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Monday, May 16, 2011

Urban Outfitters at Fashion140: Dmitri Siegel on Social Media Strategy

Urban Outfitters' Dmitri Siegel described UO's social media strategy at  Fashion140, my first 140conf, which took place on 5/4/11 at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, the new home of Fashion Week [remember Fashion Week in Bryant Park for those of us who worked close by?].

For the record, 140confs are intense affairs! Speakers have 10 minutes in which to tell their story. Fashion140 boasted 60 leading speakers, 1,000 attendees at the hall and 17,000 more online...  I'm still sifting through my notes and appreciate that so many others captured highlights online!

I admire Urban Outfitters and routinely bring them up when I talk retail experience.  I've written about them, too! See Retail Innovation and Urban Outfitters, and Urban Outfitters: Be Where Customers Are.

You can imagine how delighted I was to hear Dmitri Siegel, executive director of marketing for Urban Outfitters, speak.

The photo above captures Urban Outfitters' social media strategy: Think. Connect. Listen. Party. Measure.

Urban Outfitters' goal is to form a bond with customers that's deeper than shopping, that sustains them in between transactions; everything else flows from that. Social media is a pillar of Urban Outfitters' retention strategy.

Think intensely.

Connect customers to people who represent the brand [e.g., emerging talent in music and style --> free music on #MusicMondays. Connect customers to each other [e.g., Facebook, Ask/Answer, ratings/reviews]. Connect with your customer.

Listen: most brands only talk about themselves all the time! For a fashion brand, it's a different kind of listening. Lots of subjective insight. Get to core insights.

Party = wildcard! Does the social media presence capture the essence of the brand? Has to feel like who you are otherwise you won't get the right fans and have the right interaction.

Measurement: align measures to objective.  His master, killer KPI is total interactions, not sales.  It shapes how he creates content. Also, measure what you can measure. Focus dollars on customer experience rather than elusive measures.

Succinct, simple and intensely focused on the customer retail experience.  Check out the Urban Outfitters Community Page to see it all in action.

Can you think of other organizations that are similarly focused?

Here are links to several recaps of the Fashion140 conference which refer to Dmitri Siegel's comments about Urban Outfitters and social media:

You can watch Dmitri Siegel's presentation from the Fashion Lincoln Center recording of the event. Click on the first purple button [for the morning video feed] on the right hand side in the middle. His talk starts at approx. 17 minutes.

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