The Multi-Media Retail Store1 Sep, 2008 By: Jacqueline Renfrow Response
Today's retailers are finding that the only way to compete is to sell products in every outlet that the consumer is browsing — from traditional venues, such as store shelves and television, to more modern channels, such as online social communities and mobile.
The Video Buzz
Video — on television, the Internet, mobile, in stores — is an outlet that spans across any digital medium that has a screen. "We live in a world where content is fluid," says Pahade. "Video finds itself in many channels, regardless of what its original intent was ... and kids don't differentiate between the TV, mobile, iPod and Internet screen. A screen is a screen is a screen."
Jockey recently moved into the video world of marketing with jockeyunderwars.com, an interactive Web site that encouraged people to dance in their underwear in a chance to win some cash and have fun. "May the best UnderWarrior win," was the tag line for the campaign. Contestants were able to post their videos on the site and audience voting determined the $5,000 winner. Although direct relation to sales was hard to track, the company says that the buzz generated was worth the project's cost.
Online retailer overstock.com has also found success with airing commercials not only on television but online. In a push to be more accountable for marketing efforts, the company has turned to marketing with online banner ads, E-mail, direct mail, text, voicemail and Google TV. E-mail is one of its largest revenue producers outside of television.
However, Google TV has been a great way for Overstock to track marketing efforts. Google TV runs on live TV and places the retailer's commercial as the last spot on a network through a satellite. "The big advantage to Google TV is that we can track the way the customer reacts to the commercial and that measure can help us tune the messages to the audience," says Fowler. Along with traditional television spots on channels like CNN and Lifetime, Google TV helps Overstock to even further tailor the message to a target audience.
Wired for a Recession
So how are retail marketers dealing with the economic downturn? "Every marketer and agency is challenged with creating campaigns with brand or buzz. But in a recession, it's also about measurement — primarily it's about incremental conversions, with branding becoming secondary and tertiary," says Pahade. According to Pahade, this is good news from a digital perspective, which tends to offer more measurable metrics than other mediums.
Pahade is a big believer in the power of technology and how the personal Web sites, blogs and online social communities have accelerated social marketing. While he says that social media for marketing have always existed, now it's easier to reach a larger audience more quickly. He also argues that communities like Facebook and MySpace are not emerging media, since the platforms already reach more than 1 million people.
However, what's new is the way marketers are flocking to it — to where the audience already is — especially in a time when less expensive direct response marketing is so important. "Marketers are at a point where they are more willing to engage in that conversation that's already going on or to facilitate it," he says.
Jockey's Pitt agrees — his company is just starting to break into the social communities. He says there is an energy, a fundamental shift from branded content sites to blogging and Web 2.0. "The Internet is a 10 billion-page retail landscape, so it makes a lot more sense for us to go to pages where people are already [active] and try to be relevant to them, rather than starting our own social community," says Pitt.