Quidsi sites Diapers.com and Soap.com are running a CPG-oriented “Battle of the Brands” contest on Facebook during the next week to encourage sales for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Twenty brands are pitted against each other on the pair of e-commerce sites’ respective Facebook pages, asking consumers to click a “Battles” tab and vote for brands.
For instance, on Diapers.com’s page visitors are implored to vote on baby clothes brands Woombie vs. Baby Halo. For Soap.com, consumers can vote on cleaning brands Method vs. Seventh Generation and cosmetic names Cover Girl vs. Maybelline. The Facebook visitors do not have to “like” Diapers.com or Soap.com to register votes. When the voting ends on Nov. 24, there will be 10 brand winners for each site with their range of products discounted 30 percent from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
“We picked brands that we know our customers were particularly passionate about,” said Sumaiya Balbale, associate director of marketing for Soap.com. “We thought it was a fun way to get them involved in the promotions with Black Friday approaching.”
Balbale and her Jersey City, NJ-based team sent the e-mail lists for Diapers.com and Soap.com an HTML message for the contest yesterday. Around 350,000 recipients got a subject line copy that read: “Vote Now for Black Friday Weekend Deals – Save 30%!”
Diapers.com and Soap.com also plan to run targeted Facebook.com ads during the next week for the effort. “We are targeting both people who have ‘liked’ us, as well as people who fall into our demographic and psychographic base,” the associate marketing director said. “We are focusing on urban areas, on women, a particular age bracket… similar to stuff we have done in the past.”
Once the “Battle of the Brands” votes are tallied, Balbale and her team will send out another e-mail early Black Friday morning to let people know which brands “won” the 30 percent discount. The brands’ Facebook pages (33,000 total “likers”) and Twitter accounts (4,600 total followers) will also be leveraged to advertise the limited time offers in viewers’ newsfeeds. Part of the overall idea, Balbale said, is to give shoppers an e-commerce alternative to the busy shopping malls and big box retailers on Thanksgiving weekend.
“It’s a heightened period of stress for a lot of people,” she said. “And this way, they can sit at home on their couch with their family after eating a lot of turkey and still take advantage of a lot of great deals… It’s not just that we are delivering them savings, but the savings that they voted on and wanted to see. We think that adds to the level of service experience.”
While Amazon purchased the Quidsi properties on Nov. 8, Balbale said that the e-retail giant’s platform will not be used for Diapers.com and Soap.com holiday marketing. “Right now, we are acting as an independent subsidiary,” she said. “So the marketing programs and other initiatives are still happening separate from Amazon.”
Interestingly, three-month-old Soap.com has been using Groupon extensively to build its brand nationwide, marking one of the first notable e-commerce plays on the daily deals platform. And on that front, Groupon competitor Living Social ran its first-ever e-commerce brand campaign on Wednesday for PetFlow.com. The pet supplies retailer offered a $20 voucher for $10.
Retailers understand the importance and potential of omnichannel marketing, but implementing it is the hard part.
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