How Havaianas Battles Digital Fragmentation

Consumer dependence on digital channels like social and mobile are opportunities for brands, but they also make the life of a brand manager more difficult.

According to James Anstey, marketing director of Havaianas, the various digital channels and all the different platforms involved makes the digital audience more fragmented and harder to keep track of all of the moving pieces.

What frustrates you most in digital marketing?
There are so many channels. Integrating them all is very difficult and also tracking them all is equally hard. And the more channels you integrate, the more fragmented the audience becomes. Fragmentation is definitely the biggest frustration. Another frustration is keeping track of all the new shiny objects out there.

Which brand (besides Havaianas) do you personally admire for its unique approach to digital?
J. Crew does a great job with e-commerce on its website. As far as content marketing, Red Bull does a terrific job there. I am seeing a lot of interesting work from Poke, a creative agency. One campaign in particular that I found interesting is what Poke did for Coach’s Poppy line. Then, of course, there’s Mercedes and BMW, but with their budgets, its expected.

What are some of the mistakes Havaianas has made in digital and the lessons learned?
What we have done in the past is produce a lot of content and it was well produced, but we weren’t thinking deep enough into distribution. Our focus now is less content and a better distribution strategy around it.

What types of insights has Havaianas gotten from mining social media data?
We have a monthly social media report. We’ve posted pictures of new products on Facebook in the past to see how many likes the product gets and we can then forecast how popular it will be. We also use social data to map our competitors and see who is talking about them and what they are saying. Facebook is also a great place to get feedback on products and we provide this information to the merchandising department. Another thing we did was share an upcoming print campaign on Facebook to see the effect it would have on our fans.

What is the biggest misconception that brands have around the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter?
There is a temptation to count your fans. To sit back and rest on your laurels. But we look at it to get peer communication. For us it is about interacting with the brand. It is about activating those numbers. For a lot of companies, Twitter is useful for e-commerce growth. But for us Facebook is a better means. I think Twitter probably works better for brands with a personality like Diane von Furstenberg. I am by no means negating Twitter. Jessica Simpson, who is now pregnant, tweeted that she is so comfortable wearing her Havaianas and that generated a lot of buzz for us. So we put a lot of emphasis in Twitter. But for brands with personalities, they likely use it differently than we do.

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