EPISODE 18 – Amy-Claire Short – Black Friday

Sia Kia 0:05
Hello and welcome to beautifiers the Digital Marketing podcast.

Justin A Campell 0:09
Hey everybody, welcome to the next edition of the future for Podcast. I’m delighted to welcome today Amy Claire shorts to the show. Amy is the senior digital marketing manager at Derrick Rose and has worked for companies including Ganni as senior global performance marketing manager and big brands including Marks and Spencers, LK Bennett, and rituals in the Netherlands which we had a little chat about. She is the founder of AC lifestyle and sports nutrition, which is a health and wellbeing coaching organisation that focuses on sports and helping people make better food choices. Today, we’re going to dive into all things Black Friday, ecommerce marketing and performance marketing. Amy, welcome to the show.

Amy-Claire Short 0:56
Hi, nice to have we Nice to meet you. And thanks for having me on.

Justin A Campell 1:00
Thank you very much for coming on. So let’s dive straight into it. So you’ve got a really big range of experience. You’ve worked in performance marketing for a very long time. Everybody’s talking about their plans for Black Friday marketing at the moment, right? Yeah, what what’s your take on it at the moment? What What should companies be doing?

Amy-Claire Short 1:23
I think it’s not a one size fits all, it’s kind of something that I think goes across not just fashion, obviously, luxury fashion, which is the sort of business that I’m in at the moment, it goes across everything, I think, Black Friday over the last two, three years, obviously with the pandemic has changed consumer behaviour, but also, it’s black Friday’s becoming not just a month long marathon, it’s becoming almost two months that sort of deals are starting and it’s initiated off of some of the sort of, shall we say, Goliath of E commerce, Amazon being sort of number one, I think, where businesses need to sort of stay true to themselves is what’s their core value as a business, what, what has worked in the past, use your historical performance as a guide, but then also take stock as to what your customer values are, and what your core values are as a business because you shouldn’t necessarily have to follow trends. And I am a big believer in the fact that you can’t always beat the likes of Amazon, because just in terms of this, their availability of products, their breadth they go across, it’s just you can’t always can’t always tap into tap into that. But where I would say businesses need to be looking for Black Friday this year is conscious of what their consumers are going through from a macro economic factors. And also then what you as a business want to be known for customer services. Number one, personally fasten it is Derrick Rose, we, we want to enhance people’s free time. And that’s through obviously, the products that we offer, the fabrics we use, but also then down to how it’s packaged, what this post purchase sort of journey is like for them. So I tap, I very much look into that as a as the most important thing.

Justin A Campell 3:17
Okay, and that’s a really interesting thing. So you mentioned that one size doesn’t fit all, do you think then that Black Friday is is best for only certain, you know, online retailers? What do you think everybody should be, should be doing?

Amy-Claire Short 3:34
I mean, I think everybody should be doing something at least around the seasonal time. And I take the approach that actually Black Friday fits within one of the most sought after seasonal peaks of the year, it’s coming up to Christmas is gifting time, people are starting to think about others. So I don’t. And this is the sort of stance we’re taking as a business at the moment is like, we don’t see Black Friday as the thing that’s going to change our fortunes as a business. So we don’t I mean, and also personally, I hope my boss doesn’t mind me saying this, but he doesn’t like Black Friday doesn’t like the the actual what it’s what he stands for represents. Yeah. So

Justin A Campell 4:14
which I can understand. Right, I can understand that some people get irritated by it. Yeah, yeah.

Amy-Claire Short 4:18
Because it you’re kind of almost rewarding. Probably said, it sounds really bad. This, you’re rewarding bad behaviour. You’re coaching and educating the consumer to expect discounts all the time. And then how do you then go into a sense of customer’s idea of quality is all I’m only getting quality, if it’s at a discount of 4050 60% off. That’s not necessarily the way that products have ever been initially made for especially in the luxury fashion. It’s not made to say, well, I’m going to drop it to a 60% off. Yeah. And I think actually that there’s other ways you can play bow or actually take Black Friday or seasonal period. It’s that look at doing something that gives back to customers look at actually helping others. So sustainability is obviously such a core and focal point for the environment and many brands at the moment. So why not do something that actually taps into that, if that’s your USP. And your hind Hindmarsh, last year didn’t do Black Friday, they actually gave all their profits to that they took over the weekend to a charity. There’s other ways you can get involved by bringing it back to what your core business values are. And for us that have been enhancing free time. So anything that we can do in terms of helping customers find the right product to actually over that weekend, make sure they’re comfortable, if they’re going for, I don’t know, a walk with the dog, for instance, making sure the products that they’re wearing is make them feel comfortable, make them feel and look good. That’s where I’d say that we’ve lost sight of actually what what our true core values are, I think in sort of generals, retrospective, ecommerce,

Justin A Campell 6:04
there’s something there. So if people were to buy in the Black Friday sales, they could, the less it’s necessarily they could get a discount. Or they could then say you couldn’t make a donation, your discount could be donated to a charity. And you could choose to do that. Yeah, there’s little things like that, that could be done as well.

