Integrated Marketing Communication Plan: Pete Smith’s Surf Shop
Background Information / Creative Brief:
- Time Period: Christmas Season, 2016 (November- December 24th)
- Overall Campaign Goals:
The overall campaign goal is to increase brand awareness of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, in both locations and to drive sales up, specifically within the 2016 holiday season. Ideally, this campaign would be able to be one that takes place via online sales and in-store sales, however, since the Pete Smith’s Surf Shop website does not yet have the capabilities of an e-commerce store, the actual sale of goods will take place in store. A small amount of over-the-phone orders may be placed due, which could contribute to overall goal success.
In order to achieve this larger goal, the brand will set smaller goals that include not only advertising within the store and potentially putting signs and flyers up around its location, but also improving its website and social media channels. Though Pete Smith’s Surf Shop will not be able to transition into an e-commerce website by the start of the sale, it will hopefully be able to begin improving the website, which would ultimately make it one step closer to being able to realistically handle this transition. As far as social media channels go, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, will keep a very consistent message across all channels by formatting similar ideas into each channels formatting capabilities. This will allow the brand to be able to maximize each platform and allowing those who visit the channels to more easily connect with and recognize the brand and the message.
- Overall Campaign Theme:
The overall theme of this specific theme will be holiday inspired, specifically Christmas. Most of the demographic amongst the two stores are Christian and celebrate Christmas, so the brand felt as if it was more appropriate and would be more successful to create a Christmas campaign, rather than a holiday campaign. The main theme of Pete Smith’s Christmas Campaign, 2016, will be “Surfing with Santa”. The store will create red, green, and white advertisements and social postings that coincide with the stores limited-edition seasonal t-shirt that coincides with the campaign. The store will transition its traditional logo into one where Santa is seen riding a surfboard through a tropical ocean. Hopefully this idea gives off a surf vibe, while also spreading holiday cheer and thus increasing sales for the brand!
- Overall Campaign Messaging:
The overall messaging of the campaign will be one that is both age and gender-neutral, and that spreads holiday cheer, brand and sport awareness, and positivity. Basically, each message created for the campaign will be presented differently on each social media platform, however, each message will have the same meaning. Presentation and meaning are the two characteristics that will be focus of the campaign as we hope to create an overall message that remains clear, consistent, and identifiable throughout the campaigns entire duration and beyond. To be more situation-specific, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop will take the traditional elements of surfing and it’s brand, and expand upon them to make them more holiday/Christmas friendly.
For example, instead of using the traditional blue/yellow color scheme that the stores logo contains, it will use red and green to represent the holiday. Instead of using a typical in-shape and tanned surfer to ride the surfboard, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop will use Santa Clause. Each social media post will use Emojis that support both surfing and the holidays (ex: waves, sun, surfer, candy cane, Christmas tree, present, Santa) and the captions and messages themselves will be twisted to fit a holiday-oriented campaign. For example, a caption might begin with you “Have you been naughty or nice this year? IF you have been nice, make sure to treat yourself and come into Pete Smith’s to grab this limited edition logo t-shirt!” or a post might end with “Ho-Ho-Ho” at its closure. The store locations will also stay in the spirit of this message delivery by using similar in-person language when necessary and wearing Santa hats and reindeer ears! All small details like this will help contribute to the brands message.
- USP Value:
The Unique Selling Proposition that Pete Smith’s Surf Shop could incorporate into their seasonal campaign could be one that states, “Buy a gift for yourself, and give one to another, for the price of one!”. This proposition would mean that each time a customer purchases a Pete Smith’s limited-edition logo t-shirt, the brand would give a candy cane to the customer to take with them and enjoy, and then allow that customer to also take an additional candy cane to hang on the tree that is located near the cash register within the store. Each candy cane can represent a dollar and each time a candy cane is hung on the door, the brand will donate $1 to a local charity that supplies Christmas gifts to those in need. This is a great USP for the brand because it is small and achievable, yet will have a great impact on the community, while also encouraging customers to make that limited-edition logo t-shirt purchase. Yes, the brand could just place a sign over the t-shirts that says “for each shirt sold, Pete Smith’s will donate $1 to a local charity”, however, by allowing the customers to visually see the difference that they will be making in the community and by allowing the customer to actually participate within the gift giving process, will not only give each t-shirt a greater meaning, but will also tell the customer to care about their purchase. This website really does a great job at describing the goals of a USP, and I think that in regards to the information provided on this website, this will be a great USP for Pete Smith’s Surf Shop.
Since the entire Pete Smith’s Surf Shop campaign is based off of the holiday season, specifically Christmas, it will follow all of the 2016 holiday trends, and each trend will work itself into each message. It is hard to say what the specific trends will be for the season, as it is just beginning, but I assure that the Pete Smith’s team will closely monitor these anticipated trends and incorporate them into their campaigning message. For example, perhaps a new local charity will be started within the campaigns duration. This new charity can be where the money from the brands USP could be donated to. Or perhaps a specific holiday movie comes out in theaters during the time of the campaign that seems to have a positive message, be family oriented, and a great hit. Pete Smith’s Surf Shop could take quotes and ideas from the said movie and incorporate them into the captions of their social media posts. Maybe even a new style of Christmas tree or candy cane will be released this holiday season. The brand can purchase these items for the USP idea in order to keep up with society and its changes.
Evaluation + Content Sections
- Client Information
- Positioning Statement:
A Pete Smith’s Surf Shop Custom Wooden Surfboard is a unique board, ideal for surfers of all levels, who just want to own a board that is both stylish and trustworthy. A Pete Smith’s Surf Shop Custom Wooden Surfboard is guaranteed to be both handmade and one-of-a-kind, due to the labor that each local artisan puts into creating the board. Not only is the design of the board unique, but the sizing as well. If one were to order a board from one of our competitors, Billabong, Quicksilver, or Channel Islands, no only would the board be mass produced in a factory, but it would also be produced in a one-size-fits-all format. With a Pete Smith’s Surf Shop Custom Wooden Surfboard, each rider can come into the shop and personally be measured for their board to ensure that it is the proper size for the rider’s individual use. This allows riders of all levels, whether beginner, intermediate, or advanced, to have the ability to enjoy the custom boards. There is no other board on the market that allows the rider to be involved in the process like this from start to finish, so if you’re a surfer looking for a cool and reliable board, come get a Pete Smith’s Surf Shop Custom Wooden Surfboard!
