How to Integrate Social Media in a True Omni-Channel Program

How to Integrate Social Media in a True Omni-Channel Program

Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Homebase

Special Guest: Siobhan Fitzpatrick

Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Director of Multi Channel at Homebase, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss integrating new marketing techniques into the traditional sales funnel, working with third parties to share great content, and how to unlock the knowledge that’s inherent in her teammembers.

Shop by Mission

At Homebase, Siobhan Fitzpatrick is weaving social, digital, content, and mobile marketing into all facets of the organization. The second-largest home improvement retailer in the UK, Homebase distinguishes itself by offering a mix of the traditional DIY products with the more design-inspired products. “We are currently on a transformation program to bring ideas, inspiration, small projects to life through our organization,” Siobhan says.

Siobhan offers a unique perspective on multi-channel marketing. Rather than trying to keep online sales and commercial in-store sales separate, she looks at all sales as part of the same funnel. She points out that 40% of her customers start looking for ideas online before coming into the store, so the Homebase website is very video-rich for inspiration.

The website becomes part of the showroom.

“People don’t shop by channel; they shop by mission.” (tweet this)

In the UK, “reserve and collect” (where people can reserve a product online and then pick it up in the store) is becoming increasingly popular, led in part by Homebase’s sister company Argos.

The benefits of this type of sales program are obvious: the customer begins the transaction online but ends up in a store, where one of Siobhan’s knowledgeable colleagues can suggest a related item or otherwise give great customer service. And for the customers who want to get in and out of the store quickly, they can plan ahead by reserving everything online.

Working Together

To create excellent content on a regular basis, Siobhan and Homebase have been working closely with their suppliers.

“Lots of our suppliers, manufacturers, and other third parties have lots of really great content,” Siobhan says. And furthermore, those other companies offer insight into the types of content customers are looking for that is in line with Homebase’s projects and missions.

Siobhan has her customer service team dedicated to listening to pick out issues or complaints and manage sentiment, and she has a separate engagement team to tell the Homebase story. They handle content creation and other marketing endeavors.

Social Media Number of the Week: 52.1%

Over half the listening time for Americans (52.1%, to be exact), according to Edison Research, is dedicated to the old medium of AM/FM radio. “A lot of times our assumption as digital marketers is that there is a seismic shift going on,” says Jeff. We assume all of this is happening so fast, but this number is very clear: many people are sticking to the old ways for now.

The area of listening is still dominated by traditional channels: AM/FM radio, but also owned music. As this breakdown continues to change, it will also change the face of advertising on these channels. Nick says, “more companies should actually look to not just placing ads, but being able to figure out how to co-create and do some deeper integrations with these audio programs.”

Holy Social!

One of the hottest Kickstarter projects recently is Potato Salad by Zack Danger Brown. The project he’s trying to fund? Well, he’s going to make some potato salad.

Brands have been jumping in to try to cash in on the real-time marketing opportunity: Hellman’s tweeted at him about which kind of mayonnaise he would use. The cheapest reward costs just $1, and he will say your name aloud while making the potato salad. Every reward level receives this reward, and he already has almost 7,000 backers. That’s a lot of names.

Kickstarter has always remained in the hands of the project creators, who can make decisions about every aspect of their projects. This project succeeded so well because of the quality of the writing and videos attached to it, and now other “copycat” projects are removing some of the novelty.

It’s much easier to share creativity with the accessibility created by the internet. And as long as that’s true, we’ll keep seeing clever ideas that push the limits of various platforms.

See you next week!

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