To see marketing success in this digitally connected, omnichannel world, retailers must strike the perfect balance between aspirational advertising and showing their products in the real world. Although consumers treasure seeing how their fellow shoppers style and use products in their everyday life, they also enjoy being inspired by the brands themselves.
Dogeared has embraced the best of both worlds since developing its new customer experience department. In 2014, the jewelry brand eliminated all business silos and departments in an effort to have a “global, 360-degree look at every touch point,” said Ashley Walkley, Director of Brand and Strategic Initiatives at Dogeared. Previously, Walkley served as Customer Experience Director of Brand and Multichannel Marketing, and was responsible for leading and developing marketing, marketing operations, e-Commerce, social media, PR, brand development and customer service initiatives.
This move “was great for us because we’ve been able to connect the dots,” Walkley said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We don’t have different departments batting at each other with different priorities and can just create the best journey and experience we can for customers.”
Specifically, Dogeared has successfully refined and optimized its omnichannel content strategies, which includes personalized email campaigns, branded content and look books, user-generated images and social media posts. Over the past two years, the brand has implemented Listrak to send more automated transactional emails. This has been “transformative in terms of how we understand and communicate with our customers,” Walkley noted.
But perhaps its most significant investment was in Olapic, which officially launched on the Dogeared e-Commerce site in April 2014. As one of the Olapic’s first 30 clients, “we have seen tremendous results [from the technology].” In fact, “visual content is huge for us. We have thousands of pieces of content on our site and are getting new content daily, so we can always refresh it.”
In addition to syndicating user-generated content on its e-Commerce site, Dogeared also incorporates shopper photos into its catalogs and newsletters, as well as partner boutique signage and merchandise displays.
“Every touch point includes a call-to-action to snap, tag and share content using the #goodthingshappen hashtag,” Walkley explained. “That hashtag unifies all content.”
Consumers respond well to the user-generated content because it provides real-world inspiration. Like many companies, Dogeared used to simply push content to its audience. Now, the brand has established a more push-pull dynamic. “Consumers want to see the real-girl style and how our products translate to the every day,” Walkley said. Conversely, the “As Seen On” section of the site shows how celebrities, bloggers and influencers wear Dogeared jewelry, which inspires shoppers in a completely different way.
Dogeared’s core brand messaging also needs to be present on product description cards, through SEO, its Tumblr blog, newsletters and other touch points, in order to “create a seamless storyline and very consistent voice,” Walkley said. After the brand relaunched in August 2014, it has focused incorporating its new tagline, Good Things Happen, into all content, as well as “very specific language that shows where we keep our priorities in terms of speaking to and understanding our customers.”
Every Tuesday morning, members of the social media, copywriting, developer and buying team meet to build out the editorial calendar. This ensures that all blog and social content aligns with key product launches and promotions. Then, they determine which visuals need to be developed to tell the story effectively.
By taking this highly collaborative approach, the team can “figure out what the customer is going to see on each channel,” Walkley noted. “This approach has been very successful for us.