It was a classic case of needing to go outside for fresh ideas.
Media buying for an up-and-coming fashion retail company had been handled in-house. There was little, if any, research done on where to best spend the advertising budget. Instead, advertising efforts were being chosen “intuitively.”
The company wanted to jump-start sales growth, as well as to prepare the company for an IPO. T1 Media was brought in based on their strength of being able to develop strong media solutions that delivered on business challenges.
Strategic Media Research
T1 Media’s campaign analysis identified a number of strategic misalignments with the current media platform. The competitive tracking report, undertaken by T1 Media, identified unique opportunities that could be strategically exploited to the company’s advantage. Competitors were outspending the retailer in the same media outlets five to one. And they were spending 60 percent of their advertising dollars during the fall/holiday period. The client’s media campaign needed to find a way to circumvent these powerhouse brands to garner visibility.
The client believed that people purchasing the company’s merchandise tended to be between the ages of 12 to 24. Research found that age was not a factor. Purchasers tended to buy as the product designs mirrored their attitudes and lifestyle. Additionally, it was discovered through proprietary research that their customers were highly mobile, affluent, with diversified interests that ranged from money, sports, women and the good life. However, the company was not putting its money in places that reflected these interests and was 100 percent focused on consumer magazines. Research demonstrated that there were other methods for reaching the current buyer beyond consumer magazines that better aligned with their lifestyle interests.
Strategic Media Recommendation
Build a multi-platform advertising campaign based on:
- Delivering a message with which the customer could identify with (connection)
- Reaching them in media that they visit most often (concentration)
- Making contact with them as often as possible (commitment)
Re-evaluate the national print campaign. The company had been buying “one off” rate deals that were no longer part of the new strategy. Money would now be funneled into leading, quality lifestyle publications that aligned with audience interests along with other target relevant media.
Change the scheduling. Why play follow the leader with the competition? They advertise in the fall through the end of the year. T1 Media’s client should spend 60 percent of its budget from April to August, capturing the attention of its intended audience prior to the peak advertising and shopping period.
Evolve the target audience away from the youth segment to higher volume, older buyers who can stabilize a brand.
Get New York focused. Spend 20 percent of the budget in the New York market duplicating the key competitors’ national spending level in this leading market that is the center for all things – fashion, publishing and financial. This allowed the client to see the impact of higher spending prior to making the financial commitment. Strategically this created the illusion of being a bigger brand to both the publishing and financial community.
Did the Strategy Work?
The PR coverage in New York resulted in tremendous buzz and visibility for the brand—at no cost. Sales doubled by the following fiscal year just as the company went public. Ultimately, using the T1 Media strategy, the business grew from $300 million in sales to $2.2 billion.