Amy-Claire Short 6:22
Yeah. And also like, as well, if you’re a gifting brand, for instance, you could actually give something back and gift it to a customer doesn’t have to be commercially lead, it could be something that actually you like, personally, personally, in the business doesn’t always have to be a commercially led thing. It could be something along the lines of for us, we could offer something of like a book club, or actually vouchers to find the next book that you want to read, those types of ideas are, they actually have a more emotional connection to your customers, and those are loyal to your brand as well.

Justin A Campell 7:03
Brilliant. Okay. And if if you’ve got, let’s say, also brands that use it for stock clearance, I think that might have been one of the original motivations for companies to do a Black Friday sale is that they just wanted to clear on stock or they wanted to have like a bonanza Bonanza sale. And then

Amy-Claire Short 7:25
that’s that is a great ad that if that is the business’s objective, Black Friday as a way of stock clearance, fine. If that if that is what you’re actually trying to do. Yeah. And you do that as a consistent message? Fine. I don’t have a problem with that, if that’s what your business actually needs to do. And that’s your core value for that period of time. Fine.

Justin A Campell 7:45
Yeah, but then have a core value. Don’t just do it for the for the sake of doing it. So, okay, then what channels because there’s a lot of noise around it, right? It’s unbelievable. And let’s talk about digital challenge channels. What channels should people be focusing on, in your opinion,

Amy-Claire Short 8:05
depends on their, their demographics of their customers, especially for obviously, the likes of boo hoo or pretty little thing during Black Friday. It’s all about social commerce. And the fact that a lot of younger, younger customers are spending so much time on Instagram, Tik Tok, that actually use the channels where your customers are to speak to them about the different options and discounts if that’s what you’re doing. But you’ve got where I’d probably say there are other channels that you can utilise third party affiliate partnerships, those type of areas are also really good because you’re reaching a broader array, a broader audience. I found it quite tricky doing certain things in the past with sort of display and programmatic. I think that kind of goes a little bit further down of everything’s just becoming noisier on Black Friday during seasonal time. So how do you make sure that your ad actually appears to the right customer at the right time, that’s the sort of channel that you can’t really have too much control over where almost for instance, you can live shopping, being able to allow customers to shop right there and then giving them a little bit more of an insight into products that are available. The educating them and giving them a little bit more of an inspiration how to wear it, that’s a that’s an area I think, where social commerce is really coming into its own at the moment and one that once once it matures, I think from a sort of more reporting and attribution area that is something I think that can take off massively and will very much become the norm forward.

Justin A Campell 9:50
I’m really happy that you mentioned about live shopping because it’s definitely a hot topic at the moment and and talking to companies like there’s so many but there’s absolutely brilliant One called frame studios who have worked with a bit. And that’s what is quite, that’s quite an interesting take on it. So you can you can integrate the Black Friday, you know, sales, but then also integrate a live stream and actually provide some maybe some knowledge or some inspirations for people that are viewing right.

Amy-Claire Short 10:20
Yeah. And that’s another thing that you can tap into your core values or your USP. So anything that you have on top of that, so pink is a really good example of sort of what they did throughout their email marketing last year. And actually, that they switched it from a Black Friday to Blue Friday, the fact that they actually switched their focus back towards the planet rather than being at a commercial weekend. And that goes and that’s also another channel that is something that we is everybody does it email marketing, but throughout Black Friday, people feel that they need to be sending an email every single day, like how, how do you cut through the noise with your email marketing and segmenting and personalising messages to the right customers? And how you treat each of those customers differently with the messaging is, that’s something that can feel quite overwhelming. I think for some businesses, I’ve certainly found in previous roles. How do you still maintain a should we say some form of commercial message if that’s what you’re doing versus then personalising that message to the right customer? I think that’s that can get far too many cooks. With conversations in that instance, everyone. In businesses, it’s, it’s what’s best for the business, where you kind of have to bring it back and take a helicopter approach.

