A room full of direct marketers listened as three cross-channel retailers discussed marketing strategies including social media, mobile, sales attribution and more at the Direct Marketing Club of New York's June luncheon in Manhattan yesterday. Jared Blank, vice president of e-commerce at Tommy Hilfiger, moderated the “Masters of Multichannel Engagement” program. Blank was joined on stage by Mara Kelly, vice president, database marketing and sales promotion, Loehmann's; Adam Fiefer, director, direct marketing, Coach; and Gabriela Urvina, marketing manager, OneStopPlus.com.
Social Media's Role in Integrated Communications
Coach uses Facebook as an email acquisition tool, said Fiefer. Email addresses acquired from consumers on Facebook are segmented and those consumers are then marketed to differently than the rest of Coach's list. They may receive different offers and invitations to contests, among other things. The social media site is a revenue stream for the brand, but it's a small one at this time, noted Fiefer.
For OneStopPlus.com, social media acts primarily as a customer service tool, said Urvina. The brand's customer base of plus-size women frequently turn to social media to vent their frustration over not being able to find fashionable apparel in their size at other department stores. OneStopPlus.com uses Facebook to listen to its customers so it can better serve their needs. This includes recently launching a Facebook store as another way to put its products in front of an engaged audience.
OneStopPlus.com's Facebook fans have taken it upon themselves to police the retailer's Facebook page, said Urvina. The brand's customers tend to be very vocal, and if they feel that OneStopPlus.com is being unfairly criticized, they're quick to come to its defense. In turn there's been a real community developed among the brand's fans, who frequently communicate with each other in addition to OneStopPlus.com.
Fans on Loehmann's Facebook page are frequently touting the upscale designer clothing that's available in the brand's brick-and-mortar stores. As an off-price retailer in the mold of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, Loehmann's isn't able to publicize this information itself due to contracts with suppliers. So its customers are doing the work for the brand via social media. This has helped attract new customers, but the brand is still looking for more.