How does a consistently profitable online and bricks-and-mortar retailer thrive without spending money on television advertising? By going big on video, constantly testing and iterating and using ad cost metrics to measure campaign ROI.
“We’re definitely in the camp of being very pro video,” says Luke Chatelain, VP of Innovation at West Elm, the furniture and housewares retailer that’s a division of Williams-Sonoma.
A quick visit to the West Elm website reveals this to be something of an understatement, as there are a plethora of videos explaining everything from how to stuff a duvet to folding a fitted sheet the easy way.
“Oftentimes, we focus very heavily on hand crafted and how we actually bring a lot of our products to life,” Chatelain explains in an interview at the recent Beet.TV Leadership Summit titled Outcomes, presented by video marketing technology provider Eyeview. “And that stuff comes well through video in a very positive way.”
There are a variety of reasons why West Elm shuns TV advertising, among them “You kind of have one big awareness spend and that’s that,” Chatelain says. The company applies ad cost metrics to all of its campaigns across various channels “to prove basically that we’re bringing in more money than we’re spending on that advertising,” he adds.
West Elm also has seen success by using customers’ photos posted on Instagram in its Facebook ads, as ADWEEK reports.
Asked about bridging the divide between technology and creative output, Chatelain stresses the importance of starting small, testing and building up. There’s a massive amount of work that can go into each and every video, but there are small and iterative ways to reach desired goals.
“You don’t have to just get a pixel perfect idea,” says Chatelain. “You can actually try things that are a little bit wacky or out of the ordinary to find what content works.”
West Elm has been working with Eyeview for several months to test personalized video retargeting techniques and so far has seen “some pretty significant results.”
From a creative and targeting standpoint, “It’s very important for us to nail that right out of the gate or at least make sure that we find the best methods, the best creative and the best targeting,” Chatelain says.
Interviewing Luke Chatelain for Beet.TV was Rebecca Lieb (Conglomotron).