TV shopping is a widely understood concept; specialty retail with a live presentation format engineered toward the demonstration and sell-through of products. It’s a proposition which has proved successful in not only engaging a vast, loyal, transacting customer base but also as a powerful route to market for suppliers. Marketing in a TV shopping environment is somewhat unique (challenging even) in that the most prevailing marketing tool available is the TV channel itself!
Marketing a TV shopping channel when over 85% of transactions happen via the website is a whole different challenge!
The influence of digital is dominant even when the retail proposition is fundamentally, and historically, offline.
The Create and Craft marketing function is now firmly digital, and with commitment to digital marketing comes the acceptance that you cannot stop customers from finding your website – nor would you ever want to! The only problem with the influx of digital shoppers looking to bolster their craft stash is that we find ourselves having to manage the expectations of two very divergent types of customer, while staying true to brand values. The past 12 months has been a period of huge evolution and the marketing team has been steadfast and careful in incubating fledgling digital campaigns to ensure we are maintaining consistency and staying true to brand.
It could be argued that TV shopping is content marketing in its purest form.
Viewers feel so inspired by what they’re watching that they are compelled to make a purchase. Simply put, we like to see what we’re buying before we buy. The biggest difference, however, is the nature of the 2019 consumer and our “don’t sell to me” attitude. The push marketing approach of the past is no longer accepted, or tolerated, by digital consumers. It’s no longer about what a brand can offer a customer; but instead what the customer can achieve through the brand.
When faced with a challenge, the key is to go back to basics.
Content is at the heart of what we do as a brand. Create and Craft is delivering content every hour, on the hour, for 14 hours a day to millions of households in the UK and US. I don’t think it would be boastful to say that, as a business, we naturally do content very well, and have some amazingly skilled people in the business who are content experts! The task is adapting our expertise so that we can offer the same experience to an emerging digital customer; the strategic delivery of relevant content to drive a profitable consumer action.
Through the delivery of inspirational content from a talented line-up of crafting celebrities and experts, the Create and Craft Blog has reinforced its position as the hub of up-to-the-minute knowledge that search-savvy crafters most want to see. Implementation of comprehensive search analysis, trend research, and improved rich media has grown the Blog’s organic reach by 150% YoY, a 17% increase in users and 21% increase in new users, delivering hundreds of brand new and original projects, articles and tutorials to a larger audience than ever before.
The Create and Craft Blog is no longer reliant on us directing our own customers to generate page views, but rather has become a fantastic acquisition tool, which is not only capitalising on search trends to engage new audiences but is also driving sales – more than 7% of web referrals from our Blog go on to make a purchase.
The second half of 2019 sees the dedication of even more resource towards Create and Craft’s Pinterest, YouTube and social platforms, overhauling and enabling them to deliver inspirational ideas to an ever-growing audience, where crafting content is most highly in demand.
It goes without saying that stock limitations most definitely come into play when addressing content requirements – evergreen content is going to generate steady revenue over time so it’s essential that we nurture our supplier relationships and have product available to support our online customer. As for managing the expectations of two different customers, again, it’s best to go back to basics; people now have more freedom to choose what, where, when and how they shop.
The push-marketing approach of TV shopping is what makes it unique.
TV shopping consumers rely on this communication approach to bag themselves a great deal where stock is limited and demand is high, whilst parents looking for quick and creative projects for the school summer holidays are far more likely to engage with a short form video on Instagram.
The rise of content marketing does not signal the decline of TV shopping. What may have presented itself as a tug of war between conflicting business objectives and communication styles, is now organically morphing into a cohesive, overarching content marketing strategy which is simple; content for purpose.