STORES Magazine - April 2011 - (Page 38)

NUTS AND BOLTS / SOCIAL MEDIA Spicing Things Up redpepper helps Kirkland’s make the most of its online initiatives BY KAREN M. KROLL “In the social environment, like in the real world, people hang out with people like themselves. You want to create a situation where you can pull them into one spot,” says Tim McMullen, founder, president and executive creative director of redpepper, a marketing firm with offices in Nashville and Atlanta. The idea isn’t “build it and they will come,” but “involve them and they will participate.” That’s the path that Kirkland’s, the Nashville-based purveyor of home décor and accessories, has taken. Working with redpepper, Kirkland’s has created a robust online community at and boosted its presence on sites like Facebook. The result of this coordinated campaign? More online visitors, more customers and more sales. Before beginning its work with redpepper in 2009, Kirkland’s sent promotions or coupons via e-mail once or twice a week to current and prospective customers. But e-mail offered only oneway communication; it didn’t really allow Kirkland’s to engage with its customers. When redpepper began working with Kirkland’s, one idea was to develop a strong direct mail campaign, McMullen says. In light of the number of e-mail ad38 STORES / APRIL 2011 M ost retailers recognize the value of having a social media strategy. At the same time, creating a truly valuable online presence often requires a mix of media that includes third-party sites like Facebook and communities unique to themselves. On, customers can participate in online discussions, review products and even post photos of their homes featuring Kirkland’s décor and accessories. Mullen says. Therefore, it’s not enough for customers to simply see an ad; marketing should lead to some action. At the same time, the online marketing efforts weren’t intended to necessarily focus on selling to customers, but to “provide design information and build the brand from the standpoint of the value and pricing of the merchandise,” Krebs says. In addition to enabling customers to interact with each other, they could connect with Kirkland’s employees and designers, who provide design tips and other relevant content. Engaging with customers launched in August 2009. Customers can participate in online discussions, review products and post photos of their homes featuring Kirkland’s décor and accessories. “In this case, the biggest value is the peer interaction and being around people that WWW.STORES.ORG dresses the company had acquired — in excess of two million — the initiative began to focus on e-marketing and the use of social media, says Mark Krebs, vice president of marketing for Kirkland’s. One goal, McMullen says, was to create an online community for Kirkland’s customers, a forum within which customers could converse and share ideas. The objectives of online media efforts differ from those of traditional media, where reach and frequency are the key performance measures, and the determinant of success is engagement, Mc- http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - April 2011

Stores Magazine - April 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Chain of Uncertainty
Digital Couponing
Energy Management
Social Media
Cross-Channel Metrics
Broadband Bonding
Workforce Management
Alternative Payments
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - April 2011