The digital boom has led brands to challenge their traditional communication strategies and to be much more creative in order to capture the attention of an informed and demanding audience. Fashion brands make no exception: in a highly competitive industry, the multiplication of touchpoints between brands and consumers complicates the purchasing process and implies a multi-channel customer journey. In fact, new digital communication technologies and platforms offer many opportunities. They allow brands to work on their digital presence while still respecting the specific codes of the industry: an inspiring storytelling and a unique customer experience. But how can programmatic media buying help to meet those challenges? And how can fashion brands extend the reach of their campaigns and optimize their collaborations with influencers using programmatic?
Social media and influencers: the voices of a new generation
Nowadays, being active on social medias is an absolute must. Fashion brands had to reshape their relationship with consumers by establishing a much more direct and inclusive dialogue. Indeed, the new codes introduced by these platforms (Instagram, Youtube, Facebook…) allow to narrate inspiring stories by placing the product in a broader context, integrate an emotional dimension in the messages and invite consumers to project themselves into the brand’s universe. A profitable branding strategy since it now allows brands to have a bigger impact on customers’ conscience by relying on emotional mechanisms. Fine-tuning your presence on these platforms means above all, making sure that you capture your audience where it is the most attentive and receptive. On Instagram, Youtube or Twitter, Internet users look for inspiration and information on trends, news or opinions. Thus, if social networks fully participate into building up customer’s desire and interest, it also has a direct repercussion on sales and brand performances.
Within this ecosystem, influencers – are kings and queens. These new digital gurus are among the best communication relay for brands and true opinion leaders : 82% of subscribers follow their advice. Over the years, they have manged to build strong communities, earn their trust and a real power of endorsement. Beyond the “best friend effect”, influencers (fashion influencers mostly) have established themselves as true industry specialists and creators of original and impactful content. They stand out by their ability to bring products and brands closer to a certain lifestyle (bohemian, urban, green…) and allow consumers to identify easily.
Programmatic: a lever adapted to the challenges of fashion brands
From now on, the simple presence on social medias through community management and influence marketing is no longer sufficient. These past few months, social plateforms – driven by the desire to strengthen human interaction between friends – have not hesitated to penalize commercial contents. As a result, the organic reach of brands and influencers has fallen steadily! To compensate this penalty, fashion brands must integrate programmatic buying media in order to ensure optimal reach and visibility for their messages. Indeed, programmatic will power digital strategies and allows brands to capitalize on the content produced for their social medias but also to repeat message and implement different scenarios in order to reach audiences with high potential, at the best cost and in a controlled environment. Contrary to popular belief, Internet users are not fundamentally opposed to advertising and brand content but simply expect relevant and appropriate messages. 73% of them wish to benefit from advantages and personalized offers in stores and/or online, in line with their interests.
Calibrated targeting, personalized messages and a respected brand image
Forget mass communications that address everyone in the same way and get ready for sharp targeting strategies. Programmatic media buying allows brands to custom its message to its target according to socio-demographic criteria (age, gender, SPC), context (location, time, weather…), and even according to browsing history in order to identify the intentions of purchases – for example an Internet user who consulted one or several competing sites to find sandals as summer approaches could be interested in a similar products. Offering a unique experience to each customer is at the heart of fashion brands’ DNA: thanks to dynamic banner creation systems (DCO), it is possible to display personalized content to each user in real time. Not only does this preserve the brand’s image by personalizing messages case-by-case but it also improves its performances and boosts its sales.
Well aware of the special attention that fashion brands pay to their image and positioning, programmatic media buying – when it is well managed – guarantees brand safety a controlled broadcasting through the establishment of whitelists (curated media selections where the brand accepts to be broadcast) or blacklist. It also offers the possibility of excluding certain themes (e.g. an article on sweatshops or the environmental impact of the fashion industry, etc.) to avoid being associated with derogatory topics. The choice of certain formats – more original and less intrusive such as dressing or native video – and the control of capping to avoid advertising overpressure, also have a significant impact on the brand image.
As part of an acquisition campaign, programmatic is an exceptional lever to activate. It appears to be even more useful with the rise of e-commerce: fashion brand sites are moving from simple shop windows to real customer acquisition channels. But in a sector where only 15% of sales are made online, physical stores still remain very importance and it remains necessary to think about drive-to-store mechanics in programmatic.
Programmatic is constantly evolving and offers new opportunities for fashion brands to be innovating and impactful in the way they address their target but also allows them to constantly optimize their performances and customer experience.
2 ReachFive / Splio study, made by Opinion Way « La social Data au service de la personnalisation ».
3 Oney / CS1 studies, « Parcours d’achat des Français dans le secteur de l’habillement ».