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Digital Marketing Overview of The North Face

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Overview of The North Face's Digital Marketing Efforts

Overview of The North Face's Digital Marketing Efforts

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  • #25. If you are going to capitalize on this area, understand that the listener audience is obviously going to be larger and more sensitive to how things are done and said in their communities where they use North Face products. I am from the Southeastern area of the US. The Carolinas to be exact. While some might consider my comment to be prudish, so be it. I have been a consumer of North Face products for 30 years. My college kids still have and use the backpacks I gave them to use in the first grade. We do a lot of long range hiking in our locals from GA to Maryland. Short camping trips to the coast and such. Having been in design and marketing for 25 years, I can tell you that consumers, when hearing references to their geography are sensitive to how things are pronounced. North Face has a large following of committed consumers from the areas between the lower South east and the Mason Dixon line. Like many around the country who are sensitive to how things are pronounced in their areas, so are we. A recent online North Face ad on iTunes talks about the many uses of its products and the different geographical areas in which these products are used-one being the Appalachian mountains or as we like to refer Appalchia. Lesson one. We do not hike the Oppalochian mountains. We do go to the Opera, not the Apera. Want to know how annoying this is to hear. As an educated consumer, because of this lack of insensitivity to the consumers range of dialect, I would not be interested in buying a product. No one consumer is more important than the other; however, every consumer is important enough for marketing to realize the importance of dialect and the best way to use it. Get it. Got it. Good.
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  • - This video captures the essence of what we do – we create the worlds best gear to help people push the limits of human potential in the outdoors. We help people Explore.
  • Our story – important to understand where we came fromD. ThompkinsHelping equip people in the late 60s to set out and explore – creating great product is as important today as it was then.
  • -Dead/Hell’s Angels -> Authentic brand-We still have an incredible mix of cultural relevancy and commitment to superior product
  • - First expedition with Ned Gillete- Rooted in Athlete needs/Expeditions- Still true today
  • Acquired by VF in 2001 – challenges TNF faced = lost $100M on ~$250M revenue Fast-pace of growth post acquisition fueled by the perfect combo of a great brand and VF’s operational expertiseDigital History gets really interesting in 2008 when we launched Ecomm in the U.S. Happens to be the same time I started. And the following year in Europe.Also was a time when our CEO had asked us a critical question – How Big Can You Be?Great question.
  • We had just organized our business around our key activities – Outdoor, Performance and Action Sports, and Youth Explain Activities – Explain the efforts to answer the question
  • We had looked around the globe at the size of these activities and realized there is massive upside and over the 5-10 year time frameBut we had to hone in on how we’d uniquely approach the opportunity and who we would target
  • We did a large study – 15k people – 6 countries and realized that there are millions of highly active skiers, climbers, runners that we could grow with authentically
  • We also spent time to nail down our positioningTo differentiate we knew we needed to stay rooted in the same key brand attributes that have made us successful over the decadesWe needed to leverage emotional connection to Exploration and authentic product innovation for our activities.
  • In June of 2013, at an investor day in New York, we laid out our goal of achieving $3.3B by the end of 2017This representsa 12% CAGR over that 5-year periodAnd we knew digital would be critical to this plan
  • We had just launched ecomm at end of 2008 and things weren’t going greatWe made the mistake of putting too much video in the site, rushing a launch, and bringing load times down. Result – terrible conversionStory of working with Forrester to fix it. How that informed our strategy going forward.
  • - Through that experience we learned that the combination of stories and product, content and ecomm is critical and it showed us how we need to leverage digital to hit our growth plan
  • - After 18 months we re-launched with a new CMS and ability to meld ecomm and product and connect the elements of our digital ecosystem
  • - Started building communities that rivaled the size of our traditional media partners
  • Key to our strategy is this is inspiring people to explore through our digital efforts.70 athletes, 15 expeditions a yearThis is a picture of our Antarctica ExpeditionExplain what’s going on.We don’t do photo-shoots, we use expeditions and stories to drive inspiration and maintain authenticityThis inspires our internal teams and our consumers. New technologies (cameras, solar charging, Instagram) help us capture imagery and content real-time and share it.
  • Extension of stories w/digital broadcastExplain Alex, # views on YouTube via PRAllows us to take grassroots to a mass roots level. From 500 attendees to 90K per event.
  • We’ve over the last two years figured out how to extend these stories with key platformsExplain NSEInstagram growth and how it’s allowed us to use UGC1.5M actions from consumers in 2013
  • Olympics and the inspiration it’s bringing usExplain how digital will be keyVice content digitally available
  • Combining the inspiration of the emotional Explain how digital was key to our ThermoBall product launch50% conversion w/videosRole of product info, purchase funnel, search and conversion
  • Massive shift to mobile this year– watershed yearLike rest of industry seeing up to 40% of traffic coming from mobileUsing mobile tablets in-store to drive in store conversion
  • CRM and the key role it’s starting to play400k people we can own the one to one relationship Invite to unique events, offer unique experiences to redeem rewardsTrips with athletes, early product previews
  • - Most importantly when we get this perfect balance of inspiration and ecomm we see incredible growth
  • In China goal was to get people to take first steps outdoorsUsed mobile phone to plant virtual red flagsOnly 1 person can claim each location, they could name itScore kept online Utilized: traditional advertising, online/mobile marketing, field marketing, in-store promotions, live events in Beijing and Shanghai651000 red flags planted in 18 days
  • If we take away 5 key learnings from the last 5 years it would be these.
  • Transcript