- Summary of what Pete Smith’s is about:
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is a small, family owned and operated surf retailer and boutique with two locations in South Jersey. Pete Smith’s Surf Shop sells products and merchandise for men, women, children, and even small toddlers and babies. In saying this, Pete Smith’s is a brand that welcomes all customers and does its best to provide an intimate shopping experience. From the moment a customer walks in the door, to the moment that a customer receives a follow-up call asking about a recently purchased product, that individual should feel as if he or she just received a personal shopper at Pete Smith’s Surf Shop. Since both of its locations are of a boutique size, the business prides itself on having a very personal staff that does its best to care for customers, while also providing goods of a high quality. Pete Smith’s sells everything from traditional surf brands, such as Billabong wetsuits or Channel Island Surfboards, all the way to locally crafted bracelets that contain seashells from the South Jersey shore. Pete Smith’s Surf Shop wants to be the surf shop that everyone can turn to, while still giving the feeling that each customer is the only one within the store at any given time.
- Target Audience:
Though Pete Smith’s Surf Shop does its best to accommodate everyone and serve each customer based on his or her individual needs, it feels that its most common customer is usually around the age of 10-15, and either male or female. This customer is usually present within Pete Smith’s busiest season, summer, and is normally shopping with a parent(s) or guardian(s). The target audience usually is looking to purchase a surf related product to take to the local beach that is less than 2 blocks, or a 5 minute walk, from either of Pete Smith’s locations. Typically, the target audience has taken a few surf lessons in the past, whether the customer be a local or a tourist visiting the South Jersey shore on vacation, and is looking to advance his or her ride by purchasing his or her own surfboard, or buying accessories such as wax, stickers, fins, leashes, grip pads, or bags, that can be added to a previously made purchase. In saying this, the target audience needs reliable and up-to-date boards that they can use to excel through the water with, that are also safe and have great reviews, since most of the time, the target customers depend upon the monetary funding of the purchase from a parent or guardian.
- Utilization of IMC strategy using various multimedia channels:
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop should utilize an IMC strategy using various multimedia channels for a variety of very important reasons. There are actually seven specific steps that should be utilized when trying to create a consistent and effective IMC strategy across a variety of multimedia channels. These steps are all very crucial to the end result.
However, I believe that the most important of the seven steps is step number five, specifically within the context of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop. Step number five states “ensure that your messaging is integrated.” This means that regardless of whether or not a company uses three or ten multimedia platforms, and regardless of what those specific platforms are, just make sure that the chosen channels mesh together to drive traffic to the client’s target channel.
Specifically, though Pete Smith’s Surf Shop currently has a website, Twitter, Instagram account, Pinterest account, and Facebook page, its target channel is most certainly its Facebook page. The Facebook page is where the brand makes the majority of its postings, including pictures, sale and clearance updates, local community news, and any other type of announcement that may be applicable to Pete Smith’s and its customers. For example, each season Pete Smith’s creates limited-time holiday t-shirts, which are a spin off of their infamous and traditional “logo” t-shirts. Information on the release of these t-shirts can be found on the Facebook page, in addition to pictures that give a visual print of the t-shirt. From this point forward a customer who decides that he or she wants the shirt can either come into the store to buy it, or call the store and have it shipped for free. The contact information for these steps can also be found on the Facebook page so there is no doubt that Pete Smith’s most critical channel is its Facebook page.
In saying this, since Pete Smith’s is a small business and most site traffic is derived from word-of-mouth referrals and local customers, it should do its best to keep a consistent message across all five of its multimedia platforms. This means that though they can be formatted differently due to the nature of each channel, the banners and profile picture for each platform should be very similar and give the same message. For example, if Pete Smith’s is focusing on an end-of-summer sale, all channels should focus on this sale, not just one. This will help customers to more easily identify the store on each channel. Additionally, Pete Smith’s website, Twitter account, Pinterest account, and Instagram account, should all encourage visitors to log onto the brands Facebook page. Each smaller platform should support Pete Smith’s bigger platform, Facebook, in order to help customers more easily connect with and understand the brand, as the article describes. Overall, it is very important to have specific goals in mind while using IMC strategy and it is important to share the same message across all platforms while using various multimedia channels.
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop does have a website, and while it has most of the important features that a retail brand’s website should have, it could definitely be critiqued and improved upon to create an even better website. Ultimately, it might be a brand goal to have the website become the main multimedia channel, instead of the current Facebook page. However, in order for this to occur, e-commerce and online transactions would most likely need to be incorporated onto the site.
Currently, the website is one that has a main page that includes the brands logo, locations and contact information, Facebook and Twitter buttons, and a brief introduction. The page also has tabs for four other areas of the website which includes an “about” page, a “shop Pete Smith’s” page, a “social media” page, and a “downloads” page. Though each page is a crucial asset to the website and its success, each one can be tremendously improved upon to better contribute to the overall success of the platform.
First, the main page is fantastic in that it very clearly identifies whose website it is that the customer is on by containing both the name of the store and its logo, front and center. However, though the logo, which is primarily of blue and orange color, stands out due to the black background of the page, the overall color scheme of the site does not match the brands personality.
Though a contrast is definitely needed to make the logo and other page elements, such as social media buttons, stand out, the color used to make this happen should not be black. Black is a very serious color and does not coincide with the beach or surfing. Perhaps Pete Smith’s Surf Shop website should create a website that has a more vibrant and complex color scheme. The color scheme that I would personally recommend would include lighter tones of blues and yellows to match the stores logo, yet still allow it to stand out. Additionally, it is great that the main page contains the social media buttons for Pete Smith’s Facebook and Twitter pages, however, those are only two of the four social media platforms that the brand is on. There should also be a button that represents the brands Instagram and Pinterest accounts as well. If Pete Smith’s feels as if they should not link their Instagram and Pinterest accounts to the website, they should delete the accounts because it is crucial to have each platform integrated into one another in order to create a bigger picture. Perhaps the Facebook button could also be made larger than the other accounts since that it the main platform for the brand. Though this may be a preference recommendation, it may subtly help to point customers in the correct direction.
