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Framing a complete web and store experience
18 Mar, 2013 12:03 pm
The way that we reach our customers, and the service we provide, has to be consistent across all channels. At Specsavers we take careful steps to make sure web, mobile, social media and in-store are closely aligned.
How we reach customers digitally
We focus closely on all popular and new aspects of digital marketing. This includes everything from standard web advertising to lively on-page video and site takeovers, as well as a close focus on mobile channels, social media, and a growing interest in augmented reality technology.
Specsavers spends a large amount of money on online activity, with everything from promotions to display advertising. We are always willing to try new things, and we've done entire page takeovers on sites such as MSN, rarely thought of by high-street brands and more typical of the movie industry. When we run campaigns with an MSN page takeover, YouTube masthead and Google search advertising simultaneously, we may be viewed by over nine million people in one day.
But that's not the answer alone. The key to making this work for us is to ensure that we are memorable and linked to a need or interest, rather than just entertaining with the ads. We go for lively advertising that speaks strongly with our "Should've gone to Specsavers" campaign or offers such as two for one, and we make sure there is strong reference to the brand, to our lifestyle aspect, and to solving a need for people looking for glasses or an eye test.
Our target with advertising online is offering a coherent experience between modern channels such as the web, newspaper apps accessed by iPad users, sites such as MSN, and Google advertising; and traditional channels such as print, TV and in-store displays. We closely monitor analytics every week to make sensible changes to advertising campaigns.
Making social media work
Social networks are a major area for us in promoting our brand. Facebook is, of course, a force to be reckoned with, for all age groups. As well as advertising on the site, we also know it is a place where we receive recommendations and complaints, both on our own page and people's own walls. It is important that we actively reply to messages on our wall, and engage in discussion. We want to make sure our customers are having the best experience, addressing issues on all channels they use to reach us.
Many companies create amusing promotional videos with the intention of getting them to 'go viral' on social networks. We have produced videos like this but only when we are convinced it is a strong idea and that it supports the brand. For example, we ran a popular ball vs boy "Should've gone to Specsavers" ad following the incident when Chelsea star Eden Hazard kicked a ballboy rather than the ball in the League match against Swansea. However, there is a time and place for this type of video, so we wait for the right opportunity that supports the brand, existing activities and our consistent message.
Serving customers on digital channels
We offer product sales on the web, but our focus is on having a site that supports the in-store experience. Customers can book an appointment for an eye test, check out glasses on the web, and even upload a photograph of themselves to effectively try on the glasses and see what they look like.
Again, we recognise that customers often need to come in-store to try how glasses feel in reality, but we believe that this experience online helps them to decide some of their choices early on, particularly useful if they are short of time.
Many people do their research on their mobile phones, so we have a mobile ready site with easy appointment booking, with traffic from mobile search.
In addition to selling glasses, we are also a source of information about eye care in general, and on our website customers can input queries about any eye condition. This will usually bring up an existing answer, but we also have a dedicated bank of opticians who reply to posts.
We are always looking to the future, and we constantly assess existing trends and new technology. We are considering augmented reality and the ability to see how our glasses look from all angles on a person's face, not just from the front as within a photograph.
I think the best thing for us is to remain open to new ideas, because whether or not we run with those ideas we want to be at the forefront of what works. Any digital experience needs to be all-round, reflective of our high street stores, and representative of the brand. It is this 360-degree view that we believe engenders success.
Focus on digital transformation
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