Retailer Proves Direct Digital Marketing Impact

Josh GordonSome time ago I shared some insights from a keynote I attended that was delivered by Williams-Sonoma Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Connolly. In the keynote, Connolly time and again alluded to the importance of direct digital marketing and communicating directly with consumers. From his marketing perspective he favored direct digital communications because of how effective marketing software is at controlling the relevance of the message per consumer, the communications channel the consumer receives the message on, and when they get it.

Connolly concluded that the end result of direct digital marketing is a more fulfilling brand experience for the customer – and a more profitable one for the marketer. In the recently released sales reports from Williams-Sonoma’s fourth quarter, it appears as though Connolly’s words are accurate.

According to a report in Internet Retailer, the financial impact of Williams-Sonoma’s Q4 direct digital marketing efforts are the following:

  • Web sales increased 14.9% to $309 million from $269 million in Q4 of 2008
  • Direct-to-customer sales increased 8.4% to $398 million, compared with $367 million in the prior year quarter, led by the Pottery Barn, PBteen, Pottery Barn Kids and Williams-Sonoma brands
  • Total revenue increased about 7.9% to $1.09 billion versus $1.01 billion in Q4 08
  • Comparable-store sales increased 7.6%
  • Net income was $88.4 million, compared with $12.2 million in Q4 2008

Bottom line, smart segmentation and targeted marketing through the Web, email, and mobile channels – also known as direct digital marketing – works. It works really well.

Establishing the core marketing principles of message relevance and direct communication is the first step in upgrading the short and long term effectiveness of your organization’s marketing. Step number two is seeking out the most efficient means of achieving the upgrade. Which step are you on?

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: