Victoria’s Secret Has Its Marketing Strategy Down Pat

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?

Victoria's Secret PINK Nation

 

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 Google AdWords

  • 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 Sale Promo

 

  • 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.

Victoria's Secret Mobile Version

  • 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.

 

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Victoria’s Secret Lies in Its Social Media

Victoria’s Secret serves as a great example of the dos of integrated advertising, or combining several different media channels and tools under one big idea in order to produce a greater experience for the consumer. The largest American retailer of lingerie has an extremely active online and offline presence. But Victoria’s Secret’s marketing success is not new. During Q1 of last year, Expion, a social media management company, ranked Victoria’s Secret in the top 10 retailers in social media. The company utilizes victoriasecret.com, sends daily emails and maintains accounts with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram to build excitement around new collections and events such as the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It also relies on more traditional forms of advertising, such as TV, print, billboards and direct mail.

Online Advertising

Victoriasecret.com

Victoriasecret.com has a global Alexa ranking of 1,481. It ranks as the 499th most popular website in the U.S. The site is very easy to navigate and contains many large, high-quality images of models showcasing the latest items. It maintains a consistent color scheme of pink, black, white and gray throughout. Besides the eye-catching photos of its models, what immediately draws people to the site is the fact that the first image is always promoting a current sale that its having. Who doesn’t love a good deal?!

Email Blasts

I signed up to receive daily email promotions from Victoria’s Secret about a year ago. While I don’t always get the chance to take advantage of them, I find the company’s choice of images in its email blasts as well as the email subject lines to be extremely engaging. Through these emails campaigns, the company does a great job of making women look and feel beautiful and making sure its customers are aware of current in-store and online promotions.

Victoria's Secret Email Campaign

Facebook: 25,300,751 likes 

Last year’s Expion study found that Victoria’s Secret and fellow social media powerhouse Walmart were posting on Facebook about twice as often as other brands. The week of 5/25/14 Victoria’s Secret received as many as 37,600 likes on one of its posts. The company posts approximately two to three eye-catching photos a day of gorgeous models, new products and current promotions. It also does a great job of utilizing its Facebook to handle customer questions and issues.

Victoria's Secret Facebook Comment Highest

Twitter: 3.97 million followers

The company has an extremely active presence on Twitter, posting to its profile an average of three to four times a day. What I like most about its Twitter is that it answers as many of its customers’ tweets as it possibly can, regardless of whether the customer has a complaint, a question or is simply stating that they recently purchased a product from the retailer.

Victoria's Secret Twitter Customer Service

YouTube: 462,349 subscribers

The Victoria’s Secret YouTube channel features more than 425 videos, including behind-the-scenes footage, TV commercials and exclusive interviews with the Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Pinterest: 181,350 followers

Victoria’s Secret’s Pinterest has 25 boards and 4,170 pins. It posts the same images it already does on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, plus so many more. If you ever wanted to get an inside look at every model and product photo imaginable, this is the place to do so.

Victoria's Secret Pinterest

Instagram: 4,534,152 followers

As of today, Victoria’s Secret has posted 1,267 photos to its Instagram. Almost every photo has more than 100,000 likes. The company averages between two and three posts a day that feature its models, also known as Angels, product shots and even some videos. The Victoria’s Secret Angels each have their own Instagrams, so loyal Victoria’s Secret customers have the option to follow them as well.

Victoria's Secret Instagram Cover Photo

Offline Advertising

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Victoria’s Secret utilizes this annual fashion show to promote and market its goods in high-profile settings. Last year, 9.71 million people tuned in to view the TV special that featured the current roster of Victoria’s Secret Angels modeling high-end lingerie.

Victoria’s Secret Angels

One of Victoria’s Secret’s greatest marketing strategies has been to heavily promote its models. Victoria’s Secret’s models, known as “Angels,” are a major part of the brand’s image, appearing in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, catalogs, stores and advertisements. The website features a “VS All Access” section for learning more about the group, which includes Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Unlike other retailers, Victoria’s Secret wants its customers to really get to know the women who are modeling its products.

Victoria's Secret Angels

But wait…there’s more

Victoria’s Secret also utilizes print, billboard and TV advertisements to promote its brand. Loyal customers can expect to receive notifications of product promotions via direct mail and see advertisements strategically placed in their favorite magazines. Victoria’s Secret is also known for buying billboard advertising in key locations, such as on the side of buses, and in high-traffic areas, such as Time Square.

VICTORIA'S SECRET using Showcase in Chicago

Overall, Victoria’s Secret’s integrated marketing communications strategy is top notch. It is both consistent and engaging.