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How One Pair of Shoes Can Drive Digital Publishing Success

  |  August 1, 2014   |  Comments

When you view a pair of shoes on a retailer's website, but don't purchase them right away, the shoes follow you around the Internet, showing up on nearly every site you visit. Publishers can learn a lot from these shoe retailers' tactics.

If you do not appreciate the power a pair of shoes can offer, you might want to skip this column. For those of us self-acclaimed shoe aficionados, we understand that shoes make or break us. If you don't have exactly the right pair of shoes on, well, you might as well just stay in bed. Therefore, finding the right pair of shoes takes time, consideration, and lots of looking. The shoe retailers have learned ways to ensure their brand and products stay top of mind throughout our journey and publishers can learn a lot from the strategies and tactics they employ.

This column is actually not about shoes themselves (even though I could write an entire book about the power of shoes); it is about the way that retailers, especially of shoes, have been able to command the online marketing space. And how digital publishers can take a few lessons from these retailers to help increase sales.

It's happened to us all, with shoes, and many other consumer goods. We go online to search for an item. We click on a few images, or product descriptions. We may or may not choose to put something into a cart and/or buy it. We leave the site. And then BOOM, those shoes follow us everywhere. From Promoted Twitter feeds, to Facebook page posts, online banners, and even, in some cases, abandoned cart emails. We can't escape the shoes. It's fashion-stalking at its finest.

Early on, fashion retailers learned that customer relationship management (CRM) doesn't need to be limited to the website or the physical store. Instead, it can be brilliantly integrated into every aspect of our online life. As publishers, we can learn a lot from the fashion industry.

If your CRM program is limited to the website and/or physical location, you could be leaving up to 60 percent of your revenue on the table. To take advantage of your potential revenue, follow the "stalking shoe" and implement these three best practices.

  1. Expand your CRM program into the online/mobile retargeting world. If you are not using an online marketing company, like FIKSU or Outbrain, to add contextual targeting to your efforts, you are missing the boat. Bring these companies in ASAP for a conversation.
  2. Move strategically into social with your extended email message by creating custom campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels. Many people spend time relaxing by browsing their Facebook feed. A personal and targeted friendly reminder of the potential purchase could be exactly what is needed to close the deal. By using custom Facebook messages, targeted to people on your email list, you will boost results.
  3. Become friends with your brand managers. A radio, TV, or even print ad might look like mass media, but, for your digital publishing consumer, it could be the one thing that seals the deal for you. Brand messaging acts as a validation point for the consumer. They are considering making a purchase, and then see the brand on TV, or hear it on the radio and think "yes, this company is awesome, I made a smart choice." Aligning your direct marketing with brand efforts can often drive a nice spike in return.

These are just three ways that you can leverage proven best practices from the retailers who have pioneered the industry. For more hints and tips, just visit any shoe website and take note of what happens next.

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Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen, a recognized women-in-business and tech, is known for her entrepreneurial style and her ability to build, shape, and grow brands into well-known dominant, successful entities. Jeanniey is a pioneer in email, mobile, and digital marketing; publishing; and brand-building. She now leads her own agency, YellowBean LLC, focused on assisting companies of all sizes with driving innovation and growth. Most recently, Jeanniey was the Global EVP, CMO, and subsequently Chief Growth Officer for Zinio, where she worked to define and implement strategies creating explosive growth through strategic partnerships with publishers, technology companies, brands, and consumers during her five-year tenure. Jeanniey has authored and contributed to multiple books, blogs, and magazine articles. She is a regular columnist for ClickZ, a blogger for Huffington Post, and a frequent keynote speaker. A serial networker, in 2005 Jeanniey founded the Email Experience Council, which was sold to the Direct Marketing Association in 2008. She sits on the Advisory Board for IndieFlix, and on the International Executive Council of the Internet Marketing Association. Jeanniey is recognized as both a Top CMO and Top Author on Twitter, and was most recently featured as Mover and Shaker by the Professional Woman's Magazine, and a featured Woman in Technology by The Legacy Series Magazine.

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