This post was written by chief boss-lady and littleBIG founder Sally Harley.
I thought it might be interesting to share some insight into how we consider and respond to enquiries. Often a client will have an idea of what they think they need to solve their marketing challenge and they’re looking for validation that they’re on the right track and/or direction on what’s the best course of action. And help doing it (if not the doing of it!), of course. This is fictional scenario although inspired by a recent enquiry.
Challenge: move summer fashion stock which is high quality and not off-trend but not super on-trend. The brand presence is not there and our competitors have it over us in that sense. We need to move it in the next couple of months before the weather cools too much. Sales are flowing but they definitely need a bump.
Resources: I’ve got basic product pics for the website but nothing on models. I’ve got a small but hard-working, passionate and resourceful team including our in-house graphic designer who makes whatever brand assets we do have look the goods. We know when people feel our product and try it on they’re impressed by the quality and see real value in it. We’ve got lots of social media followers but making them into customers is a constant challenge.
Budget: the boss says I have $10-15K to play with but we have to see some sales traction. Awareness isn’t the main game here.
I know – PR. It’s cost effective and credible. Let’s get these goods on some key influencers and onto some great fashion pages and the stock will move. Isn’t littleBIG great at that?! *contacts littleBIG*
Great idea in theory, but…
PR works when:
- your product is fresh, unique, speaks to current trends, and/or has a unique story
- you have fantastic, editorial-style images, of a high enough quality that your target media would have shot them that way themselves – then they’ll be keen to pop them on their pages. Precious few media outlets have the budget to shoot all their own content now so great flat-lay and in-situ shots are essential. You’re going to need at least $5K for a shoot which covers these bases.
- you’re after brand and/or product awareness – yes there are many times a piece will sell out or very well when it appears in the media or on an influencer but more often than not these editorial mentions have a layer-upon-layer effect where the audience gradually becomes more and more aware of your brand and products, increasing the likelihood of conversion when they hit your store
So, not the ideal fit given the challenge at hand. Instead, we’re more likely to suggest you…
POP-UP with a low cost sales/promo activation. Do something eye-catching which speaks to your brand essence so you’re attracting the right target audience and building that awareness while you drive a strong sales message. So bundle tee’s / add a strong GWP /offer a discount after the first $100 spent… and always, always offer a significant discount for newsletter sign up. Make it cost effective for your new, fresh customer to buy into your brand… literally. This might be setting up a unique selfie station in a high-traffic area of a shopping precinct where your target market shops with a strong call-to-action to get participants in-store if your bricks & mortar is near by. If you’re online nab enough space and gear yourself up to sell stock.
If you’ve been smart and lean about the pop-up you’ll have some $ to spare to engage some relevant INFLUENCERS to post from the pop-up early in the activation. Offer them a commission on any sales where the customer mentions their name, tied to a GWP for the customer which they’ll promote.
And keep some budget for SOCIAL ADS. Leverage the great audience you do have with smart, targeted ads which echo the offline sales/promo activity you have happening. Target them geographically and demographically so you’re likely to put social ads in front of users who may also see your pop-up and your influencer support. Use Facebook Pixel and Business Manager to optimise your campaigns for conversion. Be diligent, test and tweak, optimise what works and move that stock.
So, the moral of the story is ask for insight and be open-minded about how you tackle marketing challenges. There are so many options available to us as marketers nowadays and choosing the right approach can be daunting but question those in the know and be extra careful with that marketing dollar when it’s minimal and there is a pointy objective. Frankly, in this scenario it’s unlikely there’s much room in the budget for littleBIG fees but we’re happy to give simple advice you may not use us to implement, if it means you’re closer to reaching your objective. You’ll call us back when the time is right, won’t you?