’47 Facebook Creative Ideas

FacebookWho is our customer?

College age males and females who are sports fans and are interested in sports and maybe fashion in general. They are well connected, they have very short attention spans, they know when they’re being marketed to, they get their news and media from a wide variety of places; but the one thing they all have in common: Killing  whatever free time they have on facebook so they can stay connected and ensure they don’t miss any fun.

What is our message?

We think you’re cool. We understand you. We like you. Here is some information that may entertain you and you might find funny. Maybe you like us too and will take our recommendations on style. Enjoy and forward along if you like.

What do they want to hear? What do we do?

Anything that is funny and or helpful, that makes their life easier. Identify and solve a problem for them. Entertain them. Don’t talk down, talk up. Give them a shit-ton of credit. Pitch it like you met somebody in a bar. Make conversational leaps and references that other demographics wouldn’t get.  Know who you are talking to and say something so interesting they care and remember.

We make an online quiz. The results filter down to product recommendations. We have a lot of things for a lot of different types of customers. Help them shop while making them laugh.

Why should they care?

This is different for each target.  If targeting the guys? We tackle the test like you are single and looking. Most college age folks are.

Ex. Support the team and not look like a tool on game night.

If targeting girls? Solve a problem they all have- Want to look cute and show you can hang with the boys?

Need to hash this out more…

What will motivate them to shop the site after their results are in?

Our voice is that of the writers of Maxim, Espn mag, Bar Stool Sports, FHM. They are edgy and funny and distinctly male in tone. They know how the customer talks, what shows they watch, what magazines they read, and how they feel about ads. We have to get out there and be honest. Offer them information they are interested in. 

Ex. What kind of fan are you? and How can you dress to impress at the game?

Play on their wants as a consumer group but inject your brand into the mix. Do it tactfully and people love it. They laugh, they remember you, they let you pester them some more. They’ll check out the site.  It’s kinda like knowing what to say at a bar or cocktail party that gets you into a better conversation- and possibly their pants or in our case, their wallet.

Regardless, it’s a helluva lot more effective than shouting at people with a stupid stale brand message that only you care about in a traditional media channel.

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’47 Twitter Strategy

TwitterTwitter is a great place to grow a fanbase and it can be used as a powerful sales lead generator. It’s a personalized RSS feed that uses tools and community norms to connect ideas, opinions, products, entertainment, news, and content to like minded prospects. It’s a place where real time conversations happen in short 140 character bursts. Users can update what’s on their mind from any mobile device or computer. Users can Tweet into the void for their followers to listen, or tweet direct to people to get a conversation going. Thing is, it’s eavesdropping on conversations, then adding your tid-bit to the pool. That can be a tricky place to start a conversation with a stranger- Because you only know so much about them (whatever they tweet about  + a very short bio) You have got to be thoughtful in your approach and as always, offer something of real value to the users before you can plug a sales message. So, just like in the real world  you can’t ask for the sale up front and be successful. You have to earn it over time. Good thing is, if you keep it up and don’t get sloppy, it just snowballs into more and more of a fanbase, and things can get easier down the road.

The rules of the party apply:

Start relationships on mutual interests

Offer up thoughtful comments to prospect’s tweets

Ask your followers thought provoking questions about things they like to talk about (hopefully its about your products or loosely related to them)

Pass along cool content that is genuinely helpful to the prospects, thus gaining trust, and eventually opening the door for a sale.

Many companies attempt to push product on Twitter unsuccessfully. Its not because it’s a bad tool, it’s because they do it in a “one size fits all” way. Essentially they end up with a list of “hey check this out!” sort of tweets that nobody wants to hear because they haven’t taken the time to be relevant and thoughtful to a select fan base. It takes time and creative thought to do this right. And many fail because it’s hard work.

