You have a brand, a website, maybe a store and a stunning collection of products to sell. Now what? Well, you need customers, of course. But how do you find them? And how do you get them to come back and shop again?
That’s when marketing comes in. And just like developing and launching a brand, marketing, which some consider being the most important part of running a business, requires a well-thought-out strategy.
It’s within this context that Parsons and WWD’s latest module (as part of Fashion Business Essentials, which is powered by Yellowbrick and includes insights from Parsons’ faculty as well as industry experts) focuses on marketing strategies.
In this module, students learn the different strategies businesses use to find and retain their consumers because course administrators said “understanding of fundamental marketing techniques and technologies is essential, whether you’re using social media or an optimized website to build awareness, a heat map to perfect retail merchandising or dedicated apps to both communicate with the consumer and facilitate sales, because the consumer must first discover a product before making their first purchase.”
The module offers a comprehensive review of customer archetypes, the marketing funnel, direct-to-consumer selling, app-based retail opportunities, using SEO and website metadata, best practices for social media marketing and transparency in marketing. The Fashion Business Essentials Marketing Strategies module features expert presenters, and includes Uri Minkoff, cofounder and chief executive officer of Rebecca Minkoff LLC, and Jeff Carvalho, cofounder of Highsnobiety.
In Minkoff’s session, the CEO discusses the marketing funnel, a three-tiered customer acquisition model that has a wide mouth on top to capture and introduce customers to your brand or products. Customers in this tier are captured through broad marketing efforts such as advertising, social media and even billboards. Minkoff notes that as a marketer you need to attract target customers of a similar cohort, those who share tastes and styles.
The goal is to get them deeper into the funnel where conversions and repeat sales occur, and where you garner further details and data about each customer to help tailor the marketing for making those repeat conversions and building a lifetime customer. Minkoff described this process as optimizing your marketing campaign.
Other sessions take dive deeps into using social media to reach a core of target audience, “marketing with a cause,” the basics of business websites, understanding the role of personas and cohorts, selling on social media and whether to sell wholesale of through a direct-to-consumer model. The module offers detailed reading assignments and an activity.
Regarding the latter, students are asked to explore how customers interact with brands to purchase products using e-commerce “by profiling a type of customer and creating a customer journey map showing the steps involved in making a purchase on an e-commerce website and/or via social media portal.”