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Is Your Digital Marketing A Turn-on?

By: Sarah Chung and Tina Hedges
Posted: July 6, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Whether your digital marketing program is about adding an online community to an e-commerce site or creating a microsite around a new product launch, the requisite question should be: Is this inherent to the brand’s DNA?

For Juicy Couture, the authenticity rang true in allowing the brand’s velour-wrapped celebrity aficionados to post “celebrity crushes” or share photos of themselves decked in Juicy on its site. Philosophy used social media in perfect alignment with its brand values for its Mother’s Day campaign. Partnering with Bazaarvoice Stories, Philosophy asked consumers to post stories about their mothers’ life philosophy, with the winner receiving a $1,200 shopping spree with the cosmetics brand. Per Bazaarvoice, 33% of all new visitors to Philosophy’s Web site visited a Stories page. Philosophy also found that visitors coming from a Stories page spent 20% more per average order and asked for 19% more items per order. In sharing their mother’s philosophy, consumers also learned about the brand’s own mantra of “feeling well and living joyously.”

A word to the wise, many digital campaigns can spark a short-term interest, but if it doesn’t build your underlining brand relationship, it won’t drive sales.

Be Different

Consumers are fully in control of their time online and don’t plan to waste it. Therefore, any digital marketing campaign must be notable and conversation-worthy. Catching consumer’s attention online is difficult, and a follow-the-leader strategy is a surefire way to lose it.

Dove’s Real Beauty integrated media campaign is a perfect example of an unconventional approach that paid off. Instead of selling the polished, perfect, Photoshopped image of beauty, Dove went against the grain to reveal the practices of marketing, displaying the naked, stripped-down truth. The honesty was startling, and it became an Internet sensation. The message resonated with consumers, who were tired of being asked to be perfect. Like the brand itself, the purity of the message was startling in its truth, and the digital execution was a perfectly orchestrated organic offshoot to the core message.