Second, the first subpage of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop’s main website is the “About” page. Other than changing the color scheme as previously mentioned, I believe that this page is perfect. It provides a brief history of the company that is formatted into multiple short paragraphs, while also providing many images that are incorporated into the text to help explain the paragraphs.
Third, the second subpage of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop’s main websites is the “Shop Pete Smith’s” page. This page is the one that I believe needs the most work. Though the page does highlight Pete Smith’s logo t-shirts, and some other products that are available, it does not allow customers to make any online purchases. The introduction to the page actually even says “This is just a sample of what we have in stock.” The subtitle for this page is deceiving to the customer and though it is great that the website is exemplifying what types of items the store carries, it needs to go one step further and make these items available to buy online at the click of a button.
Fourth, the second subpage of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop’s main website is the “Social Media” page. However, this page is not actually a page, unlike the rest of the subpages. It is actually just a drop down bar that allows the website visitor to pick from either the brands Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest page and be automatically directed to the account with just the click of a button. Though this is very easy and accessible to the visitors and potential customers, the “Social Media” portion of the website should be an actual page, since all of the other subpages are. This would promote consistency. The page could be very simple and just contain the links to the platforms, however, it should definitely be a page that contains its own URL. Additionally, the brands Twitter account is missing from the drop down Social Media bar, which is confusing. It is unclear why the Twitter account would not be included with all of the other social media platforms because it should be.
Fifth and final, the last subpage of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop’s main website is the “Downloads” page which is very unique to the brand. The page contains downloadable desktop and mobile phone images that visitors can download for personal use, such as phone backgrounds and desktop/laptop/table screensavers. Each picture is either a creative photo of products the store sells, such as surfboards, or of the local beach. There are many images to chose from and each one contains the brands logo in the lower right hand corner. This is great for advertising purposes. This is definitely a strong point of the website that may be overlooked.
Overall, though Pete Smith’s Surf Shop does have a great starting point for its website, especially considering that it was independently created by one of the stores managers on a whim, it could definitely be improved upon. The website does have many different subpages to it, which is great, but if the site could just work on consistency a little more I believe that it could tremendously benefit. The content and format of the website is great, it just needs to be updated in terms of available products, color scheme, and social media links.
Though Pete Smith’s Surf Shop could definitely hire an individual or company to come in and revamp its website it definitely could be done on a smaller scale as well. I believe that since the brand is so small and depends so greatly on locals and vacationers for much of its foot traffic and business, that if it bought a sample campaign for keywords via Google AdWords the site traffic could greatly expand. Some of the SEO could include making sure that the Pete Smith’s Surf Shop website was made visible when web users browsed things such as “New Jersey” and “Surfing”. Perhaps Pete Smith’s could even be made available when locals searched particular brands that the store carries such as SunBum, Billabong, Ripcurl, Channel Island, Hurely, and Roxy. To better understand SEO this is a great link, that I highly recommend.
At this present moment, I believe that Pete Smith’s Surf Shop should focus itself and its advertising on the largest and upcoming holiday season, Christmas. Most of the surf shop’s demographic is of Christian decent and celebrates the Christmas holiday, so Pete Smith’s should focus on this event and create a campaign in order to boost Christmas sales. Amongst the religious event itself, Christmas is a season of gift giving and it will be the busiest time for the brand, until summer kicks off around Memorial Day Weekend in late may. In saying this, Pete Smith’s should put all of its efforts into driving up Christmas sales. There are so many ways to do this as Christmas is a time that coincides with different colors, moods, and symbols. If Pete Smith’s could create a campaign that incorporated some of the meaningful characteristics of Christmas into their brand, it would be a great success.
The main phrase that Pete Smith’s should focus on during the campaign would be the name of the campaign itself, which is “Surfing with Santa”. It is important that the campaigns name is a SEO phrase that can be used to increase the amount of visitors to the brands website. In addition to the main SEO phrase, another SEO phrase that can be useful within the specific campaign will include, “New Jersey gift giving charities”. This will be important because it highlights the USP of the brand within the campaign. Additional SEO keywords can include, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop – which is most obviously the name of the brand itself, Surf Stores open year round in New Jersey – which is important because not all surf shops in New Jersey are open year round but Pete Smith’s is so this could create business, and Stone Harbor or Cape May, New Jersey – because these are the locations of the two stores.
When looking at competitors of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, it is important to keep in mind the size of the store. Though the brand does sell larger brand names such as Roxy and Billabong, those are multi-million companies who have headquarter offices, hundreds of distribution centers, and thousands of employees, so Pete Smith’s obviously cannot create content that is of the same caliber. Additionally, the customers of Roxy and Billabong tend to be international, whereas Pete Smith’s customers are local, so the content should not be the same.
In saying this, two other local surf shops near Pete Smith’s that are on the same playing field are Heritage Surf and Sport in Ocean City, New Jersey, and Kona Surf Co. in Wildwood, New Jersey. Both competitors are also located at the Southern New Jersey Shore and are less than a 20-minute drive away. Though both of these brands are similar to Pete Smith’s in terms of merchandise and target audience, they are all unique and create inner-business competition. In saying this, they each have very different websites with different strengths and weaknesses. However, Pete Smith’s can learn from the strengths of these competitors websites by trying to incorporate them into their own website.
For example, Heritage Surf and Sport, probably has the most professional website out of the bunch. Like Pete Smith’s they have a main business page, and then have subpages that visitors can click on.
Like Pete Smith’s, Heritage Surf and Sport has multiple locations, and each location has a subpage. This is unique because each store is slightly different from the rest, so they should be identified individually. Pete Smith’s should create subpages for both of its locations to clarify which stores sell which items. For example one of the Pete Smith’s locations sells Tommy Bahama, while the other doesn’t. In contrast, the other location sells Ralph Lauren Polo, whereas the first does not. These subpages really help create clarity when stores have more than one location and each location is different. Additionally, though Heritage Surf and Sport does not have a huge online retail selection, they do sell their own variation of their logo t-shirts and make these items available to purchase online.
