Stuart Weitzman: Social Ads Spur Global Store Expansion

For luxury retail brand Stuart Weitzman, Facebook ad buys are a pertinent part of its strategic process for brick-and-mortar store rollout. By combining offline data, such as in-store sales reports, with online performance data, the company has made headway in gauging international audience preferences to ignite interest regionally.

“Stuart Weitzman is expanding globally at a rapid rate with 100 retail stores slated as of September 2013, strong wholesale partnerships and a thriving e-commerce business,” said Susan Duffy, Stuart Weitzman’s CMO. “For 2013, our goals are to solidify social content, institute customer service and engage with our communities globally so that our business growth is supported across all channels.”

Looking forward to 2014, Duffy said the company is increasingly eyeing social activations “as an indicator of audience interest in emerging markets and speed of brand adoption.” Although Stuart Weitzman invests most hardily in email and SMS for customer acquisition in existing markets, the focus for emerging markets such as Asia, in particular, is social media.

What began for the brand as a simple promoted post on Facebook for a new store opening in Mexico yielded an “international fan acquisition and engagement strategy that is helping us open up new audiences,” Duffy added.

Stuart Weitzman turned to SocialFlow for its Mexico store opening after first using SocialFlow’s social ad-purchasing platform, Crescendo, in September 2012 to deploy Sidebar Ads, Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories for a “Walking After Midnight” social video campaign featuring model Petra Nemcova. The campaign garnered 30,000 page-likes at a cost of $1.09 per like.

The Crescendo platform, through a proprietary algorithm, extracts linguistic patterns by identifying the “most optimal” keywords around purchase and activity to further target ad buys, the company claims.

“The interesting thing was, it wasn’t a matter of using social data to get their online campaign humming,” remarked Frank Speiser, cofounder and president of SocialFlow, a Facebook PMD and newly inducted Twitter Ads API partner. “In this instance, they actually used social data to bring that back into the real world and get better at it.”’

According to Duffy, the company had “few expectations” when it commenced with its Mexican launch. If anything, the brand was looking for a vehicle to drum up engagement and buzz. What resulted, however, “was a new, tactical and inexpensive activation to acquire new and engaged fans.”

Some of the numbers for the brand: An average organic post typically generates 300 post likes and 500 clicks. An average promoted post yields 1,000 post likes and 5,000 clicks. By targeting Mexico with Crescendo, Stuart Weitzman saw 5,073 post likes and 46,128 clicks.

Stuart Weitzman has launched similar overseas campaigns using Crescendo for new store openings in United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and Korea. For retail brands, amplifying messages online to drive in-store traffic ultimately has the capacity to circle that traffic back to sites for brands to cash in on secondary spend. Duffy said the brand wants to use social platforms to increase store traffic, alert customers to regional growth and eventually drive those customers to the e-commerce channel in the near future.

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