In this blog post, we will discuss the key elements of an effective marketing mix for online retailers of luxury goods, including GUCCI, whose store we will examine in-depth.
1. Audience Analysis
This is the first and most fundamental step in building any successful marketing plan. You will need to assess the target audience, its demographics, psychographics, and digital behaviour patterns. The size and importance of this group will have a significant impact on the messaging and approach of the campaign. You will also need to consider how familiar the audience is with luxury brands and what they consider to be “quality” in terms of price and product. This step will also help you identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can use to measure the success of your campaign.
2. Product (Brand) Analysis
You will need to establish what the customer is looking for, which brands satisfy their needs and which ones they should avoid. This analysis will also form the basis of your product recommendations, bearing in mind the products that have already proven popular and the types of customers that your target audience can be expected to prefer. Before launching any marketing campaign, it is important to determine the target audience’s primary buying motive. You should examine the top reasons why people visit your site, examine how often they visit it, and consider its most successful marketing techniques.
To position your brand in an efficient manner, you will need to create unique messaging that allows you to communicate your brand’s unique offering through different communications channels. Different positioning strategies will depend on your target audience and marketing objectives. Ideally, your messaging should reflect the values of your brand and brand voice, and there should be no mistaking it for that of your competitors.
4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
You will need to establish KPIs that you can measure and assess the effectiveness of your campaign. Choosing which KPIs to focus on will depend on the type of campaign you are running and whether you are evaluating it retrospectively or prospectively. Ideally, you should look to choose a combination of performance metrics that provide a clear indication of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. In addition to gaining insight into the performance of your campaign, you can use KPIs to establish what elements of the campaign worked well and which ones could be improved upon.
Performance metrics can be split into three categories:
- Scheduled KPIs – These are the metrics you can predict with some degree of accuracy, based on known historical performance. For example, if you know that the conversion rate for users who have visited your website three times is 20% and you aim to increase that to 25%, you should consider the following scheduled metrics:
- Unscheduled KPIs – These are the metrics you can’t predict with any certainty, as they are either a result of last-minute changes or a fluke. For example, the 24-hour conversion rate for a certain offer might be 1% or 2% but, on rare occasions, it could spike to 10% or 15%. The key is to set your sights on a number that is realistic and achievable.
- Dynamic KPIs – These are the metrics that change regularly and don’t provide a clear picture of the overall performance of your campaign. For instance, the total number of customers who viewed your product pages is a good measure of overall brand awareness, but it doesn’t give much insight into whether or not those people are actually buying your product.
Once you have determined the key performance indicators (KPIs) that best measure the success of your campaign, you will need to set measurable benchmarks for your team to work towards. Setting these benchmarks now will also assist you in monitoring the progress of your campaign and providing more specific and accurate feedback to your team at any given time.
What is also essential at this stage is to establish a clear communication channel with the team that is responsible for actually executing the plan. The marketing team will work closely with the sales team to ensure that campaigns are executed flawlessly and that the needs of both teams are met.
The role of the analytics team is to provide objective, quantifiable, and verifiable analysis of the data collected from the different platforms (e.g., websites, social media, etc.) used by the campaign. For example, you might want to examine the return on investment (ROI) of the different marketing platforms used in combination in your campaign. This analysis will also serve as a critical reference point for future campaigns, providing objective evidence of the effectiveness of different approaches and allowing for greater strategic choice and less guesswork. Analytics will be particularly important for digital marketing campaigns, as the sheer volume of information gathered from digital marketing activity makes it quite difficult to verify the results of online marketing experiments without the use of analytics.
6. Website Design
The look and feel of your website is among the most important factors that affect your marketing efforts. The design of your site should match the quality demanded by your target audience, while also providing a pleasant experience for your site users.
The design of your website should match the overall image you are trying to portray. If you are marketing luxury goods, then your site design should reflect that image accordingly. In terms of the goods you are marketing, the design of your website should feature items that you sell in your store as prominently as possible. However, keeping with the luxury goods theme, you should avoid using too many bright, flashing images that might be an irritability when having to look at them on a screen for extended periods of time. Your target audience is likely to be more attentive to visual images than text so ensure that the images you use serve to highlight your brand and entice your audience to continue reading. Designing a luxurious website entails more than just picking out a theme and a few background images – you will need to carefully consider the navigation bars, headers, footers, displays, and widgets that make up the website architecture. This way, each aspect of the website serves a purpose and the whole design fits the overall luxury image you are going for.
7. Mobile Experience
The rapid rise of mobile computing and the evolution of mobile phones to tablets and phablets has changed the way people interact with marketing content. Today, more people access the internet on their phones than on traditional PCs. This presents a significant opportunity for virtual retailers to reach their target audiences where they are and engage them in the action that the brand offers.
If your target audience already spends a significant portion of their time on mobile devices, then you can be certain that they are already familiar with the look and feel of a responsive design. Essentially, a responsive website design will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device it is being viewed on.
Developing a mobile strategy for your brand can be quite challenging, as you not only need to consider the look and feel of the site but also ensure that you are meeting the needs of your target audience across different platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, and phablets). You must also assess the type of content your target audience is most likely to want to access on the go – is it product information, news, or social media?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engine results – generally, the first few results displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO has changed the way businesses across all industries approach organic search, making it much less of a “hacker’s game” and more of a legitimate marketing channel. Essentially, the goal of SEO is to increase the number of organic (non-paid search) visits to a website, leading to increased conversion and sales.
There are three primary components to SEO: