Social media reigns

Patrick Dickinson, SVP of marketing, The Bay, reveals why many brands brought social media management in-house this year.
patrick dickinson

This year, even the late adopters had to give social media its due. As Steve Mykolyn, CCO at Taxi, says, “We’re in a phase right now where everyone is jumping in the pool. We’ve replaced NBC, CBS and ABC with Facebook, Google and Twitter.”
Everywhere we looked in 2011, there seemed to be yet another brand doing nifty stuff in the social media space. And more and more, we saw that work being handled by in-house teams of online marketing specialists.
“This is media that we update a dozen times a day,” explains Patrick Dickinson, SVP of marketing, The Bay. “You need a very well briefed and competent social media team who understands what is newsworthy, what kind of messages your audience is going to find appealing and what they’re going to send on to their networks.”
Social media happens in real time, around the clock, and as Dickinson notes, “The traditional client-agency relationship of review, refine and then deploy is just too slow.”
Unlike many other channels, social media is a dialogue rather than a monologue – and if you start that conversation with consumers, you’d better be sure that there’s someone around to continue it.
“We get good response, we get requests for additional information,” says Dickinson. “We also get customer issues that surface. The challenge is that once you open these channels, you have to be prepared to take the feedback as it comes and respond to it.”
Although The Bay’s social media department was established in fall 2010, Dickinson says it didn’t kick into high gear until 2011.
“We’ve really ramped it up significantly so that it has its own voice and its own staff,” he says, noting that the social media department now consists of three full-time employees. “The degree to which we’re investing in it and really building an audience has started to grow exponentially.”
In addition to the now-mandatory presence on Twitter and Facebook, The Bay launched a number of new online portals this year. Digital magazine Beauty: The Guide spotlights items from the cosmetics department, driving consumers to the store’s newly revived e-commerce site and in-store promotions. Meanwhile, The Bay’s pop culture and fashion blog, B Insider, reaches out to contemporary fashion influencers by featuring up-and-coming designers, photographers, models and stylists.
Social media has allowed a greater targeting of the fashion lovers that the newly revamped Bay is gunning for under the leadership of Bonnie Brooks.
As Dickinson notes, “Ten years ago, the big issue of the day was one-to-one marketing and really it’s the same
trend today.”
As we move towards 2012, there’s no doubt the channels have changed dramatically, but the end goal remains
the same.

Jump to:

2011 marketer survey results

The rise of shopper marketing

Mobilizing mobile

Last year’s top ad spenders