This is a great example of the type of e-commerce website that Pete Smith’s should strive to create, until it has the capabilities to put all of its goods online.
Kona Surf Co. also has a great website and I would say that it lies somewhere between the Heritage Surf and Sports website and Pete Smith’s Surf Shops current website. Kona Surf Co. makes a lot of its goods available online, which would be a long term goal for Pete Smith’s. Kona Surf Co. also seems to regularly update their website as they have “fall inspired” banners that float across the top of the page.
The bottom of the main portion of Kona Surf. Co.’s website also has an area that allows visitors to connect with the brand on all of their other forms of social media, which is critical and should be something that Pete Smith’s should inspire to mimic.
Overall, though the examples of the other competitors websites may be a little more advanced than Pete Smith’s, the goods that they sell are the same, and the in-store sales are almost identical. In saying this, Pete Smith’s has the potential and ability to create a website that is equal to or better than both Heritage Surf and Sport and Kona Surf Co., it just needs to improve upon its current foundation. For example, the graphics on both of the competitor websites are far more advanced than Pete Smith’s, so this, in addition to working on e-commerce and keeping the website updated, could be an area that the brand zooms in on. Pete Smith’s could also work on a more consistent social media linkage for clarity and its color scheme for ascetic purposes as mentioned earlier. However, what Pete Smith’s does have that neither website does is its “Downloads” section. This subpage of the website is so unique to Pete Smith’s and really gives it an edge on its competitors. If the brand could use this edge and revamp it, just a little, it would instantly help to better the website.
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop does not currently have a blog. However, blogging is very, very important. Often times those who are very invested in online shopping will turn to blogs for more information and potentially even reviews on particular brands and products, so having a blog for a retail store is always a great idea, or at least something to be considered. Despite the pros of blogging, I actually do not think that at this very specific point in time that Pete Smith’s Surf Shop would entirely benefit from the use of a blog and I believe this for a few reasons. First of all, Pete Smith’s is a small family owned and operated business and it does not have that many employees. This leads to the issue of “who runs the blog”. Even if the brand were to find someone who could run the blog, I believe at this point in time, that individual should focus itself on website and social media improvement. I think that those two channels are the most important for Pete Smith’s Surf Shop and those areas should be perfected before moving onto blogging. I additionally am unsure how much attention the blog would receive since the brand is a local business and the current manager of the social media platforms tends to only focus on very, very small local topics… such as what she is eating for lunch. In saying this, the current social manager might not be able to create a blog with a specific, meaningful purpose.
However, if Pete Smith’s Surf Shop was able to branch out and create an online store like mentioned earlier, improve its other current channels, and better understand the ins and outs of such platforms, I believe that it would be awesome for the brand to at least try to create a blog, as it is a great channel to turn to! Essentially people use blogs to communicate and to share information on specific topics. Pete Smith’s is a store that specializes in extreme sports such as surfing, so if it were able to advance itself technologically, it would be the perfect candidate for blogging. The brand could not only blog about its products, but it also could blog about the sport of surfing in general, in which case I believe if blogged about correctly, could receive a huge amount of site traffic and brand recognition.
Though I could not find the blogs of any of Pete Smith’s local competitors, I found a more distant competitor, located in North Carolina, that has a great blog! The competition is South End Surf Shop and it has a whole blog, which is connected to its main website, that focuses on Surf Weather Reports. The blog goes into detail about wave heights, water temperatures, and winds so that surfers have all of the information that they need before surfing at their local beach. This makes the brand one that not only sells surfboards and goods, but also one that is reliable by providing its customers with updated “swell” information. This is a great idea for a surf shop blog because it is applicable to the target audience and one that I do think Pete Smith’s Surf Shop should try to mimic within New Jersey!
If I were to create a blog for Pete Smith’s Surf Shop, I think I would either create one that focuses on the accomplishments of local surfers in local events, or I would create one that focuses on local weather and surf reports. I believe that the local weather might be a better idea, just because it is something that can be updated year-round. After November the ocean water in New Jersey gets so cold that if one were to try to surf he or she would be putting him or herself in danger due to the low water temperatures. In saying this, there would not be any local surfing events going on between the months of December -May. A weather blog would be something that could be discussed each day, or week, without having to take seasonal breaks. I could also include store announcements in the second half of the blog post in order to inform potential customers, while I already have their attention. This will keep blog followers engaged and brand conscious year-round, as Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is a year-round store as well!
My example will be of a specific blog post that could made at the start of the campaign (early November), which also happens to be around the exact same time that the surf season in New Jersey begins to wrap up.
Pete Smith’s Surf Report: Good Morning Surfers!
Unfortunately, today marks what could potentially be “the beginning of the end” for the 2016 surf season here in South Jersey.
The air temperature outside is a chilly 54 degrees, and the winds are at an average of 15 mph.
You know what this means!
The water current is strong and waves are rolling in at an over-the-head range.
We are currently looking at waves between 10-15 feet, and this swell is only for the most advance of local riders, so stay safe if you do choose to beat the cold this afternoon!
Pete Smith’s Tip: Make sure to wear your full-body wetsuits to combat the cold water! Also, only use short boards this afternoon, as long boards will be far too hard to control.
If you need either of these items, you know where to come! Any merchandise leftover from the summer is currently 30% off, so surf affordably on one of the last days of the season!
However, even advance riders should be cautious of these waves because they are crashing into shoreline much harder than usual due to the high winds, and the tide is one that could most definitely even pull the biggest “Kahuna” under.
To help combat this unfortunate, yet inevitable start to the winter weather season, we would like to also make another quick announcement!
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is officially beginning its holiday season and all of us here at Pete’s will be Surfing with Santa this Christmas season! Yes, that means that our limited –edition logo t-shirts will be rolling off of the shelves starting this afternoon, and this years design is one that you do not want to miss!
We are also donating $1 of every t-shirt purchased to a local charity that provides Christmas gifts to children in families who do not have the means to do so. So, get stoked for this holiday season and spread the cheer by purchasing one of our 2016 tee’s. (We may or may not be giving away free candy canes as well!) A gift for you and a gift for a child in need is the ultimate way to ~ride into this cold holiday season!
