Ellie Donnelly sat with Fiona Lee from Littlewoods Ireland to discuss campaigns, social media, and digital lessons learned
How does Littlewoods ensure that its campaigns are engaging and relevant?
The best brands in the world understand their customer. When building a trusted brand, this is crucial to staying relevant, this is what we try to do.
We actively listen and observe, through research, transactional data and other interactions with our customer, to help us understand their wants, needs, habits and influences. This information helps us to craft campaigns that are engaging and relevant.
In terms of your team, would you have a lot of people on it? How do you start planning for big campaigns?
We have a relatively small, but incredibly hard working and engaged team. Recently, we introduced agile campaign planning. This process involves multiple functions coming together and mapping out our objectives, and keeping the customer at the centre of the conversation at all times.
This collaborative way of working has turned out to be a fun and interactive way of planning. Agile has allowed us to adapt and iterate quickly as our customer's behaviours and needs change. This method of planning and execution has contributed significantly to recent campaign successes.
What social media channels does Littlewoods Ireland use? And do you find that some work best over others for retail?
We use whatever channels are relevant to our customers, and some social channels are used for different reasons. For instance, many of our customers use Facebook to interact with their friends and brands and to consume news, they may use Twitter to observe and gather information and often use Instagram for inspiration as it is a clearly creative platform. Other channels are used also, for example Snapchat is a useful brand building tool and Pinterest is a fantastic curation platform. In terms of what is best for retail, we consider what is best for the consumer and what is most relevant to them.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt in the role?
Driving a content strategy is a learning experience. Building out content that will engage and remain relevant is a matter of trial and error and learning quickly. This means that the biggest investment required is time and resource. Over time content strategies play a major role in building trusted brands. The biggest learnings on the back of our experience would be that creating social media strategies is not about a quick sell, it's about building relationships and creating a trusted brand.
Finally, what advice would you give to a company starting up their social media campaign?
The social strategy must support the marketing campaign and not the other way around. Start with the intention of building a trusted brand and being relevant. As the strategy matures, hopefully hard metrics can be seen such as a return on investment in the form of conversions, lead generation and brand awareness.
Fiona Lee is the Digital Marketing Manager, at Shop Direct T/A Littlewoods Ireland (littlewoodsireland.ie)