Things to do:

1.     Follow prospects (search them out in the Trending section)

2.     Follow people who influence us, and join in the conversation that they’re developing

3.     Follow our competitors

4.     Pass along content we find that we think is important and cool

5.     Comment on trending topics in our wheelhouse- fashion, sports, news, etc.

6.     Ask questions of the community of followers

7.     Tweet about things were doing and excited about

8.     Twit Pic our ads, signs, illustrations, inspirations- anything we think is cool

Plug product

Permission Marketing Strategy (email blasts)

email-iconPermission marketing is not just another name for an email blast campaign. It’s a completely different way of thinking about selling online than we’re used to. It takes a ton of planning and thoughtful creative to gain traction but if executed well, It’s one of the most powerful selling tools we have at our disposal. As with everything in the ecommerce landscape, we have to offer up something of value to kick off the conversation and build an audience. Bribe them to get their attention, then wow them over once you’ve got it. Only after you have developed a trust, can you offer up a selling message. Best part about permission marketing though is while you have the prospects on the hook, you can ask questions and inform the participants about your products every step of the way. That makes your next effort even better informed and you learn about your customers so you can better serve them next time around. People give their time and energy to you, and you are challenged to turn it into a sale or valuable market data that can effect where we go and what we do as a brand.

The rules are whatever is agreed upon by both parties:

Just lay out what’s expected and what we are doing from the get go with an

honest and deliberate tone, peppered with humor.

People are disarmed by such a straight forward approach.

Then have something relevant and interesting to say when it’s your turn to speak. Make sure it sells them on a unique selling proposition that nobly else can lay claim to.  We’re pushing the overall brand here. Harvesting a fanbase of people who love our brand, not just their team.

Things to do:

  1. Offer up something people value for their time and participation. (gift cards, tickets, cash)
  2. Encourage sharing the competition or sweepstakes with their friends in exchange  for more chances to win (example: for every email address of a friend you get to sign up, you get an additional two more chances to win)
  3. Develop surveys and questions to obtain important market data
  4. Be ready with marketing messages catered to the answers you get from each participant, or brand messages that are well thought out and convincing.
  5. Use your newly carved up email list to effectively target your marketing messages only to people who care about the specifics you pedal.
  6. Plug your twitter feed, facebook page, blog, and products.

Ask for the sale.

’47 Word of Mouth Strategy

ClubSportfriendsWord of mouth is by far the most effective marketing tool, hands down. The reason is simple.

You, as a logical thinking being, surround yourself with people you find interesting or share mutual interests with. It’s human nature. Its also human nature to avoid the pains of life and seek out the pleasures.  And people talk about that stuff in great detail all the time.

Your personal friend network of like-minded individuals is the surest place where a message about a product or service gets the most clout. Whether that message be positive or negative, we may not have that much control. But we are and can do a great deal more to push us in the right direction.

One thing we do have control of (the thing our business model is partially relying on) is our quality. We stand behind our products.  So, the next step is to get people talking about it. The theory of this WOM strategy goes that if we seed our product into certain markets of well connected influencers, we can push the brand along easily.

The Rules of Face to Face Interaction Between People Apply:

Honesty and transparency is key. Be upfront with what you are going to do and ask up front for what you want in return. No more, no less.

Be ready for honesty in return – feedback that you may not like. Also, just like in human interaction, give with no real expectation to receive.

Things to do:

Exterior brand all products.

Pick the right seeds. Taste makers. Social people with wide range of influence. We must be extremely choosey in who becomes our brand ambassadors.

Make the good feelings easy to share. Use social media tools to pollinate the sentiment further into the market segment.

Maybe host an event.

Ask for feedback regularly and always say “Thank you”

’47 Club Sport (word of mouth creative)

Abstract: We give local club sports teams product that they help design. In return, they give us photo shoot time and rights to imagery. We document them in the product, in their environments (campus, sports fields, etc.). It boosts sales and brand awareness at the college level and opens new accounts. It also drives traffic to the local book stores.

Who is our customer?

Unsponsored club sports teams at good universities.

What is our message?

We like you. We think you’re cool. Let us give you some product and shower you with attention. Please don’t hesitate to share our brand with your friends.

What do they want to hear?

“You’re cool, here’s some great stuff, here’s a web destination dedicated to how cool you are that’s easy to share with your friends.”

Why should they care?

Because they already care about their teams, circles of friends and lifestyles.  It’s quality stuff and they want it. And they helped design it! What’s not to like?

