In the downstairs of an O2 shop on Tottenham Court Road (which by the way was a great venue), Alex Bozova and I attended our first Immediate Futures #socialspeakeasy event; an open discussion with Ben Carter the Marketing Director for notonthehighstreet.com.
I once bought a cushion from the website which was personlised with my surname on, as a gift for my mum and dad at Christmas. Gifting is naturally a huge opportunity for the brand, and their partners which are mostly small businesses that sell through the site, offer many different types of personalised gifts, like the one I bought. In fact 60% of the products offered are personalised! Here’s 7 things I learnt about the brand, and their social plans and marketing:
1/ As many of the suppliers are small businesses, often quick delivery isn’t possible and this is taken into consideration when doing social media engagement and promotion especially around Christmas time. Those partners who need a longer lead time are promoted first, followed by those who are quick to respond due to their product offering. This typically doesn’t benefit the male audience, who often (typically) aren’t very organised and want to order gifts last minute.
2/ As a key part of their marketing strategy, social media drives two both engagement and direct response. Engagement involves sharing content, stories about the partners and their successes and direct response is about targeted engagement. For example, personalised wine glasses get a lot of interest on Facebook, and a post can be linked directly to sales over a weekend period.
3/ TV advertising helps to maintain brand awareness, but the digital channels complement this as it the primary method customers experience the brand.
4/ What was interesting about the different social channels, is that the company have a really clear idea about who is engaging on there, and the kind of content that is relevant.
Facebook is their main method of sharing content and direct response. Twitter is used for customer service and sharing content. Pinterest is, as we know more of a spot to browse for ideas, rather than directly being linked to sales in the same way as FB. Google+ isn’t even managed by the same team, it’s more focused around search marketing and often polls and trends work well on this platform.
5/ Mobile is a huge part of the marketing strategy and 50% of the site traffic comes from mobile. The brand works closely with Google to ensure a single basket across both mobile and desktop platforms. They look at their channels as one, rather than individually, which ultimately improves the customer experience.
6/ It is key for the content posted via Social is short and engaging to account for the dip in and out style that people have developed using their mobiles. Sometimes these days 140 characters is just too much!
7/ Only 9/10 businesses that apply to sell via notonthehighstreet.com are actually chosen to be suppliers. In comparison to something like Etsy, where I could sell birthday cards on there tomorrow if I fancied, the brand looks at how the businesses are suited to cope with high orders during the gifting periods.
Having learnt lots about the brand, and about the fact that is actually a place for small businesses to sell through, which I had no idea about.
My favourite tip is for the un-organised guys out there – don’t miss out on the great products that take a while for delivery!