- Social Media
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is currently on four social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, as discussed before. Though the brand is present on all of these very successful and widely used platforms they could definitely improve in each one in a different way. If Pete Smith’s was able to use each platform to its fullest capability, the success rate would be tremendous and would hopefully encourage users to navigate to the brands Facebook page, which is its current target platform.
First and foremost, the Facebook page of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is its most followed social media channel. The page is great in that the profile picture is an image of the outside of the sotre, while the conver photo is a photo of the mercahnidise in the indside of the store.
However, the page only focuses on the bigger of the two stores, perhaps the brand should create two Facebook pages or try to incorpate both locations into its already established page. Apart from that, the brand posts all sorts of updates, merchandise pictures, and in-store promotions that are going on. The brand also has contact information redily available, in addition to a link to their website and other social media pages. Pete Smith’s also interacts with the customers through the comments section of the page. For example, if a customer compliments the brand, Pete Smith’s will be sure to say “thank you” back, instead of not acknowledging the compliment. The brand is also avaible to chat with through their Facebook page so they are very accessible and active to accommodate their customers. Overall, I do not think that the Facebook page of Pete Smith’s needs too much work.
Second, the Twitter account of Pete Smith’s has a great starting base, however, could use some tweaking. The Twitter account of Pete Smith’s is very active and has a lot of great updates about the brand. These updates include uploading pictures of new merchandise as it becomes available and keeping customers in the loop with different discounts that are going on at a said time. However, most of the posts are dervived from either the brands Instagram or Facebook accounts so every signle one contains some type of link, and most are well over the 140 character limit so followers cannot fully read the message that the brand is trying to convey.
Though this is acceptable some of the time, Pete Smith’s should work on creating some content that is specific to Twitter. This could be as simple as rewording a Facebook announcement about a new shipment of t-shirts so that it fits within the Twitter guidelines. This will help the brand to be more present on Twitter, because as of right now, it looks like a timeline that the brand uses to review all of its other social media postings.
Third, the Instagram account of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is what I feel the social media manager puts most of her pride and joy oriented efforts into. It is updated multiple times per day and contains a lot of different types of content. The content includes anything from pictures of the local beach, to merchandise, to local event photography, all the way to what the social media manager is eating for lunch. Though this are interesting posts, I believe that the account needs a slightly stricter guidelines in regards to what content is posted. Sales and merchandise should most certainly be posted on a regular basis. High quality beach pictures and local event images that support other small business could also be posted occasionally. However, though many surfers and the target audience may also eat healthy, food pictures should not be included on the account as it may confuse followers. If one were scrolling down his or her news feed and saw a picture of a smoothie without first seeing who posted it, he or she would most not likely relate the post back to a surf shop… any posts that fall into this category should not be made in the future as they create clutter and confusion within the account. However, the account does have a lot of great images and gets a lot of different messages out, so with slight tweaking it could be even more successful than it already is.
Lastly, the Pinterest account of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is one that is not really active and is not contributing to the current success of the brand, so it should be deleted. Though the boards on the accounts page are all relevant to the brand, they have not been updated in a long time. There are also only a few boards, each with under 30 pins, so it just seems as if the brand does not have time to also run a Pinterest page so perhaps it should be deleted until a future time. Pete Smith’s Surf Shops following audience is much smaller than that of its other platforms, so from an analytical standpoint this tells me that the target audience really is not engaging with the brand via Pinterest and unless the brand can dedicate a large amount of time each day to update the account, it really is not worth having at this point in time.
In regards to other social media channels, I would first suggest that Pete Smith’s either tries to create a YouTube or a Vimeo account, both of which are video enabling platforms. Pete Smith’s put a large amount of focus on its surfing customers and surfing is an extreme and very visual sport. In saying this, it would be great to see the brand create one of these channels so that it could post videos of the sport. These videos could range anywhere from professional surfing competitions, to local competitors, to 101 and how-to videos. If Pete Smith’s could create some video content and get enough of it that it would be worth creating a new account on one of these platforms, I think customers would appreciate it greatly, even if the videos did not particular relate to the brand, but just the sport in general. I saw that both of the previously analyzed competitors, Heritage Surf and Sport and Kona Surf Co., had YouTube accounts linked to their main websites, and the videos within the YouTube accounts received many views. YouTube and Vimeo are both platforms that surfers spend a lot of time on due to the visual aspect of the sport, so not only would it show that Pete Smith’s is actively trying to reach out to and engage with the its customers at their convenience, but it would also create another form of awareness for the brand, as each channel used increases that statistic!
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is very active on its Facebook account, and often times posts in-store discount and community event status’ that include images! In saying this, I have created some posts that could add to this already established and successful posting theme, in regards to the upcoming holiday campaign.
The posts will be made at the exact same time that Pete Smith’s launches its Christmas campaign. Each post will also be made a the same time within the day so that customers know what to expect. Each post will incorporate the campaigns title, Surfing with Santa into it, and will contain the same hashtags for consistency purposes. Hypothetically this would be about the second week in November and the following posts will be used to create awareness about the campaign.
Sunday (1:00 pm): Announce the Campaign
This post would include a bulleted picture that visually contains details about the campaign. Ex: dates, price of shirt, sizes available. The picture included in this post will match the holiday color scheme of red and green, and will also contain the Pete Smith’s lightly faded in the background.
The goal of this post is to make followers and customers aware of the campaign.
The caption for this picture will read:
“ANNOUNCEMENT! We are very happy to be kicking off the Christmas Season a little bit early here at Pete Smith’s Surf Shop by SURFING WITH SANTA! This year we are celebrating the gift of giving by creating a new limited edition logo-shirt! Pete Smith’s will donate $1 to local charity, (Insert Name), for each t-shirt sold! We also will give you and the donation recipient a candy cane to go along with your purchase! We are selling our new Surfing with Santa shirt starting tomorrow, November 8th, up until Christmas Eve, December 24th! Make sure to stop in to Pete Smith’s to treat yourself and spread some holiday cheer amongst the local community!”
We will not link this post to anything, as the design for the t-shirt has not been revealed at this point, nor will the website be selling it via e-commerce. However, hashtags include: #SurfingwithSanta #PeteSmith’sSurfShop #CharityName #ShopLocal #Christmas #NewJeresy
Monday (1:00 pm): Explain the Campaign More in Depth
This post will not include a picture, as it serves as a reiteration for those who missed yesterdays post.
