Missoni, Marketing, and Moving the Needle

by Kate Rush Sheehy 22 Sep 2011 Blog Post

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Social Business Index (SBI) was unveiled last week.

However, it wasn’t the only thing that made a social media splash. After months of excruciating anticipation (both on my part and many others), Target released its largest designer partnership to date. The brand also jumped 16 points in the SBI.

Bright and early last Tuesday morning, Missoni for Target was available for purchase in stores and on Target’s newly designed site. In addition to the regular arsenal of marketing channels (print, TV, and .com), Target promoted the partnership in a huge way via social. The Target Style Facebook page shared an exclusive look-book of all the goodies, they live-tweeted from a celebrity-filled pop-up store in New York City the night before the launch, and shared several up-close photos of the merchandise on Instagram in the weeks leading up to the launch. For those of us who are shopaholics, each picture, each tweet, each clue felt like a steak to a hungry dog.

Target’s social promotion of the designer exclusive, coupled with smart traditional advertising must have worked pretty well. Most stores were completely sold out of the merch within a few hours, and all of the demand crashed the Target.com website before 8:00am. People took to the brand’s Facebook and Twitter pages to voice their opinions. These people fell into two very distinct camps; there were shoppers happily tweeting about their #zigzag purchases, and there were shoppers lambasting the brand for teasing customers for months, only to let the site crash and stores sell out.

While there’s not much a community manager can do to fix a website, the Target community managers could (and did) reach out to hundreds (if not thousands) of upset shoppers. There were posts and tweets that went out to their entire social fan base, as well as a huge number of 1-to-1 responses.This massive outreach, coupled with several other factors (fan engagement with posts, general brand awareness, etc.) caused the significant bump in Target’s SBI score.

So, as marketers and social business pioneers think about how to utilize the SBI to move the needle on their social efforts, keep in mind that being social is not about satisfying everyone’s needs, but rather about having a productive dialogue with your most important constituents.

Full disclosure: Target is a Dachis Group client

Photo source: Target Style Instagram