Sia Kia 11:43
Hey, we hope you are enjoying this podcast. If there is subjects you would like discussed or questions answered, drop us a line at info at shop harleigh.io. Future fires Your Guide to digital marketing.

Justin A Campell 11:59
Yeah, fantastic. And then that always leads on stuff. But I’ve heard some really great examples. I think I’ve never heard a blue Friday. That sounds good. I’ve heard of a green Friday, where, let’s say extra emphasis was placed on carbon neutral or carbon negative products for certain retailers think you know, blue Friday, green Friday’s all a very good idea. What about, what about starting? When do when should companies start?

Amy-Claire Short 12:31
Oh, you’ve got that that’s a thing. Because I think with the likes of Amazon, some of the bigger players now stretching their deals and starting like Amazon, I think started in October last year, they started so early. You can businesses can kind of feel the pressure to go what Amazon started. And I buy from Amazon. So I can’t, I can’t be a hypocrite or anything like that. But I don’t sometimes understand why companies have to start that early, you’ll feel the pressure with Amazon’s done it, we have to do it. So if Amazon jump and says jump how high it’s I’d love for companies to not feel the pressure to do it and do it on their own terms. However, I think knowing this year post pandemic and obviously the cost of living. I personally think that this is going to be people be starting earlier. But I would affirm Derrick Rose’s perspective, we’re not going to be doing that at all. We’re more focusing on actually the gifting elements. And what works for us as a business is all just focusing back on that message of free time and enhancing our customers precious moments. Because I think one thing that is learned one thing it’s taught us post pandemic is that we should be spending more time with our loved ones. And actually, that could just be sitting in a room reading a book or watching TV. Yeah. So I think to answer your question, sorry, that’s a long, long answer. Yeah, in short, it’s more about don’t feel the pressure to start that early. Unless it’s in your objective, and you’re wanting to be quite aggressive. So I wouldn’t say anything earlier than a week to two weeks prior to Black Friday. Doing lead generation is a good idea. And something that you can sort of tease and encourage customers to be the first to shop when you do actually go live. Giving them that sense of I’m going to be able to shop at first and a sneak preview is is a nice tactic actually from from our perspective in digital marketing to us,

Justin A Campell 14:41
I think with a strong community and strong strong followers and customers who who let’s say repeat by that’s really that’s really nice technique to do. I personally feel that companies start way too early and it really it really sort of defeats it defeats the object

Amy-Claire Short 14:59
Hey, because by the time Black Friday comes around you’ve businesses if they’ve started saying early November or even late October, they’ve, they say they start at 30% off. By the time you actually get to Black Friday, your customers do the same, the same creative. It’s had, it’s either seen the same creative, you’ve been bombarding them on social PPC ads or display ads for like the last three weeks. By the time Black Friday comes around. I don’t know about you, but I’d been, I’d be so switched off. Unless you were going to basically say, Hey, have it for free. Because it’d be at that point is like, what else are you going to offer and change your tune? A little bit. But I’m, shall we say, I’m quite a sceptical shopper. I do shop online. But I don’t like bombarding. I don’t like bombarding messages at all, I get turned off very quickly by brand that does that

Justin A Campell 15:53
selective messaging, right. So like selective shopper, I should say, I’m also selective as well, yeah, I stick to my, my favourite brands and try and keep them definitely sustainable. And

Amy-Claire Short 16:06
that all that all goes back down to how you target and your your overall strategy, looking at it from a hole from the first initial touchpoint, your customer sees an ad of yours all the way through to how you treat them post purchase. So your shipping, emails, your transactional emails of that nature. And then also seven days later, if they’ve received their pass, or giving them an actual sending them a product review email, or sending them something on social to say, Hey, how’s your purchase, click here to leave us a review of your overall experience with us that you’ve got to think about the customer, and how they’re going to interact and what they’re feeling at that throughout that period. And that’s something that I don’t think many brands have shamed into, or done and executed well enough.

Justin A Campell 16:55
Let’s talk about your experiences because you’ve worked. You’ve worked at Marks and Spencers for quite some time you would rituals in the Netherlands, you’ve seen probably seen your fair share of campaigns and worked on a fair share of your campaign. Oh, no, no, no. So that’s a compliment like that, you know, you’ve got that really great experience. Absolutely not saying you’re old at all. But what have been your favourite campaigns to run where you’ve really enjoyed it. And it’s brought, you know, they’ve there’s been results around it as well. This is also about performance marketing, right?

