Bradford Matson, chief marketing officer of Bluefly Inc., an online shopping site featuring designer apparel at 20 to 40 percent off retail prices, said integrating offline and online advertising is an effective way to draw consumers.
Since Matson joined Bluefly in 2005, consumer awareness of the site has gone from 11 percent to more than 50 percent, he said. The online site has been successful with its “Closet Confession” TV campaign, in which celebrities show off their closets. The two to three minute videos run on Bravo and feature people such as figure skater Johnny Weir; Bethenny Frankel, the reality TV personality, and Nicky Hilton, the socialite and designer. Bluefly’s traffic has spiked 20 percent each week since the spots launched on Sept. 6.
“We focus on television because we can measure the results of our performance,” Matson said. “When we advertise, we see very clear changes to patterns on our site. We’ve gotten tremendous response to them from bloggers.”
The marketing strategy consists of three components: Online (search, comparison engines, affiliates, e-mail and banners), offline (television) and social (Facebook, Flypaper, Twitter and Closet Confessions). Matson said Bluefly tries to allocate its spend to maximize sales, engage the right audience to advance the brand identity while delivering an ad-sales ratio that works with the business model and has a high degree of predictability and probability.
At Bluefly, marketing programs comprise 65 percent of the spend; social media is 5 percent, and offline is 30 percent. Matson said his philosophy for those looking to test the social media waters: “Jump into it, learn about it, grab share, get into the game, and then we’ll learn how to manage the metrics over time.”