What will motivate them to make a purchase?

Not the same club sport team members, but the others they influence on campus are the goal. We seed the product into the marketplace on influencers and help facilitate the positive buzz about it. If you’re a student and you buy a piece of team related apparel, why not buy what the cool kids are wearing or what you see around?

Specifics­

Q. How do we get teams to enroll?

A. Word of mouth thru initial efforts. Print brochure (we print here, we’ll need so few) to have coaches who are already singed up give out to other interested teams. Different schools, diff sports. Word of mouth (about our brand) travels fast among well connected people and groups.  On tap we believe we can get a team at Tufts, BC, Harvard and BU each.

Q. Why Club Sport teams? Why not groups like super Fans? Or real campus athletics?

A. Club sports teams are the perfect fit for ’47 brand. Club sport athletes are well balanced connected people who can influence others. They have many friends on campus and on social networking sites like facebook and twitter. They host parties and they socialize heavily on weekends.  They are the perfect brand ambassadors. Super fans are dorks. Glee club sucks. They’re like the water boys or assistant coaches for women’s teams. They collect dirty towels in the locker rooms. You do not look to these people for fashion tips. They’re not influencers. They are the highly influenced. They get their ’47 gear from the bookstore at full retail price. We target the cool.  The elite. The snobs. The Ivy leaguers.  We give them our stuff and put up a website/Marketing materials about it so it rubs off. We don’t target major athletics.  Real college level sports teams are already sponsored by Brands like Reebok, Nike, Boathouse, Asics. All performance based gear made to be worn on filed during play.  Do they also make lifestyle driven stuff? Yes, but ours is better. That’s our market. That’s why we exist. We make what you prefer to wear it on the sidelines, in the dining hall, at a game in the stands, at a house party, to class. They’re all sports fans, but not to the 9nth degree. They’re not face painting  “on-field” cap wearing super nut-job fans. They are cool first, athletes or fans second.

Q. What do we do?

A. We ask unsponsored club sports teams if they would like us to sponsor them with product (that they help design) in exchange for photo-shoot time and usage rights of imagery collected. Example: Tufts Track and Field men’s and women’s team. 140 total student athletes.  We ensure they will be happy with what they get by including them on the design process (the beauty of low minimums and customization we can handle)

Q. How does supporting club sports translate to sales?

A. Sponsoring a team can increase sales of accounts that currently carry our product, or be instrumental in getting into new accounts. (highly sought after hard to crack accounts) Bodoin, and Williams, have already been name dropped by the Tufts men’s coach as others who he thinks would be interested because he personally knows the members and staff.

A. In accounts that currently carry our product, we give the buyers a taste. We let them in on the looks and styles we are infiltrating the campus with and recommend that they buy into look-alike styles. (Only look-alikes; not exact copies) The teams have to feel like they’re special and not too much of a marketing tool. They get exclusives on team oriented verbage or graphics. The styles look similar enough that the potential for the rub-off is high.  ALSO:  The pieces are EXTERIOR branded. The pieces­ also have “nineteen47.com” screened somewhere inside them. (all of our stuff should have it really)

A. If buyers don’t want a taste on those styles fine.  (But who wouldn’t?) We carry the looks on our online store. We order the extra product anyway and wait to push it on the account when demand inevitably rises.  Or we sell it direct. We drive traffic by way of our micro site we have created for the teams, or by way of school paper print ads that feature the product pics, and the website name.

Team members wear the product among other teams, to parties, to bars, to friends houses, etc. They get tagged in Facebook wearing the product, they post pictures of themselves at social events with the product everywhere.  They do this already. Its unreal the amount of documentation these kids subject themselves to for everyone to view on purpose. A marketer’s dream.  Just get next to it.

Others take notice. Friends, family, fellow students, see and seek out the product at the local store. To further the connection that the brand in the bookstore is indeed the brand their friends are all wearing we make large tasteful printouts of images we capture at the photoshoot we direct and put them in the book stores. (part of the trade agreement: product for time) And we launch the ’47 club sport micro site.

