Cash­mere com­pany looks to fu­ture with proac­tive mar­ket­ing

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

AS the tem­per­a­ture drops and the days get shorter, it’s time to get out the win­ter warm­ers. With a pure cash­mere jumper made from the fine hairs from un­der­belly of Mon­go­lian goats, you’d be snug­gled up nicely by now. Mon­aghan’s in Dublin is a prime des­ti­na­tion for cash­mere in Ire­land. Hav­ing sur­vived three re­ces­sions in 58 years, the fam­ily know a thing or two about sus­tained growth. “Al­ways keep some­thing for the rainy day,” says Tom the founder, who still greets cus­tomers in store.

Even be­fore the in­ter­net took off, Mon­aghan’s em­braced a multi-chan­nel for­mula. They’ve been sell­ing the finest cash­mere prod­ucts in store, over the tele­phone and by sur­face mail around the world all that time.

With a very per­son­alised ap­proach to cus­tomer ser­vice, I’m im­pressed with how Tom, his daugh­ter Suzanne and the team look after their cus­tomers. So con­vinced are they that talk­ing to cus­tomers is key, they en­cour­age all on­line cus­tomers to call the store di­rectly. It’s not a model that would work for the in­ter­na­tional re­tail giants with face­less con­tact cen­tres. But it has served Mon­aghan’s well. RE­CENT CHAL­LENGES Mon­aghan’s wants to widen its cus­tomer base and be rel­e­vant to shop­pers of the next gen­er­a­tion. Tra­di­tion­ally it has been a cash­mere store with clas­sic ranges. Now the chal­lenge is to ex­tend reach and in­spire more cus­tomer cat­e­gories to shop. Also, as knitwear is al­ways in fash­ion and not just for win­ter, they’d like their ex­ist­ing and new cus­tomers to shop all year round.

As an In­te­rior de­signer, Suzanne brings a re­newed focus to the business with a strong cre­ative flair. Tra­di­tion­ally a store for menswear, she has de­vel­oped exclusive new cash­mere ranges for ladies and the younger man. She Ma­trix Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing, here are the key steps in en­sur­ing that brands get no­ticed in a con­gested space.

are your ob­jec­tives? You want to drive sales ul­ti­mately. But are you build­ing brand aware­ness or chasing foot­fall? Many or­gan­i­sa­tions do what they can to drive traf­fic to their web­site, the por­tal to their world. It’s an op­por­tu­nity to tell your niche story. Clear ob­jec­tives will also gen­er­ate a set of key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors for you to mon­i­tor and re­act to.

clear on your tar­get au­di­ence and cus­tomer seg­men­ta­tion. Who is your cus­tomer? Think of gen­der, age, style pref­er­ences, in­flu­ences, life­styles and shop­ping be­hav­iours. When you have pro­filed your tar­get cus­tomer, it is cru­cial to think about what their needs and prob­lems might be ... and what will com­pel them to take ac­tion.

are those cus­tomers? What is your ge­o­graphic reach? Don’t be tempted to say ‘ev­ery­where’ as that scat­ter gun ap­proach is too costly and di­luted.

your mes­sages and make them rel­e­vant and con­sis­tent. What is your hook? Suzanne in­vests bud­get and time in fash­ion shoots as her prod­ucts are so visual. This gives her end­less con­tent made up of pow­er­ful video clips and pho­tos.

how to make con­tact. Mon­aghan’s has de­vel­oped a so­cial me­dial strat­egy, pri­ori­tis­ing Face­book, In­sta­gram and Snapchat as their main dis­tri­bu­tion plat­forms.

a bud­get (if any). Un­paid use of so­cial plat­forms is ef­fec­tive but a lit­tle slow. You’re re­ly­ing on likes and shares to build or­gan­i­cally. But you may be sur­prised at how cost-ef­fec­tive it can be if you spend money care­fully. This is about be­ing fo­cused and en­sur­ing best bang for your buck.

your fun­nel. Many dig­i­tal mar­keters en­cour­age a very fo­cused and tar­geted cam­paign that helps to select and in­deed de­s­e­lect cus­tomers on the dig­i­tal jour­ney.

Fi­nally, don’t for­get other me­dia! It’s not all about dig­i­tal. Mon­aghan’s have a tra­di­tional shop win­dow to tell their story, with con­tem­po­rary man­nequins to present their new ranges. They also have a per­ma­nent pres­ence in the Aer Lin­gus Cara magazine which is very ef­fec­tive. You too will have clas­sic and proven method­olo­gies, such as tra­di­tional print ad­ver­tis­ing, PR, mak­ing tele­phone con­tact, face to face calls, etc. SUM­MARY The old adage that ‘half of my mar­ket­ing works – I just don’t know which half’ is not nec­es­sar­ily true any­more. Par­tic­u­larly when us­ing so­cial me­dia, it is pos­si­ble to test, re­fine, and test again. In such a crowded space, know­ing what works to get your cus­tomer’s at­ten­tion is key.

A dig­i­tal strat­egy is not the be all and end all. There are still many in­dus­tries where tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing is still more ef­fec­tive, es­pe­cially in B2B or­gan­i­sa­tions. You de­cide which­ever one is right for you. Just re­mem­ber, be proac­tive and fo­cused in what­ever you choose to do.

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