From Business 2.0 Marketing Focus
Business 2.0 - Web Article - The Gap Tries On Discounts
It wouldn't be the holidays without a new marketing push from the Gap (GPS). But stepping away from its traditional groovy-hip fashion campaigns (models writhing in tight jeans or loose khakis), this year the company is trying to boost sales with -- gasp! -- discounts. It'smailing shoppers "mystery" gift cards, which offer price cuts of $5 to $100 (naturally, you have to visit a Gap store to find out how much yours is worth). It's also sending out, via newspaper inserts, special cards that take 15 percent off purchases of $50 or more. The company is even experimenting with the old sweepstakes standby -- a contest that tantalizes shoppers with the dream of appearing in a Gap print ad. The $14 billion retailer, of course, isn't giving up on peddling fashion (it is also running holiday TV spots featuring the song "Love Train"), but the focus on price is something novel, and comes about a month after the arrival of new chief executive Paul Pressler.
I think we will all miss those fun cute little commercials we always used to see around the Holidays but I guess when sales are down, unfortunately brand awareness campaigns give way to more direct discount campaigns.
This time, when I typed in "mashed potatoes," I noticed something new. In addition to the list of relevant recipes from the site's vast database, I got two highlighted keyword text links. Instead of typical titles like "Looking for (insert noun)? Click here," they read: "Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes by McCormick" and "Garlic Mashed Potatoes by Kraft." The links were certainly in line with what I was searching for and the recipes sounded enticing. The media buyer in me was intrigued. I'm always on the lookout for clever new approaches to online advertising. This placement certainly qualifies.
...The links sponsored by McCormick and Kraft on Epicurious's search result page boast something most keyword text link ads don't: content.
Instead of linking to product information pages and going for the hard sell, as many advertisers are inclined to do, these companies cleverly chose to inoffensively blend their brands and products with an established, respected site. By integrating their own recipes into a site attracting avid cooks and homemakers, they drive qualified traffic to their own sites while boosting online branding, all without misleading users or risking damage to their image. Users get a recipe -- exactly what they're promised.
The beauty of this approach is that it is so seamlessly integrated into the site as relevant content that it literally becomes so much less of an ad and of so much more of a value to the user.
Tech Turns to DRTV for Results
While companies fear losing the retail sales channel to DRTV, Lawrence says the opposite is true. "It pre-sells people because the medium itself takes people through awareness, consideration, late consideration and the ability to purchase," he says. "Tons of retailers, like Best Buy, Sears and Home Depot, are using DRTV in order to move inventory," he explains.