March 4, 2019
The increasing speed in fashion impacts more than just trends, it affects how people in the industry work.
Merchandisers are using data to study past numbers, while designers turn to data-backed trends to generate new collections. Naturally, the fashion marketers have to catch up too.
Source: Love To Know
What does a fashion marketer do?
Put simply, a fashion marketer focuses on the branding and advertising of a certain collection or product.
Many often confuse between a fashion marketer and a fashion merchandiser, since both have the same end-goal: to increase sales.
While a fashion merchandiser generally works closely with buyers and designers to aid assortment planning, marketers focus on reaching and attracting the right target audience.
So how does a day-to-day look like – and where does data assist?
Where Data Fills the Gap
Market and Demographic Research
Before executing a marketing strategy, a fashion marketer needs to identify the target audience first. Speaking to a vast crowd may be effective for brand recognition but speaking directly to the intended target audience reaps the best benefit.
For a message to resonate well among the audience, marketers carry out thorough research to identify the personas.
Data-driven insights can provide highly specific demographics behind a target audience. By understanding who has the purchasing power behind your products, a more suited marketing pitch can be directed to drive sales.
Monitoring Market Specific Trends
Once a specific demographic for a brand or retailer is determined, the next step is to break it down further by region.
Promoting the same product with the same messaging to different locations may not be the best solution. For example, promoting Fall/Winter clothing in Southeast Asia during the Raya season may not be fitting.
Regional insights give marketers a clear view of the product breakdown by locations. There are many factors that could sway the demands of consumers, such as climate, festivities, politics and even local pop culture influence. Therefore, it is up to a marketer to identify spikes in regional demands and plan accordingly to maximise sales.
With data, this is easily achievable.
From left to right: Flounced cotton blouse, Blouse with lace trim, V-neck blouse, Linen top
The example above highlights the difference between bestsellers from H&M in two similar regions, Singapore and Malaysia. A clear style difference can be observed from the bestsellers. Frilly blouses topped the bestsellers from Singapore whereas plain t-shirts and blouses did the best in the Malaysian market.
A fashion marketer will then know which product to highlight when doing visual merchandising or preparing marketing materials.
In the second example, we compared the sellout rates between H&M menswear in the United Kingdom and the United States. While both saw decent sell-out, the full-price filter was the key difference.
The United States market had a stronger demand for menswear in H&M since the market saw higher sell-out at full price.
This signified a greater appetite for H&M’s menswear from the United States.
With this information, marketers are able to identify specific regional retail differences and formulate a strategy to overcome the sell-out percentage gap.
Devising Promotions for Maximised Sales
Besides assortment planning, fashion marketers work with merchandisers to look at older stocks. Stale designs that fail to entice consumers or even poor pricing may lead to slow-moving assortments. In situations like this, marketers need to analyse the data behind the assortment to understand what and why certain products do not sell well.
Upon analysing, marketers can work with merchandisers to formulate campaigns and strategies to successfully clear out slow-movers to avoid an excess inventory. Identifying the ultimate price point to find the right balance that benefits both the retailer and consumer are key.
All in all, a good marketing plan just boils down to understanding and identifying consumer demands.
In an industry as volatile as fashion, fashion marketers have no room for mistakes that could potentially cause lacklustre sales and low profit.
This is how data can help.
Data, derived from pure numbers and facts, is the secret weapon behind a seamless marketing strategy. A study by McKinsey & Company showed that companies that adopted a more advanced marketing tactic resulted in a 30% revenue growth compared to their peers.
Since marketing is integrated into other aspects of a brand or retailers, failure to have a data-driven marketing strategy may render other retail efforts obsolete. A data-driven strategy only oils the overall engine of the business.