The ’47 Club Sport Internet Details are TBD: At the very least we give the images we take and make look great to the team members in hopes they put them up on facebook. They probably will.  We also ask the teams to be a part of our “as seen on” and “your story” parts of our website.  Or, if we feel we don’t get enough traffic for rub-off there, we make a ’47 club sport facebook page and host the pics ourselves.  It’s free but we might look like tools. Especially if we don’t let them know our plans from the beginning. After all, facebook is a place where people get together and keep up with their friends not marketing messages.

’47 Blog Strategy

RSS_iconBlogging is a way to earn and retain relevancy (cool points) in the market and keep people interested in what you do and say. It’s a basic way to spread your influence into a consumer base by writing about interests, trends, sports, brand related news and content. It can also be a place to start relevant conversations with real purchasers to gain market data and consumer opinion. Consumers use brand blogs to get to know weather or not their marketing messages can be trusted. It’s a place to put content that adds value to a customer’s life, and reasures that what we do and say is genuine.

Everybody in our target demographic reads blogs. The biggest blog readers organize their daily news feed with an RSS feed or reader. “RSS” stands for Really Simple Syndication. People keep their finger on the pulse of trends in numerous niche markets by subscribing to these news feeds from a wide array of blogs.  There is a void in the market in the cross section between fashion and fandom. That’s where our sweet spot as a brand is and that’s where our sweet spot should be in the blogosphere. We have filled the void in the marketplace and that’s why our products are great. Now we have to fill that void in peoples minds. A free way to do that is by blogging.

Many companies in our space attempt to blog for these same reasons. Many fail. They fall short because it takes a lot of time and energy to generate, track down, and place content up on a blog that people will want to read. It’s a lot of work, but the good part is if you gain traction, you can measure your range of influence and popularity with free web tools. Thus giving you the power to improve and perfect the craft of influencing people’s buying decisions and cool points over time.

The rules of editorial content apply + interaction:

Things to do:

1.     Be interesting and engaging, but quick and to the point with style.

2.     Be ahead or with the cool curve

3.     Link your blog with other blogs to get cross-pollination readership

4.     Thoughtfully comment on other people’s blogs that you think may have readership of potential customers- and always sign your posts with your own blog link.

5.     Link your blog to all your other forms of Social media

6.     Pose questions to gain market knowledge and show that you care

7.     Make lists and ask for critiques from the readership. (ex. Top Ten Ball Park snacks of all time) (Top 5 party schools) (Best 7 nationwide tailgating events)

8.     Always thank people for commenting. Or make an attempt to keep the conversation going

9.     Strategically plug your own product and toot your own horn

’47 Banner Ad Strategy

targetBanner Ads can generate substantial web traffic. Best part about any sort of marketing on the web is that we can measure the results with great detail. A thoughtful focused creative approach can yield traffic that translates into sales. And over time with good reason and measurement, you can become very successful. Half of the battle is effectively targeting the customers. The next half is the message and design itself. Banner ads are going to be one of the last and slowest to die forms of interruption marketing.  But, until that unknown time in the future, they’re still one of the best ways to talk to strangers about your products.

The Rules of Traditional Print Ads Apply:

Realize you are an unwanted but necessary part of consuming online content. People are going to try to avoid you.

You have seconds to get attention and make your call to action.

And you have to know your audience on a case by case basis to make effective creative resonate with each particular market segment. A banner ad we place on a men’s fashion blog like Kempt wouldn’t be the same ad you place on a Bar Stool Sports blog. There is not one single effective thing you can say or do that would get the attention of both customers.-Except for maybe sex, but sex is all over the internet and for free, so you’ve got to get focused to be effective.

Not many advertise direct in the licensed business. Once again because it takes time and energy to do it right. You have to be ahead of the game. Otherwise you’re just wasting your money

Things to do:

1.     Research and target where our complex market segment spends their time online. You can do this with cheap online tools and consult experts like 1PICA.

2.     Develop a strategy for each type of customer we think are viable targets

3.     Formulate creative and run the Ads. As with all internet marketing technology, we can track our return on the investment with amazing detail –  More detail than ever before in the world of advertising actually.  Thus, the next time we run a promotion we know what worked, what didn’t adn how to get better and better.