A newly launched consumer site from Philips will mark the beginning of a diverse online campaign from the electronics manufacturer. Speaking to ClickZ News, Gilles Domartini, VP online sales and marketing at Philips emphasised the manufacturer’s changing outlook towards online, and described how the new site will spearhead a varied campaign intended to reposition the brand as a “lifestyle experience” provider.
“The new Web site is a key element of our strategy in the retail environment. Online is increasingly becoming the most important medium through which Philips reaches consumers,” he stated.
The site itself aims to reflect the brand’s move away from high-spec electronics, in favour of consumer-led innovation. “Our market research suggested that what people really want from a Web site is to get as close as possible to real world interaction” said Domartini. “The site will allow consumers to play with the products virtually, and offer an immersive and interactive experience.”
Alongside the redesign, a plethora of other online activity will compliment the site. Video footage of the new Aurea brand television site is already gaining views on YouTube, and Domartini described the importance of word-of-mouth in the strategy, stating: “Viral and buzz are very important to us, we are working closely with key bloggers and reviewers.”
Late last year, Philips’ viral ShaveEverywhere campaign generated enormous viral buzz and considerable industry attention.
More traditional banner ads are also being employed to drive traffic to the site, and the importance of search is not being underestimated. “SEO is clearly very important. We are constantly looking for ways in which to improve our search presence.”
Domartini did, however, acknowledge the limitations of online advertising for some product lines. Although items such as MP3 players and Aurea television sets will see the lion’s share of their budgets invested online, it’s evident some consumer products (such as household appliances) may see their budgets spent more wisely elsewhere.
Going forward, it appears Philips is fully aware of the increasing necessity for two-way interactions. Domartini expressed a need to actively involve the consumer more in the marketing process. “I’m not sure it can really be described as social networking, but we’re definitely talking about community,” he stated. “We want to encourage feedback from the user, and for them to exchange their experiences with others.”
Although the new site is not yet geared towards a mobile audience, it’s interesting to note Philips is looking into optimizing the site for viewing on high definition television sets.
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