Tag Archives: Marketing

She’s everywhere

On September 4, 2010, my org, the Junior Marketing Association – University of the Philippines Manila (JMAUPM), held a seminar on various online marketing strategies. The guest speakers for the afternoon were Zack Bulatao of CreatiVoices, freelancer Tricia Gosingtian, Camille Co of Coexist, and Beam Mariano of Artwine. Each of them shared their experiences as well as tips on how to market one’s brand. Miss Gosingtian in particular elicited much excitement and anticipation from the audience as she is the most prominent figure among the four.

JMAUPM EBOG and BOG with Tricia Gosingtian (Photo by Tricia Gosintian)

JMAUPM EBOG and BOG with Tricia Gosingtian (Photo by Tricia Gosingtian)

Tricia, despite the fact that she is not involved with any particular company unlike the other speakers, is arguably better-known because of her internet popularity. Since she uses a plethora of platforms to promote “Tricia Gosingtian, Inc.”, it is really no surprise that most of the audience members know her or have at least heard about her. It is her knack for for projecting such an appealing public persona that made her a fixture in the Philippine social scene and blogosphere.

Surprisingly though, Tricia shared that her celebrity status came by accident and insisted that she did not expect this kind of attention from people. She said that her so-called success stemmed from her “hobby of being self-centered” and everything else snowballed from that. What began as her simple outlet for her creativity (she is a professional photographer after all) has catapulted her to internet fame, so much so that she has approximately 19,000 followers on Tumblr (it is is ranked second in Topblogs.com.ph in the Fashion and Beauty category), 13,000 likes on Facebook, 9,000 followers on Twitter, and and 5,000 fans on LOOKBOOK.nu. She’s also in YouTube, deviantART, Flickr, Chictopia, and has her own food blog. One might ask how does a typical 20-year-old girl achieve this kind of feat (in less than two years’ time, mind you)? Her secret is remarkably simple: by being everywhere.

Tricia’s meteoric rise to the cyber-stratosphere is a well-thought-of and carefully-orchestrated effort on her part. By capitalizing on her initial popularity on Tumblr, she was able to redirect her readers to other web platforms in which she is also using. It is a product of a domino effect of sorts. When people see different links, especially to social networking sites, on her blog, the tendency is for them to click on them and eventually follow, like, or become a fan of her account on that site.

Organizations and brands can learn a thing or two from Tricia’s marketing strategy, specifically in tapping online communities and promoting online. In order to achieve online visibility, one must learn how to catch the attention of one’s target audience or primary stakeholders and have them tuning in for more. In Tricia’s case, she gave people something nice to look at in the form of her well-taken photographs and her insights on fashion. Brands should be able to captivate their target market by providing content that is both relevant to their cause and in line with the interests of their audience. Some actually commit the very common mistake of relying solely on the existence of a Facebook fan page in the belief that the mere presence of such would already suffice for visibility effort. In order to establish oneself in the internet, consistency and more importantly, active participation (responsiveness) of the brand is necessary to effectively achieve their cause.

Certainly, successful online marketing does not stop at existence for existence’s sake. To be a front-runner on the realm of internet promotions means that one should grab every opportunity (seize whatever popular web platform at the time) for marketing oneself. Only through that could one reach popularity of Tricia Gosingtian levels.

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When plain old marketing just won’t cut it anymore…

It seems that relying solely on deep-seated customer loyalty will no longer guarantee the much-anticipated profit turnout. To survive in the cutthroat world of business, one must possess not only a thick leathery hide for criticism but also a very much good sense of the global economy. It is undeniable that the global financial crisis of 2007 has left a lot of casual casualties (in terms of businesses) in its wake and the ill effects of the initial downturn spiral of the world’s finances are still being felt today albeit some period of recovery. Even publicly listed industry juggernauts felt the pressure of cutting back spending and rethinking their already-laid-out strategies in keeping their target markets buying their wares. Such is the case of  certain luxury fashion houses.

Fashion used to be a bit of a technophobic industry. Kaiser Karl [Lagerfeld] himself admitted to being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to using the internet, saying: “I don’t use a computer; I do research with my brain, And if I want or need to — I get people to do it for me.” Fashion (and celebrity blog) darling Marc Jacobs on the other hand has developed a rather steady relationship with the internet, being an avid commenter on blogs. Designers Nicolas Ghesquiere and Miuccia Prada, however, both are clueless in terms of using the internet.