This is a strictly “status style” post. This post aims to create excitement for the reveal of the T-shirt design. The post will read:
“Hello Again! In case you missed yesterdays HUGE announcement, we just wanted to let you know that Pete Smith’s just unofficially declared the start of the BEST holiday ever…Christmas! We have decided to spend this holiday season SURFING WITH SANTA and we JUST got our limited edition logo t-shirts in, and we can’t lie, we did a great job at designing them this year! It’s a gift that you NEED to put on your Christmas list! To make matters even better, we have teamed up with, (Insert Charity Name Here), and each shirt purchased, we will be donating a $1 for! We also have candy canes! Make sure to stop in before the big day is here, the next six weeks will go by quickly!”
This post will include a link to the original post made the day before, incase fans did miss out on the post. This post will also include the hashtags: #SurfingwithSanta #PeteSmith’sSurfShop #Charity Name #ShopLocal #Christmas #NewJeresy
Tuesday (1:00 pm): Reveal the T-shirt Design for the Campaign
This post will include a photo of the design of the logo, as it will be a visual example for those who want to know how great the shirt really is.
This post hopefully will persuade all who were skeptical of the shirt and its design to purchase it.
The post will read:
“Well, we couldn’t wait any longer and we wanted to share our NEW and AWESOME design! We are STOKED to announce our Surfing with Santa design for the 2016 season! Check it out below and make sure to like it, comment on it, and share it with friends! Its a holiday-must have that you don’t want to miss out on!”
This post will also include the hashtags: #SurfingwithSanta #PeteSmith’sSurfShop #Charity Name #ShopLocal #Christmas #NewJeresy
Wednesday (1:00 pm): Reveal information about USP Charity Component of the Campaign:
This post will include either the logo of the charity that Pete Smith’s is partnering with, or a photo of the charity itself. Depending upon which image is an option or of better quality.
The goal of this post is to create a sense of reality and for customers to see how dedicated Pete Smith’s is as a brand to this local charity, while also giving the campaign a more personal feel. We want customers to see where their money is/could be going if they chose to buy the shirt and how important the cause is.
“It’s Wednesday and we’re back! During our lunch break from Surfing with Santa, we just just wanted to give you a brief background story about the amazing charity that we chose to partner up with for this holiday season! (Insert Charity Name Here) is a charity that donates gifts to families in need with small children. Each gift donated will be wrapped by (Insert Charity Name Here) and dropped off to those families in need on Christmas Eve. Each present will be given to the children of these families on Christmas morning, by their parents or guardians, so that they can at least open one present from Santa, when they otherwise would not have been able to do so. Please remember how special Christmas was to you when you were a child and consider purchasing a t-shirt so that Pete Smith’s can donate money to supply gifts and wrapping paper to (Insert Charity Name Here) and hopefully make a difference in the lives of hundreds of local children. Thank you!”
This post will also include the hashtags: #SurfingwithSanta #PeteSmith’sSurfShop #CharityName #ShopLocal #Christmas #NewJeresy
Thursday (1:00 pm): Take a picture of the Pete Smith’s employees wearing the t-shirt to show how great the shirt is
This post will include an image of a few of the Pete Smith’s Surf Shop employees wearing the limited edition logo t-shirt and within the picture the employees will have either a Santa hat or reindeer ears on to add to the theme of the picture. The employees will either be smiling or making a funny face to spread cheer!
The goal of this post is to make followers and customers want to “fit in” with Pete Smith’s and finally purchase THAT shirt that they have been hearing and reading about all week!
The post will read:
“Do YOU want to be as merry as we are here at Pete Smith’s Surf Shop this holiday season?! Do you want to fit in with our employees?! Do you want to SURF WITH SANTA?! If so, YOU CAN! Come into our store and buy your limited edition logo t-shirt today! We are open until 8pm!”
This post will also include the hashtags: #SurfingwithSanta #PeteSmith’sSurfShop #CharityName #ShopLocal #Christmas #NewJeresy
Friday (1:00 pm): Take a picture of a customer hanging up a candy cane on the tree to endorse the campaign.
This post will include a picture of a customer who bought the limited edition logo t-shirt who is hanging up his/her candy cane on the three to represent the $1 charity donation.
This post aims to create customer appreciation and to encourage others who want to have this same experience to come into the store so that they can purchase a shirt and make a difference in the local community.
The post will read:
“Look who Surfed with Santa this week! This is customer (Insert Name upon Permission), hanging up a candy cane on our tree to represent the $1 that just went towards (Insert Charity Name here)! We are so glad that (Insert Customer Name Here) was able to make a difference within the local community, and to do it in style with our limited edition logo t-shirt! You can be like (Insert Customer Name Here), you just have to visit us before December 24th!”
This post will also include the hashtags: #SurfingwithSanta #PeteSmith’sSurfShop #CharityName #ShopLocal #Christmas #NewJeresy
Saturday: (1:00 pm): Genrally remind the followers/customers of the campaign. Reinforce dates and times the store is open so that people know when they can come get a shirt and donate $1.
This post will be the final post within the initial campaign advertisement. It will serve as a reminder post. It will contain another similar image that has store dates and times where customers can come in to make the purchase. It also will include information on how to donate to the said charity, if the individual wishes to donate more than $1.
This post aims to be the final push that those who didn’t already buy a shirt need in order to buy one!
The post will read:
“Well it’s Saturday guys and have you Surfed with Santa yet?! The Pete Smith’s limited-edition logo t-shirts have been in stock for almost a full week now and our customers have LOVED them so far! Don’t forget that each t-shirt purchase also helps out the local community, so don’t miss out on this awesome cause!”
However, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is not as first-hand active on its Twitter account, so I chose to make posts that could hopefully improve this platform, as I feel that with some guidance, it could be one that is very valuable to the brand. Instead of just linking their Tweets to Facebook and Instagram posts, I have decided to make posts that are specifically created for Twitter! This means that each post is under 140 characters and followers will not need to refer to other links in order to fully understand the tweet. Though Pete Smith’s would normally add a link within their Twitter post, I will not. I will include a link in the “bio” portion of the brands Twitter page incase an individual wishes to visit the Facebook page to gather more detailed information on the campaign.