    • 1. THE NORTH FACE DIGITAL MARKETING JOURNEY
    • 2. 2
    • 3. 1968 : MISSION STATEMENT “MAKE THE BEST PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD”
    • 4. 1977 : MISSION STATEMENT “EXPEDITION PROVEN”
    • 5. $258M 2002 2012 $1.9B 2008 LAUNCHED e-COMMERCE IN U.S. 2009 LAUNCHED e-COMMERCE IN EMEA 2002-2012 REVENUES
    • 6. ACTIVITY BASED MODEL
    • 7. TOTAL GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY
    • 8.  Purposeful Protection :: Warm. Waterproof. Durable. Prepared.  Drive for Performance :: Technical. Innovative. Top of the line. Let me push my boundaries.  Unencumbered Enjoyment :: Inspire me, bring out the best in me. Gear that is designed for my activity. KEY NEEDS  Multi-billion opportunity  Most active segment  Purchase and own the most TNF gear  Permission to drive share with this group  Competitive with themselves KEY CONSUMER SEGMENT: HIGHLY ACTIVE PEOPLE
    • 9. Athlete Tested, Expedition Proven (Reason to Believe) Lifetime Guarantee (Reason to Believe) Innovation Purposefully-crafted, Iconic design Equip more people to experience the thrill of pushing themselves in the outdoors Superior protection and durability in the most extreme environments POINTS OF DIFFERENCE
    • 10. $1.9B 2012 2017 $3.3B 5-year CAGR: 12% $3.3B 2017 REVENUE GOAL
    • 11. DIGITAL – KEY TO GROWTH
    • 12. JULY 2008 E-COMMERCE LAUNCH 2008
    • 13. ROLE OF DIGITAL MARKETING AT THE NORTH FACE  Inspire and Entertain  Inform and Drive Product Knowledge  Fuel Global Expansion with Digital
    • 14. 2010 RE-LAUNCH
    • 15. DIGITAL ECO SYSTEM
    • 16. Expanded from 500 attendees per event to 90k viewers per event
    • 17. YOUTUBE / INSTAGRAM
    • 18. U.S. FREESKIING 2014 OLYMPIC UNIFORMS
    • 19. INFORM AND DRIVE PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE
    • 20. BEFORE AFTER MOBILE OPTIMIZATION
    • 21. THE NORTH FACE – 2013 SEARCH DEMAND
    • 22. ENABLE GLOBAL EXPANSION
    • 23. RED FLAG CAMPAIGN  651,000+ red flags planted in 18 days  Reached over 2.2M  106% increase in dealer sales
    • 24. WHAT DID WE LEARN?
    • 25. WHAT WE LEARNED – THINGS TO THINK ABOUT FOR 2014 1. Produce and Curate More Video Content 2. Mobile is Key to Growth 3. Invest in Social Media 4. Own the One-to-One Relationship 5. Digital is Transforming the Global Landscape
    • 26. 30 THANK YOU!