The shoe business is making a massive appearance online, with clever social media marketing driving the sales of big brands. Online retail giant Zappos, with an annual revenue of over $1 billion, makes between 80% and 85% of its profit from shoe sales. In 2008, research conducted by Google reported that 45% of surveyed men and 46% of surveyed women use online channels to research products before making a purchase. With the exponential growth in online stores and e-commerce sites, this figure has no doubt increased. Furthermore, in an online survey by ShopSmart magazine, over a third of women have no issue with buying shoes online, an increase from 14% 2007.
It is not surprising that big shoes brands are increasingly looking towards social media to increase brand reputation and sales. We look at how sports brand Puma is currently utilising social media marketing tools to reach consumers and what Puma’s future social media marketing services will contribute to the brand.
Puma and Social Media Marketing
According to Puma’s own independent research, around half of their online shoppers are multichannel shoppers, meaning that they purchase products both online and offline at stores. In line with social media trends, mobile media is becoming an increasingly important channel in the shopping process. Puma’s head of digital marketing Remi Carlioz stated that Puma was a latecomer to social media marketing, but the potential was soon realised after their highly successful Valentine’s Day video went viral. The video was viewed over 130 million times. The brand is now active on a multitude of social media accounts such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Foursquare as well as other region specific online social platforms.
According to Carlioz, the Puma social media marketing strategy serves to build the brand itself and to create awareness about product launches and campaigns. An example is the utilisation of a social media marketing campaign in the high-profile sailing event, the Volvo Ocean Race, which is a nine-month around the world competition between sailing yachts. Puma is the official sponsors of apparel for the race, and has this year used ten top bloggers to record the week-long stopover in Dubai, making use of the social media channels and posting hundreds of photos tagged with Puma.
Puma’s Future Social Media Marketing Plans
Puma’s next social media marketing plan is to use social media channels to sell its products. In the meantime, Carlioz is aiming to work closely with its sponsored athletes who have large audiences on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Puma’s online social media marketing also has plans to launch its own iPhone app that will allow for global photo sharing. The Puma Factory, an iPad app that allows users to design custom sneakers online, is also set to be launched soon.
About the guest author: Penny Munroe is an avid writer in digital marketing trends and aims to educate readers on how they can best utilise online media channels. Penny has experience in marketing various brands online, from boot hanger manufacturers to corporate clothing.
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