The tweets will coincide with the messages that were posted on Facebook, however, will be posted a little bit later in the day, as they will serve to support the messages. They will also contain only the campaign name hashtag and the charity name hashtag in that these are the two most important aspects of the whole capping itself. In saying this, each Tweet will deliver the same message that the Facebook posts did, just differently due to platform character limitations.
Sunday (4:00 pm): Announce the Campaign
Have you heard the news?! Pete Smith’s is kicking off the holiday season early this year! Link in bio! #SurfingwithSanta #CharityName
This post will spread awareness of the campaign via Twitter.
Monday (4:00 pm): State who Pete Smith’s is supporting within the campaign
PSSS is #SurfingwithSanta this season & teaming up with #CharityName to provide gifts for children in need, while also keeping you in style!
This post will alert followers that there is a charity aspect to the campaign, which is very appealing to most.
Tuesday (4:00 pm): Imply that the t-shirt design has been revealed
Did you know that Santa can surf?! Spread awareness and buy a limited edition #SurfingwithSanta t-shirt, while also supporting #CharityName
This post will get followers excited about the design of the t-shirt because it is so unique.
Wednesday (4:00 pm): Reveal information about USP Charity Component of the Campaign
#CharityName has the ability to give gifts to kids in our community who are in need this holiday season, join the cause #SurfingwithSanta
This post will create a sense of realism in regards to the campaign and its benefits to the local community.
Thursday (4:00 pm): Rant about how the Pete Smith’s employees love the new t-shirt
Everyone is wearing their #SurfingwithSanta tee today! Don’t you want to be apart of this?! Come & get yours while supporting #CharityName
This post will make followers want to be in the “in-crowd” and purchase a t-shirt to fit in.
Friday (4:00 pm): Mention the Candy Cane aspect of the campaign
Each time u purchase a #SurfingwithSanta tee, a donation is made to #CharityName & YOU get to hang up a candycane on OUR tree in honor of it
This post will make followers want to purchase a t-shirt so they can be involved within the process of the donation.
Saturday: (4:00 pm): Genrally remind the followers/customers of the campaign.
Why haven’t you gone #SurfingwithSanta yet?!?!?! Come in TODAY and buy the limited edition logo tee, while supporting #CharityName !!!!!!!
This post will encourage all those who haven’t already purchased a t-shirt to do so ASAP!
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop does not currently use email marketing strategies. At this point in time, I feel as if the company does not need to focus entirely on such strategies, as it is a small business that first needs to perfect other technological areas. However, after perfecting its website and social media channels, the brand should eventually consider becoming involved in such strategy, as it is one that is very important and provides great results, especially in terms of retail.
Yet, the brand does respond to individual emails within in their active g-mail account, that can be found both on the Facebook page and the main website. Normally the emails include the subjects of potential employment opportunities and the recalling of either a very positive, or very negative, in store shopping experience. At this point the brand will communicate back with the individual on the other end of the email and seek the appropriate measures.
Though Pete Smith’s currently does employ more of a problem-solving, one-on-one type of email strategy, it should later employ a more marketing oriented email strategy. Marketing emails are used to send out information to the personal accounts of mass amounts of both current and prospective customers. The information within such an email can include anything from a typical announcement – such as the store closing due to weather, up to discount codes and sale promotion dates – where customers are encouraged to come in and shop. However, regardless of the type of message marketing email, the main goal is to create brand awareness and to increase store sales and customer loyalty, which are all goals of Pete Smith’s Surf Shop.
Pete Smith’s Surf Shop could simply ask customers at check out if they would like to be included on an email list. If a customer were to say yes, Pete Smith’s could enter their information into the computer and then send them an automated thank you email later that day with a discount for the next time they shop, as a token of appreciation for their information. After that, the customer could be on a regular mailing list that receives emails once or twice a month that works to keep customers updated on different in-store promotions and events. This would encourage customers to come into the stores and to check out merchandise, and therefor increase sales. However, when asking for email information, Pete Smith’s should emphasize that it does not share information nor spam its contact list. In saying this Pete Smith’s will need some type of security plan in place before creating a marketing email strategy, in addition to creating a very detailed email schedule, to ensure that the brand is not sending too many emails in a short amount of time, which often leads to customer dissatisfaction and email unsubscription.
However, in the time being, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop can use Facebook business pages within Facebook to find new customers and to be ready for inquiries. Pete Smith’s can do this by creating a Facebook campaign and then using their already established email to respond to messages that they receive in response to the campaign. Thanks to Facebook Insights, Pete Smith’s can identify what demographic is looking at and interacting with their future campaign then use those demographics not just for future reference, but in order to better understand who their customers are in order to create more meaningful content. This should not be too much of a challenge for Pete Smith’s as they already have a business page that uses Facebook Insights. However, with a Facebook Campaign Pete Smith’s may be able to individual reach out to more potential customers in hopes of creating a relationship, so as one can tell this is another form of Facebook advertising that could benefit the brand. Once that potential relationship is established Pete Smith’s also will hopefully eventually be able to have another customer that can be added to their email marketing list, so it is important to note that email and Facebook should never be overlooked as they are two great forms of technology that can greatly contribute to brand awareness and revenue if approached correctly.
Email Template: Within this email Template I chose to remain more simple, as Pete Smith’s is more of a laid-back type of brand. I also chose to remain simple because the brand is most often replying to employment inquiries and customer satisfaction stories, so there is no need for an extravagant and overbearing template. I used basic HTML features and the brands logo and colors to create what I felt was the perfect email template for Pete Smith’s Surf Shop.
*Note: I would remove the black background from the logo, so that the image attached would only be what is enclosed within the circle. (However, due to Photoshop issues, I could not crop the image properly, but here is a good idea of what I would create.)
Facebook Messenger Messages:
Option 1: This option would be a message that would be extended to someone who left a very, very nice and out of the ordinary response on the brands Facebook page. This option would essentially acknowledge the time the individual took to create the said message and thank the individual for their kind words, all while exemplifying appreciate and trying to create a future customer-brand relationship. The customer should leave this conversation with a feeling of happiness.
