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Digital Boom

Don’t Let the Digital Boom Put You Out

We are very clearly in the middle of a digital boom. This is a turning point in advertising history, where all other marketing efforts are being questioned. Does TV even matter anymore? Do people look away from their phones long enough to notice that billboard? What even works? Well, two companies, in particular, are discussing little changes they are making to stay relevant in this digital boom.

Are you familiar with Keds? I am sure you are. When we were younger, Keds were everywhere. Keds were the s***. Well, recently Keds noticed their shoes popping up on many women’s Instagram accounts in photos of weddings. This urged Keds to create a shoppable feed that pulls in social posts on If you visited Keds website you could see a feed that shared all the photos of Keds that were shared on Instagram. This might seem minor to you, but to Keds, it really adds to their value in a digital world.

Keds didn’t really have a choice around this. With Amazon and other online merchandisers all over the place, Keds would have become obsolete if it didn’t adapt. “I’ve got to change or die’, they’re moving fast”, noted Garth Andrus, the human capital leader at Deloitte Digital. Retailers are actually scrambling to move from brick-and-mortar stores to digital stores as all their physical stores are closing down. For example, Keds parent company Wolverine World Wide Inc. is shutting down 180 locations this year.

With any fast change comes a little bit of tension. “You’re starting to operate differently in a pocket of a company and then that leads to the need of rewiring for processes and those functions within a function.”, Andrus said. “When the processes of the new area of the group that’s being more digital hit the part of the organization that isn’t very digital, the white blood cells attack and want to stamp it out. If an organization doesn’t take action on that intentionally, the strength of the current legacy culture can snuff out the nascent digital activities that are beginning,” In other words, this digital boom is weeding out many companies and those that can’t adapt don’t stay around. There are many cultural tensions at play. Keds has been making shoes for ladies since 1916. The image below shows their website home page with #LadiesFirst showcased. This is a part of their effort to adapt with digital.

Another brand with similar transformations as Keds is Pernod Ricard. “Amazon is an easy, consummate example, and they’re just going to eat everyone’s lunch,” said Evan Huggins, manager of data analytics at Pernod Ricard. “If it’s not them, it’s businesses that emulate their model of convenience and personalization and accessibility to potentially disrupt our business.”

Pernod Ricard is the maker of brands like Absolute, Malibu, and Jameson. Earlier this year, they started working with Sales Force in the collection and analyzation of data for their CRM efforts. Malibu is currently piloting lead-generation ad on Facebook and after 10 days, they had over 1,300 new leads.

“It’s not just about email, it’s not just about data or technology,” Huggins said, “It’s about conversions wherever consumers are and never letting them cease. We’ve seen brands teams ask questions that were not asked before about how to do things, what they’re looking at, being more accepting of data and trying things with media.” With all this being said, pay attention to the data and strive to keep up with the changing landscape. Don’t let the digital boom put you out.

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