Faced with a luxury consumer who has high mobile expectations and a demonstrated tendency to spend big online, luxury marketers are upping the ante. According to a survey of over 130 worldwide luxury marketing executives conducted by Worldwide Business Research and ShopIgniter, 85% said they planned to increase their digital marketing spend in 2013. Social media was a particular area of focus, with 72% increasing spending in that area specifically.
Facebook is presently seen as the key social platform; 95% of luxury marketers said they were actively engaging customers there. Twitter was the next most popular platform, followed by relative newcomer Pinterest.
The power of social is considerable. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube were all more popular places to engage consumers than ecommerce sites, which have a more direct connection to online luxury brands. That being said, more than half of respondents were reaching out through those channels as well.
Visual-focused social sites held special appeal to luxury marketers given their preferred content strategies and conversation tactics. The most popular approach among content, conversation and product-promotion tactics: posting product imagery, which 81% were using. A majority also said they were deploying video (75%) and content related to new product launches (60%).
When it comes to mobile, however, luxury marketers are still finding their way. While affluent consumers are more likely to be smartphone users than the general population, packing a premium experience into a small screen presents a challenge for luxury goods marketers, for whom luxe is in the details. Only 35% of marketers said they used mobile apps, and only 26% were making use of mobile commerce.
Loyalty programs were another little-used tactic that could potentially play a big role on the web—so far, just 20% were trying them.