I had the pleasure of speaking on behalf of Amex OPEN Forum at the Magic fashion conference in Las Vegas this week.
The audience? A mix of buyers and suppliers from the fashion world who are interested in understanding how marketing is changing. I spoke on how social marketing and mobile technology are the two big areas where fashion needs to go to bring home more sales and value.
Fashion websites, especially retail, often deployed Flash technology in their design, which rendered them utterly useless for converting the site's content to smartphones.
This is a simple fix in some ways, requiring a simplifying of site layout and/or a mobile-friendly content solution. And yet, it's a big order for some of these companies. In my estimation, this fix would be the fastest way to get fashion marketers an better bang for making content mobile.
Embrace the Haul
I mentioned that haul videos are a big potential win for retailers, but that it's important to keep their hands off the rewards and incentives. Let it grow naturally. There are signs that retailers are looking closely at this area, so I double-dog encourage them to take it gently and easy. Let the videos do the talking.
Email Marketing- Copy The Pros
Most fashion and retail email marketing and newsletters are loaded down with catalog-heavy themes. Look at who's winning in the email marketing space: sites like Woot and Daily Candy are owning it, and the reason is simply that they don't clutter their emails with multi-product purchase opportunities. Instead, make small, targeted messages.
Want to really ramp up your opportunities? Use providers like Blue Sky Factory who offer social sharing at the bottom of each newsletter, such that your marketing efforts can be "liked" on Facebook or tweeted into Twitter. This gives an extra boost to marketing efforts.
Finally, I told the attendees to just be human. Don't use Twitter and other social settings as a place to blurt out coupons. Instead, respond to buyers and prospects. Talk to them. Learn what they like and apologize for any bad experience they have elsewhere. Use listening tools to find out what they're looking for, and offer your solution if it's what they need. These are the basics, and yet, they're what most fashion marketers could use help doing.
The MAGIC is Still Forthcoming
Events like MAGIC are a good bellweather on where the average store and business are with their social media efforts. They've moved into having a Facebook page and/or a Twitter account, but are definitely not fully embracing the changes these types of technologies bring to the marketing experience.
There's a lot of room for growth and improvement, but the experiences I had at MAGIC tell me that people are interesting in finding out more. We'll just have to give them more information upon which to act.