In January 2016, Marmot was at a crossroads. They had a vision: to be relevant to a rapidly-evolving consumer by engaging through experiences instead of only sales and promotions, and to do so at scale. What the brand lacked was the team and time to execute this plan.
The brand’s website, for example, didn’t even include a blog. They had produced some content, but didn’t really have a place to put it, and had never tried paid social distribution for content. With a lean team of only three marketers, Marmot needed to leverage technology to scale and personalize their messaging. They needed to address all of their potential customer base with activities and storytelling that would be relevant, no matter the season.
As such, the core value proposition of Matcha for Marmot was the ability to scale their content marketing program with a small team.
As Joe Flannery, the brand’s GM, told us:
“We’ve increased our publishing frequency 20x, and there are few ways to generate awareness with such turnkey efficiency.”
Marmot’s strategy for custom articles focused on aspirational outdoor content likely to appeal to a broad audience. Through a combination of fresh content and licensed pieces from the Matcha library, along with a social distribution budget and strategy, this strategy paid immediate dividends, and the brand experienced an 887% increase in social referrals to their ecommerce site from 2015 to 2016.
“We’re driving traffic at less than 10% of the cost of other channels while building a loyal audience and the results bear out through the entire sales funnel,” Marmot says.
Generating awareness is one thing, but that awareness ultimately needs to drive revenue. With content at the center of its marketing strategy, a website redesign brought these experiences front-and-center, and a DemandWare integration personalized this storytelling for each site visitor by selecting geographically-relevant content.
Time on site increased, and return visits increased by 30%. Marmot was building a loyal audience, and through Matcha they had access to the reporting and insight required to assess content successes and failures to refine the approach. As for revenue?
From 2015 to 2016, Marmot’s revenue increased by 56%, including a whopping 858% increase in contributed social conversions.
This +858% figure, of course, mirrors the +887% increase in social visits mentioned above, almost exactly. This is a real-world example of content consumers becoming brand consumers.
Another common struggle for brands and retailers is keeping owned media audiences engaged, especially email subscribers, but customer retention is as important as customer acquisition.
After beginning to incorporate content marketing into their email program, and then committing to it wholeheartedly with a dedicated content email each week in addition to a product-focused message, Marmot saw email visitation increase threefold (+208%) from 2015 to 2016, along with a corresponding 224% increase in email revenue.
Both trends have continued into 2017, and Marmot is successfully keeping its audience engaged by offering something of value to subscribers who aren’t presently shopping for new clothing and equipment.
Email still drives a higher level of engagement than any other marketing channel, and compelling content is the most engaging element of most marketing strategies. Putting these two together allowed Marmot to show real results at the cash register.
All told: through Matcha, Marmot was able to transform a website about products into one about experiences, increase customer engagement, personalize the shopping journey, drive equivalent site traffic with a fraction of the budget and grow revenue substantially.
Written by Jeff Bartlett for Matcha.
Featured image provided by Photo courtesy of Marmot/Gabe Rogel