Amy-Claire Short 17:33
Yeah, I would say there’s there’s a couple actually, one that is sort of Christmas related one that actually isn’t Christmas related, and both in different companies. And I think my all time favourite seasonal campaign that I was part of and that I was able to run in was for rituals. The Christmas campaign that I did, oh God, it was a good couple of years ago. But Pellegrini who’s the managing director in the in the UK for rituals, just the way that we it was all x, x. It was all about the experience. When you go into store, we did live in store videos. We also did sort of social posting consumer feedback and actually asking customers, what is it about rituals that you love so much. The overall campaign video just gave a sense, it had a warming essence to it. And that almost spoke for itself. So then using it across digital marketing was for us quite easy. The music, the mood that it created, the products off the back of it is it’s difficult. Obviously you can’t you can’t smell on a computer or a mobile phone. And so how do you recreate that through copy through language, the music itself that was where I was my probably my best campaign that I’ve ever been part of. And we did see very good results off the back of it. We had queues in stalls actually in Kings Cross and Pancras we had queues going down all the way back to the tube. Brilliant. And then I’d probably say my other my other favourite campaign where it showed sort of a good performance was when I was at Gani, we did a partnership with Levi’s. And our latest one that we did before I left was by far probably one of our best ones yet we sold out of products within sort of 24 or 48 hours and that was all through the teasing that we did through paid social through aligning on organic social and then email marketing as well. So I definitely say that the marketing team and myself Afghani were that was the best partnership I’ve actually probably had with the marketing team so far.

Justin A Campell 19:54
They they they can be tricky currently. So it’s great to hear that they pulled off because putting too partnerships together and brands working together can, can can be complicated. So that sounds great. It sounds like the both the campaigns have multiple levels. And they were well thought through. And the thing that the sounds nice about the rituals is he actually asked customers for their feedback, which so many companies do not do, do they

Amy-Claire Short 20:18
know it was that’s something that’s should be seen drilled into, drilled into the training and store staff, but also actually just, that’s something that I think so many don’t tap into. I think there’s more to be done and actually allow customers their own voice, and not to be afraid to use that actually, throughout your marketing as soon as you get their consent. Plug in.

Justin A Campell 20:48
Okay, so I mean, this podcast about feature first and just to wrap up basically about future thinking, Where do you think ecommerce marketing and performance marketing is, is heading, considering the changes that with the way we’re allowed to use data, consumer behaviour? What do you think is something that people should be looking out for?

Amy-Claire Short 21:14
Its well, that’s a good question. Sorry, no, no, it’s a good one. It is something that is constantly on my brain, and how do you always ensure that wherever you plan, whatever you decide to do, you’re always going back to being customer centric? I think you wouldn’t be anywhere without your customers. So why forget that your personal opinion in a business is fine, but it needs to be backed up with data. So I think we’re digital marketing is heading is very much on a more granular level of targeting to customers, actually talking a lot more specifically to, to them as almost individuals. Social Commerce, I think is definitely going to be the one that potentially supersedes anything else. In the next coming couple of years, how you adapt your creative is definitely something to think about. And something we think about quite heavily it DeRozan How do you always remain agile with creative copy, language, tone of voice, but then also some of the other areas of what your customers expect from payment methods. So for instance, buy now pay later Klarna, clear pay Apple pay Google, I think digital marketing needs to encompass all of those different elements and think about it. Rather than just treating each channel as a silo. You need to start from what your core foundations are, and then work back from that.

Justin A Campell 22:49
brilliant advice, their brilliant insight as well. I definitely will agree with you. With payments. That’s one of my things I love to dive into. And also social commerce. I mean, it’s going to be absolutely huge.

Amy-Claire Short 23:01
I mean, you think about how big it is in China already. It’s only just going to be become more of an influence over in EMEA and America at the moment, obviously.

Justin A Campell 23:11
Definitely. Amy, thank you so much for your insights, I think we covered a lot there a lot about values as well, which you wouldn’t necessarily apply to Black Friday, but I think that’s really important discuss. Thank you very much for being on the show. Thanks for having me. And if you get to London, I hope you have a good positive experience. And, you know, good luck with the queue

Amy-Claire Short 23:34
hopefully won’t be an 11 hour queue.

Justin A Campell 23:36
Just enjoy it in a sentimental and nice way.

Amy-Claire Short 23:41
But thank you so much, and it’s been great to chat to you.

Justin A Campell 23:45
Thank you have a great weekend. Cheers. Bye Bye.

Sia Kia 23:53
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