Last week, I analyzed Victoria’s Secret’s (VS) use of integrated marketing both on-site and off-site. This week, I’m going to take a closer look at the company’s use of push and pull marketing techniques. Push marketing, also known as marketer-initiated communication, takes place when a company initiates a marketing dialog with its customers or prospective customers. Examples of push marketing techniques include chat windows, pop ups, emails, text message alerts and RSS feeds. Pull marketing, or consumer-initiated communication, takes place when consumers begin the engagement with a company. It’s about answering the questions that people are asking. Some examples of pull marketing techniques include a sponsored story on Facebook, a banner ad, SEO and a sign-up button to receive texts and emails.
Push and Pull techniques On-Site
- When you click on the Help button at the top of victoriassecret.com, you have the option of either live chatting with a customer service associate, calling the company customer service line directly or emailing the VS customer service team. All are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
- While Victoria’s Secret sells plenty of full-priced merchandise, the company makes sure its homepage is filled with eye-catching sale announcements to lure in current and prospective customers. Full-priced items are left for the site’s interior pages.
- There are three separate locations on the website for customers to register for the company’s opt-in email list. VS sends daily emails to its loyal customers alerting them of upcoming and current in-store and online promotions. Customers can also subscribe to the Victoria’s Secret catalogue on the website.
- When you click on VS All Access, you’ll be given exclusive access to all things Victoria’s Secret, including TV commercials, in-depth coverage of the Angels and announcements of special events and new store openings.
- You can download the Victoria’s Secret app for iPad and iPhone “to watch the hottest videos, scroll through the most recent behind-the-scene snapshots or explore cutting-edge trends” says Sharen Jester Turney, the president and CEO of Victoria’s Secret.
- PINK, Victoria’s Secret’s sub-brand focused on introducing 15-22 year olds to Victoria’s Secret, also utilizes push and pull marketing techniques. Through PINK Nation, the brand’s loyalty reward program, customers can opt in for exclusive offers via text messages or emails. And, to top it all off, there’s a PINK Nation app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Did you know that more than 3 million PINK girls have these apps?
Push and Pull Techniques Offsite
- Victoria’s Secret constantly runs ads on Google AdWords. By simply typing in Victoria’s Secret into Google, an ad will pop up.
- Victoria’s Secret has done a great job with its SEO. For instance, if you type in “panties,” VS comes up as No. 1; if you type in “women’s panties,” VS comes up as No. 3; and if you type in “bras,” VS comes up as No. 1. With so much competition in the lingerie and underwear industries, this is quite an impressive feat.
- Victoria’s Secret is active on the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. According to a 2012 article, VS has such a successful Facebook page because it uses it to direct traffic to its main site as well as its Twitter and Pinterest, thereby increasing its ROI.
Additional Marketing Strategies
- Victoria’s Secret’s website is updated daily. With so many sales going on for both VS and PINK, the company really has no choice but to be on top of removing any expired sales promotions, out-of-stock items or last season products.
- Victoria’s Secret doesn’t maintain a blog through WordPress or Tumblr, but when you visit the VS All Access section of its site, you’ll find mini blog entries detailing the company’s latest news, updates and events, in addition to behind-the scenes interviews, videos and photo shoots featuring its Angels, or supermodels.
- Victoriassecret.com is mobile friendly, which as we’ve learned so far, is a necessity nowadays since smartphones and tablets have become so prevalent. Today’s consumers don’t want to have to pinch or zoom in to get to what they’re looking for. The VS mobile website is user friendly and contains the same information you would find on the desktop version of its website.
- As I previously mentioned, Victoria’s Secret is extremely active on/has social share buttons for the following social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. The company also has share buttons on the bottom of each of its VS All Access blog posts.
Room for improvement?
No company is perfect, but I have to admit that, in terms of marketing, Victoria’s Secret is as close to perfect as you can get. My only suggestion to them would be to include a blend of both full-price and sale-price ads on its homepage. That way, the company can condition its target audience to buy both new, full-price items as well as sale items. Having a homepage that only advertises current sales makes VS come across as a discount lingerie retailer, which is far from what is actually is. Other than that, I think the company has a great IMC plan in place.