Hello (Insert First Name Here), my name is (Insert First Name Here) and I am the media manager here at Pete Smith’s Surf Shop. I would like to personally thank you for your kind words on the (Insert Specifics) post, on behalf of myself and the whole entire Pete Smith’s Surf Shop family. We strive to make each customer feel welcomed and comfortable within their in-store shopping experience, and we are so glad that we were able to do so and provide you with a product you love! We would love to extend this 20% discount to you (insert discount card attachment or image) in honor of our appreciation! You may use it within the next calendar year on any item of your! We can’t wait to see you and thank you for your business! Welcome to the Pete Smith’s family and we hope you have a great day!
Option 2: This option would be a message that would be extended to someone who left a comment that was not belittling to the brand, but could rather be categorized as constructive criticism and expressed customer dissatisfaction. This option would essentially acknowledge the individual, apologize for the situation and explain what may have occurred, and offer an appropriate solution, all while exemplifying the appreciation that Pete Smith’s has for the customers comment. The customer should leave this conversation with a feeling of resolution.
Hello (Insert First Name Here), my name is (Insert First Name Here) and I am the media manager here at Pete Smith’s Surf Shop. We thank you so much for your business, however, we are greatly saddened to hear that your experience while shopping with us was not one to be noted in a positive light. At Pete Smith’s Surf Shop we strive to make each customer feel both comfortable and welcomed, while providing goods of a high quality, and my team and I are trying to make up for your unpleasant experience. (Use this sentence to acknowledge the situation at hand). We would like to extend our hand and present you with this 10% off coupon, should you choose to visit us again. Additionally, if you have any other issues with any product that you have purchased or questions about a product, please feel free to call us at (insert phone number) or message us here on Facebook, and we will do our best to assist you. Again we apologize for the dilemma, but hope to see you again.
- Goals and Metrics
Overall, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is not just a brand that should be proud of its employees and its in store successes, but one that should be proud of its technological marketing success too. Pete Smith’s Surf Shop has demonstrated a tremendous amount of effort and achievement within its website, and all four of its social media platforms. The platforms all tie into one another to create a larger marketing message, and with a few tweaks here and there, the brand will be able to be more marketing-oriented and successful than they could have ever imagined.
Apart from refining the points discussed earlier, Pete Smith’s should incorporate some type of analytical tool into their mix. An analytical tool essentially could help Pete Smith’s measure whether or not their online platforms are successful in achieving their goals. These analytics could provide raw data and numbers so that the brand could better understand where to focus its time on. For example, an analytical tool could highlight the demographics that the brand touches on Facebook so that Pete Smith’s could create more meaningful messages that might better impact their customers. Some more advanced tools even make suggestions in regards to how a brand could better itself on said platforms. An example of this would include tools that measure the views, likes and comments a brand receives on a platform, such as Instagram. Advanced analytical tools could suggest when the best time to make a post would be, in terms of reaching the largest audience and getting the best response.
Specifically, since Pete Smith’s is a small business, I would suggest that it uses an analytical tool that can analyze all of its social media platforms at once, instead of using different tools to analyze different accounts. An example of an analytical tool that fits these characteristics that I would personally suggest would be Hootsuite. Hootuite is a social media management dashboard that not only had the ability to analyze all of the platforms that Pete Smith’s is currently one, but also has the ability to schedule posts, so that the brand does not forget. This is a very important feature, as Pete Smith’s social media is run by one individual, who also manages the store, so this would help the social media posts to be more organized and less stressful. Additionally, due to its dashboard format it is very easy to understand and not extensive interpretation knowledge is needed.
In order to apply the information discovered in Hootsuite into the actual business plan, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop should look at three particular Return on Investment metrics. After making posts, analyzing the Hootsuite data, altering the posts according to the Hootsuite analytics, and then re-analyzing the data, Pete Smith’s should go back into the company itself and check to see if its revenue is increasing. Though Hootesuite can supply Pete Smith’s with raw numbers and information, revenue would be an indicator as to weather customers are really actively responding to the social media posts. For example, did the sales of a particular product featured within a campaign increase? If the answer is yes, the campaign was successful and worth the brand’s time. If not, more change needs to be made, whether that means altering post content or changing social media channels. The second ROI metric Pete Smith’s should look at after revenue is productivity. This ROI metric is extremely applicable to the change that I suggested within the companies Twitter account. Can the customers easily take the next step that is encouraged through each post, or do they need to backtrack or take multiple steps in order to achieve the goal of a post. For example, can a customer identify a message within Twitter or does he or she need to leave Twitter to find the original message, and then return to Twitter to fully understand the post? If so, the message needs to be reformatted to better fit the platform. Lastly, the third ROI metric Pete Smith’s should look at is results. The customers need to know that their business is appreciated and the brand needs to show this appreciation not only through their in-store efforts, but through their social media platforms as well. Are the results of a customer buying a product being made more obvious through better Instagram and Facebook posts? Does the website look more professional than it used to? Pete Smith’s needs to take the money that is earned from results and put it back into the business to better itself. It is so crucial to have each platform be as organized and professional, while still fitting the brands personality, as possible.
Hopefully, if Pete Smith’s keeps all of these ROI metrics in minds and uses an analytical tool, such as Hootsuite, it will be able to better itself as a brand and achieve goals. Ultimately, Pete Smith’s wants to create more brand awareness and increase sales, however, smaller goals to achieve these larger goals start in places such as social media platforms. For example, Pete Smith’s should work on incorporating both locations into its Facebook page, reformatting Tweets on its Twitter account so that they are more accessible, deleting their inactive Pinterest account, creating a video-enabled account such as YouTube or Vimeo, and de-cluttering their Instagram account by posting photos that only apply to the brand itself. Pete Smith’s should also improve its website by reformatting the design and color template on its website for consistency purposes, and work on creating a website that supports e-commerce, first of logo t-shirts, then for all goods. Once all of these goals are achieved the brand can then set a goal to create a blog and an email marketing list. Though these may seem like an overwhelming amount of goals, it is important for the company to not rush through them and to approach them with caution. If tackled systematically, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop will be able to achieve each goal and eventually have a brand that is built on a foundation of gold.