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Going Digital: Making Waves in Social, VR and Digital Marketing

Article-Going Digital: Making Waves in Social, VR and Digital Marketing

Going Digital: Making Waves in Social, VR and Digital Marketing

This week we're taking a look at the footwear brands reinventing themselves through digital and social media marketing- what they're doing, how it's impacting their business and how you can apply their successes to your own digital strategies. 


An Immersive Experience with Merrell 

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From immersive trend forecasting, to virtual runways and dressing rooms, virtual reality is quickly becoming a go-to tool for experiential marketers.  Despite it's relative newness, brands and retailers alike are utilizing VR to connect with customers in an original, emotional way. 

With the goal of re-inventing the brand and re-connecting with customers, outerwear brand Merrell turned to virtual reality during Sundance Film Festival, 2015.  The brand created a fully immersive, interactive, virtual reality "walk around."   Participants were invited to try on a pair of new Merrel Capra hiking boots and walk through a virtual mountainous region, supported with physical elements like ropes that mark a bridge, a rock wall and fans that simulate wind.

Footwear Sourcing

The initiative aimed to inspire adventure and encourage people to explore the outdoors, while connecting their experience with the launch of the Capra boot-- and it did just that

Watch the video below for more details on the initiative.  Listen in for takeaways that can be applied to your business.  



Social Media:

How Toms Connected with 3.5 M People in Just One Day 

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Building a strong sense of community on social media is key to creating an impact, increasing visibility and driving sales.  Rather than spending millions in celebrity and influencer endorsements, Toms turns to the power of socially-savvy brand advocates – called the "Toms tribe" – to share their message and promote their one-for-one mission. 

The One Day Without Shoes (ODWS) initiative was inspired by students at California’s Pepperdine University, who in 2007, decided to go a day without shoes to spark conversation and raise awareness. Nine years later, ODWS has become an annual event, held worldwide.

Each May, Toms asks its digital community, the Toms tribe, to post a picture of their bare feet on Instagram with the hashtag #WithoutShoes. For every post the brand donates a pair of shoes to a child in need.

“ODWS is a real moment in the Toms calendar,” explains Toms UK marketing manager Sheela Thandasseri. “It’s primarily an engagement campaign to drive awareness and create longer-term connections with customers. When people know what we stand for, they become advocates for life, so being a company founded with a social purpose really resonates.”

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This year, the social media campaign coincided with events at Toms’ 13 standalone stores worldwide, a clever strategy to link social media with IRL exposure, furthering reach and awareness across the board.

As a result, Toms donated 27,435 shoes to children worldwide. ODWS engaged more than 3.5 million people on all social media channels, with the #WithoutShoes hashtag producing 17 million impressions across Toms’ own social platforms and 62 million impressions in total. 

Toms shows how marketers with small budgets can utilize their fans and customer base to create a big impact, taking digital to IRL. 


Email Marketing:

Stepping Ahead with Red Wings Shoes 

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With more and more marketing emails sent every day, connecting with customers in a meaningful, results oriented way has become increasingly difficult. With this in mind, Red Wing revised their email communication strategy,  growing opens, click - throughs and conversion rates. 

To deliver key results, Red Wing worked with marketing agency Three Deep, to developed a dynamic marketing automation model. Rather than a one-size-fits-all message campaign, emails were designed with personalized content, based on the individual customers past interaction with emails. Consumers received messages tailored to their behavior, store location, footwear or accessories that meet their unique interest.

Red Wing also worked with Three Deep to launch mobile-friendly emails.  More than half the emails sent by Red Wing are opened on a mobile device, so utilizing a responsive layout that automatically conformed to the size of the viewers screen was key.

Listed below are a few strategies for retailers and brands alike to utilize in their email communications. Share these with your team and apply them to your next campaign. 

Email Creative Elements That Make Difference

  • The headline combined a value message with urgency
  • A secondary headline highlights the specific offer
  • The copy that follows briefly reminds the recipient Red Wing boots are discounted only twice each year
  • An prominent call-to-action button uses active language and reiterates the offer
  • To help overcome a popular objection, the caption points out no form fills are required (and mentions a store locator feature)
  • An interesting customer testimonial adds a storytelling element and human touch

Source: Three Deep Marketing

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