Prada official website

Prada official website

Prada US online store

Prada US online store

Nowadays, more high-end brands are embracing the internet and if I’m not mistaken have made it into their new marketplace of sorts. Since the tangible markets (read: boutiques) are losing their potency in generating customer interest in brands, labels are now tapping the new democratic (if I do say so myself) medium which is social media. Of course, online shopping is not exactly a brand-spanking-new phenomenon, but it is only now that these fashion giants learn to utilize it (or rather milk it of its potential in raking in customers old and new). Of course, this will not replace the joy of actually going to a store and trying on clothes but it certainly helps in ensuring patrons of easy accessibility to their products. It must be effective since a lot of labels have already begun selling online or have plans to do so in the near future — Jimmy Choo, Hugo Boss, Lancôme, St. John, Theory, Donna Karan, La Perla, among others. Prada, most notably, launched their US online store last June 30th.

The implication here to corporate strategists is to be very receptive the changing needs and interests of the publics whom they serve. Rethinking a company’s marketing and communication strategies can certainly mean a lot especially with the volatile condition of the world’s economy. This goes very much hand-in-hand with one of our lectures in class wherein company websites are proving to be a very profitable venture that brands can rely on in promoting themselves. One simply cannot adhere to very rigid and traditional marketing styles. Like haute couture, one must try to customize their strategy according to the business environment. After all, the worst thing to happen if you’re in the fashion industry is to be out of style, both technologically and sartorially.


Real-time? For real?

Milan Men’s Fashion Week starts today and I’m pretty sure that some designers would once again use the internet to their advantage. How, you ask? Before the internet’s heyday, broadcasting various events was a task that was usually designated to a camera crew, a satellite dish, and of course, a television (yes, I might be oversimplifying this but you do get my point). People would rely on these as their way of witnessing different happenings across the globe as they occur.

Of course, much has changed ever since the so-called Age of the Internet began. With the internet, you get to watch whatever major event in real-time with more ease than you do with a conventional TV set. For one, there are less commercials. We all know how incredibly annoying it is for those 15-second-or-more clips to interrupt a live broadcast. Another reason is that you get to watch programs without having to pay extra to your cable TV provider; it also saves them the trouble of having to launch a new channel just for you. In the Philippines, pay-per-view is something that we have yet to experience after all. The internet somehow gives you more freedom to choose what you want to watch.

Going back to the subject of (the business of) fashion, labels have found a new way of engaging people to appreciate their brand. It is by livestreaming. By broadcasting fashion shows over the internet as it happens somehow generates more hype among fans of the brand. Among the pioneers of this phenomenon was Victoria’s Secret. In 1999, the lingerie giant announced a 72-hour countdown to the live webcast of their annual fashion show, which resulted in over 2 million internet viewers. Despite the attempt having some trouble due to the unexpected viewer turnout (the now-defunct web host Broadcast.com famously crashed), it worked well for the brand since the publicity that was created was tremendous. For any company or business, the public’s intensified interest over their merchandise would put them a step ahead of their competitors. It is truly advertising and marketing at its finest (not to mention, dirtiest).

Lately, it seems a lot of designers have jumped on the livestream fashion show bandwagon, namely: Burberry (they will be streaming their men’s Spring-Summer 2011 show live for the third time later tonight in 3-D), Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, among others. Some have even gone the extra mile in providing a live-chat box beneath their video players so as fans can interact with each other during the course of the show. It must be noted that McQueen’s last women’s runway show prior to his suicide in February of this year, entitled “Plato’s Atlantis,” was livestreamed on SHOWstudio.com. This was to coincide with the premiere of Lady Gaga’s single “Bad Romance.” Like what happened to Broadcast.com ten years ago, the site crashed because of the sheer number of fans of both Gaga and McQueen rushing to the site. It hasn’t stopped others from following suit though.

Nowadays, more and more showss are being aired live on the internet; everything from Oprah to internet porn are streamed live via the web. However, it has yet to provide hi-def quality images that cable TV manages to show. Also, servers still need to work on how to handle so much internet traffic going into their broadcast. Nevertheless, we should be happy of how the internet is slowly championing the idiot box as our source of visual entertainment. It means that the television experience is no longer exclusive to just television sets. That is, of course,  good news for the person whose eyes never move away from his computer screen. In short, “Yay for me!”