Analyzing marketing techniques of Victoria’s Secret
June 8, 2014
Last week in my blog post, I explored how Victoria’s Secret is a success with reaching it’s consumers through multimedia communication. This week I would like to spend some time analyzing exactly how the brand achieves this success with their different marketing techniques.
On May 21st, Victoria’s Secret published their earnings report for the first quarter of 2014. The company reported net sales of $2.391 billion for the 13 weeks (ended May 3rd) and had increased 5% when compared to the first quarter of 2013 which yielded sales of $2.268 billion. Clearly, they are doing something right.
This week we saw the start of the Semi-Annual Sale in-stores. How has Victoria’s Secret let everyone know about the discounted bins madness? Well, usually there are commercials hyping the sale that seem to air one after the other. I have to admit, within the past two weeks I have not seen anything on the television (which could also have been due in part to my work and school schedule). I scoured the internet trying to find an updated commercial for June 2014 but did not find a single thing (click here to see January’s tv commercial). This is a traditional form of pull marketing that Victoria’s Secret has used to market their brand for years. As consumers, we may not even realize that the coupons (or coupon codes if they are electronic) VS offers to us are just another marketing ploy trying to pull us in. For example, if knowing that Semi-Annual Sale wasn’t enough to get us in the store, Victoria’s Secret launched a new campaign centered around their updated sports bra. This week, along with another copy of a new catalog, I received a direct mailing announcing the launch of the new bra. The mailing has also incorporated the ability to download the Victoria’s Secret App which is available on iPhone, Android and for the iPad. The mobile app allows users to shop with ease from their device, receive coupons, find store locations, get alerts about store events, and behind the scenes photos from the VS Fashion Shows. Mailing is pictured below.
This particular ad (pictured above) came in an email blast to me from the company (an initial form of push marketing since I signed up for their mailing list) and it employs the pull strategy for marketing; they want you to come into the store to give you that coupon). I do want to also note that the ad in the email linked directly back to the brand’s website where readers are able to look up the closest store location (or shop online–minus the coupon). Further down in the email blast, the following image was featured.
The brand is inviting you to now interact with them on Twitter–a rather creative way of integrating different forms of communication.
Going back to the Fashion Show topic, the brand heavily blankets multimedia communication to alert everyone to tune in. Tuning in to the show to see the infamous Angels and entertainers along with the new designs is an important aspect for pulling customers into their stores when the Fashion Show is over. (Click here for a sample of a Fashion Show billboard.) But, did you know that aside from airing on television, Victoria’s Secret has exclusive content available on VictoriasSecret.com and CBS.com, exclusive content on Facebook and being pushed out through Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest just from the one event? That’s a pretty wide reach.
Incorporating different forms of social media together is important if you hope to increase your followers/friends, but what is also important is leading the consumer to your website. All of the social media platforms that VS participates on are active and updated regularly, but one fantastic way that Victoria’s Secret is capitalizing on driving traffic to their website through the use of social media is by Pinterest. Since June is the most common month for weddings, the brand has been extra active posting all things love and marriage inspired. When a user clicks on the image they are brought to the brand’s website where they can purchase the item featured in the photo they viewed. If the particular image that they click happens to be a wedding dress or inspirational love quote, the brand has linked the page to informative articles relating to the pins.
Let’s dive into VictoriasSecret.com now since it has been referenced a few times in relation to the brand’s marketing techniques. A great feature of the website is the, “help,” tab. Under the help tab (located on the top right), users are able to select, “live chat,” and speak with someone instantly about any questions they have. This is actually a form of push marketing–which I feel is almost disguised because if someone is readily available to answer my questions about a product, I don’t feel like they are trying to sell to me like a store associate would. Completely wrong. Those live chat agents are there to close the deal.
One thing that I find the brand suffers from is the lack of ease for sharing items from their online store via social media. There are icons present for their channels on each of the item’s individual pages, however, nothing is clearly labeled suggesting a customer to share the merchandise with their friends. As I have highlighted in the image below with the purple rectangle, having the simple text, “Share,” would make the social media aspect a lot easier to understand.
An additional way that I believe VS can improve their IMC is to create a blog. The brand sells beautiful clothes as well as the sexy intimate apparel. What I love to do is go through Pinterest for outfit ideas for work and everyday wear. It would be beneficial to me to see how Victoria’s Secret suggests that I style a piece of their clothing. The brand is already heavily involved with Pinterest so incorporating a blog to suggest these ideas would not be a stretch. If I saw a really great outfit idea, I would be more likely to purchase a piece. For example, let’s use this pin. Gorgeous maxi skirt that is so vibrant in color, paired with a fitted denim top and belt. Personally, I wouldn’t think to style the skirt and top together. If you click on the image it brings you to this blog where links are displayed to purchase the pieces, and additional images are available for viewing the outfit from different angles. If VS was able to do this, I would be open to buying different clothing pieces–otherwise it’s hard to just buy a cute, and expensive, piece you see online or at a store with no styling suggestions. I should note that PINK does post outfit ideas via Instagram, but expanding it out to a blog and having direct links for item purchases and additional pictures showcasing angles of the outfit are icing on the cake.