Allied Market Research company predicts that the global market in footwear will reach $371.8 billion by 2020. If you are craving a piece of that pie, the world needs to recognize your brand. Your company must be capable of fulfilling orders across multiple channels, delivering shoes to the right feet at the right time.
If your shoe company has supply chain bottlenecks or a lack of sales, it’s time to call in a footwear marketing agency to get that inventory moving. They have the team to help you in all areas of marketing, logistics, and selling your shoes. There are many areas of expertise that can surprise you.
Working With a Footwear Marketing Company
Your business plan is a great way to provide the footwear marketing agency with your vision of your brand’s specific goals such as:
- Marketing Objectives – How do you know if you are succeeding if you don’t know what that looks like? Once you have an idea of where you want to be, define it and communicate it with the marketing company so both parties know the goals.
- Financial Objectives – If managed well, every dollar you spend on marketing should generate more revenue. But we also have to scale and work with a cash flow that we feel comfortable with. Establish criteria to work within your budget.
- Target Markets – Talk to the right audience on the proper channels. This means meeting them where they are, not forcing them on a platform that they don’t use. For example, an HR person should capitalize on LinkedIn rather than Pinterest because their audience is more active on it. The same goes for footwear. Where does your audience hang out?
- Market Research – Share what research you have. The agency will perform additional analysis to identify any gaps or trends. The footwear marketing company knows how to gather data, analyze it, and use it for tangible results.
- Pricing Strategy – Current pricing is a starting point to identify brand positioning. Are you aiming for quality-first? Exclusivity? Affordability? Budget-friendly? These choices impact the audience you will attract. It should also match the brand messaging and voice.
Be open with information for a better relationship so the agency won’t waste your money and time.
Before your agency partner can begin their work, they perform an audit of your current status. Using these benchmarks along with your goals, they will build a plan to market your shoes.
Once you’ve provided all the pertinent information, here is what a footwear marketing agency can do for you.
What Do Agencies Provide?
There are three primary service areas that digital marketing agencies provide.
- Marketing: getting your name out there, increasing sales, and building brand recognition
- Product and Packaging Design: creating the ultimate experience for a stronger brand
- Logistics: developing the right systems for effective marketing and better ROI
Within each category, there are many specific elements required to build the brand and make your company a shoe-selling dynamo.
Marketing and Nurturing Customer Relationships
Any fashion eCommerce agency marketing program revolves around your target audience. Building brand awareness begins with knowing who the customers are and where they live. With that perfect customer in mind, here are some of the KPIs (key performance indicators) an agency can use to build a marketing campaign:
- Customer Lifetime Value – How long will they be your customer, how much will they spend, and how much did it take to acquire them?
- Average Customer Spend – How much does a customer spend on average when they purchase from your store?
- Coupon and Rebate Redemptions – How many coupons have you distributed and how many get redeemed? How does that affect upsells, cross-sells, and additional purchases in the same visit? Does it attract inactive customers? Does it increase lifetime value?
- eCommerce Sales – Are your sales growing online? Are there abandoned carts and is there a system to capture those? How many visitors arrive at your website and how many of them convert to a sale?
- Store Foot Traffic – How many customers do you get a day? How many make a purchase? Are they signing up for emails and loyalty programs?
- Repeat Visits – How long between visits? Is there a way to increase the number of visits per customer a year?
- Inventory Turnover – How long are you holding inventory? What’s the best way to optimize it and save costs?
- Loyalty Program Subscribers – How may customers join the program? Does it increase sales per customer?
- Average Review Rating – Are customers happy with the footwear and the experience? How can you improve?
Social networking is another area where footwear marketers can drive business and create brand awareness. These days, social marketing is a full-time job requiring specialized tools and software to manage the various networks.
Typically, a footwear marketing agencies' campaign requires expertise in a variety of marketing channels encompassing email, social, PPC, TV, print, in-store, and OOH. Search for an agency that can handle all of it. It’s their job to figure out the best way to reach and nurture your audience whether you’re selling work boots or bunny slippers.
It’s not just about posting daily or sending emails with news. Nurturing an audience takes real connections and relationship-building strategies. The right agency can position your brand as a strong choice for customers who want a company that supports them.
Social media marketing doesn’t always have to include brand accounts. An additional valuable marketing strategy is influencer marketing. Influencers have access to an existing trusted audience that they have gained over time. Utilizing influencers in your footwear advertising strategy can be a great way to market your brand to potential customers. One way of utilizing influencers is brand-sponsored videos or posts. Your products can be shown or unboxed to a wider audience than your brand's existing socials. This way of advertising is great for accessing new audiences, boosting brand awareness, and keeping your brand active on social media.
A more unique way of footwear advertising is to collaborate on an exclusive release with an influencer. This is a new way to engage on social media and to gain an influencer’s trusted audience. Social Media doesn’t just have to be unboxings or showing existing products. With this collaborative effort, your brand can showcase the design process, production process, and final design alongside the influencer. Showing the process of design will make the audience more invested in the product and will increase the chances of purchasing.
Products and Packaging
Marketing is just one big piece of your footwear puzzle. A footwear marketing agency should be able to advise on product and packaging design.
Your packaging design should add value to the sale and strengthen brand awareness. Packaging is especially crucial for online stores where the first physical interaction between your shoes and the customer, is the box they come in. The box should accomplish four goals:
- Protect the Shoes
- Attract Customers
- Provide Information
- Reinforce the Brand and Logo
The marketing agency team can also help with product design from a marketing standpoint. They can research and reveal trends that can put your brand ahead of the curve.
Nothing Moves Without Logistics
From warehousing to shipping, there are many options, but not all of them are right for your shoe business. A footwear marketing agency has the resources and connections to help you create a logistics plan to streamline your business.
Moving your shoes down the supply chain to your customer’s feet is an international operation. An experienced agency will help you simplify the fulfillment while reducing costs throughout the supply chain.
Building the Footwear Brand
A full-service footwear marketing agency is well versed in Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing, PPC Google Shopping, OOH Media Buying, SEO, SEM, and CRO to name a few.
Today’s shoe companies must compete in a multi-channel and omnichannel ecosystem. It takes planning and infrastructure to manage the day-to-day operations and growth. Your agency will advise you on the platform for your online stores and the software tools to run your business.
The agency will typically partner with other companies that handle the various segments of your business from social and email marketing to packaging and fulfillment. They can help you get your shoes worn by the right influencers to put your brand on the map in the right circles.
They will also unify your brand so that the in-store POS branding matches your online logos, colors, and images.
“You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet.”Christian Dior
Not a Short-Term Investment
Marketing footwear takes experience. A footwear marketing agency can provide all the tools, ideas, and talent necessary to build your brand. Building a brand and creating a loyal following requires orchestrating many types of marketing and behind-the-scenes tactics.
However, brand-building takes time and a commitment from both the agency and the client. Considering that website SEO alone can take three months or longer to see returns, an open, honest agency/client relationship is critical for the success of any marketing program. To see a real ROI, plan on staying with the agency for a minimum of two years to realize the results of the planning, implementation, and hard work.
When you are ready to dominate your footwear niche, find a full-service marketing agency that has experience in both the retail and wholesale footwear environments and has the resources to build your brand nationally or internationally.