Twitter during fashion week.

Gap

Using social media, Gap promoted a few deals, such as $50 worth of Gap apparel for $25. By using social media to promote those deals, gap was able to bring in $11 million, selling 441,000 groupons. New and old customers alike can attest to the effectiveness of this campaign.

The use of social media is not only helpful for your marketing, it is convenient to the customer. Having access to the latest deals and the best advertisements at any time, day or night, will help customers to make quick decisions and come back to your brand again and again. Take the lessons from these highly successful distributors and build a strong brand with digital marketing.

 

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This 3-Step Process Will Increase Customer Acquisition

Customer-Engagement
Customer-Engagement

With rapid development of online technologies, increased consumer awareness of the market, and heightened competition, it is becoming more important for companies in the fashion industry to digitize their customer insights and streamline their online processes.

Those who adapt to technology will find more success with a larger share of the market. In a fast paced retail environment, what are the three areas of focus that can help businesses to gain new insights while providing a better experience?

The process is relatively simple. Discover, design, and develop. Businesses that understand each step are those that will enjoy the benefits of their investment in research, marketing, and consumer engagement.

Discovery – The Importance of Information

Consolidation of data is more important than ever. Capturing data from multiple channels requires that the data be stored on a centralized server for easy accessibility when performing analytics. Signals can be obtained from channels that range from social media, to external consumer review sites, and of course online retail and even brick and mortar storefronts.

Purpose built tools can be used to collect and consolidate data. Teradata is one company that develops analytics software with the sole purpose of consolidating data from different sources. Depending on the complexity of a business, customized software solutions may be required.

One challenge of discovery is that the collection of data can be resource intensive. This is one reason why moving to cloud based and networked solutions between sites is essential for larger retail operations.

Design – Help Consumers to Help You

One sure way to increase consumer engagement for the purpose of data capture, is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to interact. Online presence is the simplest, least costly, and most effective way to drive engagement and collect data. 24/7 digital storefronts mean that businesses can trial product ideas, advertise existing lines, and drive feedback. Businesses should aim to provide a cohesive experience that incorporates advertising, discovery, and retail.

Although surprising, there are businesses that operate separate sites and gateways for promotion and sales. Consolidating online presence means that insight becomes easier to collect. Businesses also need to be aware of newly established technologies such as smartphones. The online experience should be responsive so that the experience is unified across devices. Interactive apps for platforms like iOS and Android can help to drive engagement, while providing further opportunity to collect insight for marketing and new product development.

Deliver – Can Your Organization Support your Goals?

The effectiveness of marketing and insight gathering can only be as effective as the organization involved. People are just as important as technology and tools, so it is important to not only hire the right talent, but to have talent in all of the necessary departments.

Building a marketing team to support all aspects of data collection can take time, however once that team is in place, the benefits will begin to flow. A robust insight gathering system will enable regular campaign building for systematic insight interpretation, brainstorming, and feasibility evaluation.

Most importantly, the team needs to understand the technology in use, and the technology needs to be capable of delivering consolidated analytics from multiple channels. Training from industry professionals is important when adopting new digital strategies, or when implementing new analytic data platforms.

Big data can help to reduce costs by streamlining the process of insight gathering, while also improving new product development. The best decisions are based on great data, and digitizing customer insights is the best way for modern fashion companies to gather and interpret the data that will help them to succeed.

 

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Say Goodbye To Traditional Marketing: Tips For The 21st Century

Teamwork Business Meeting Concept.
Teamwork Business Meeting Concept.

As the marketing world changes we are obviously encouraged to change with it, and for good reason. Failure to change can lead to a number of different problems, especially when it comes to marketing your products. Will the old marketing methods work? Yes, they certainly will, to an extent, but there are a number of differences in today’s world as opposed to the world of twenty or even ten years ago. What are those differences exactly?

Lifestyle Changes

With the increase in electronics and the connectivity of the internet, people are in more of a rush than ever before and they tend to leave their shopping to the internet rather than heading outside to spend extended hours at the local mall. That being the case, it becomes very difficult to survey individuals or stores to see what customers have purchased and how they spend their time. While you could attempt to survey individuals in the old manner, it would be more to your advantage to move things to a more digital platform, and that means ultimately ensuring that you are up to date with the latest technology. It’s never easy, but it is something that must be done.

Speed

How fast can you get your marketing done? The problem with sticking to the old ways, as you will find, is that other companies will actually move much faster than you as marketing is now a continuous process rather than a batch process as it used to be. If you cannot keep up, others will most certainly beat you to the punch, and you will have far less of an effective strategy.

Moving Forward and Making a Difference

If you really want to move forward and make a difference, then you will need to make sure that you have someone on staff that can actually handle digital advertising techniques, among other things. The following are a few venues that you need to be pursuing in the interest of expanding your company:

Social Media – This is a great way for you to find out what your customers want, and most importantly what they are buying. The interesting thing about social media, and the internet in general, is that people are absolutely unafraid to tell you exactly what they think. Use this to your advantage!

Demographics – Collecting demographics is now easier than ever before. All you need to do, is monitor what products are being purchased and see what trends they are setting. Remember, your customer controls the flow of products today just as they have in the past.

Surveys – Your surveys can be run in a number of different ways. There are still physical surveys of course, but online surveys will serve you much better. You can issue such surveys through e-mail, or through text message. The choice is yours, but it is recommended that you keep the questions short and to the point, as customer attention is not what it used to be.

You have plenty of opportunities to bring in the customers and ultimately grow your business as a marketing director. Start planning a new strategy today and allow your empire to continue for many years to come.

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