Online fast fashion retailer Superbalist.com has been described by YouTube as ‘its most innovative African advertiser’. And the online fast fashion retailer has won a slew of marketing awards over the past few years. The company credits its success to razor sharp focus and an ‘obsession’ with customers.
Superbalist.com was the most awarded brand at the 2016 Bookmark Awards, won five Bookmark and three Loeries in 2017 and was named Best Niche Shopping Experience at the Tech & E-Commerce Awards.
Klyne Maharaj, Head of Brand at Superbalist.com says their marketing revolves around Big Data, analytics and artificial intelligence, which is used to constantly improve, update and personalise its marketing efforts. He adds that the fact that the majority of the marketing is done by an in-house team has allowed it to nimbly use data and insights to inform its marketing.
Maharaj says the business has never been afraid to try new things. “We use a customer-centric approach, we innovate with purpose, we don’t follow the competition – and we choose the best possible people (or bots) for the job. Here he gives more insight into the retailer’s learnings and approach.
- Start with the data
A data-centric approach drives how we plan, how we execute and how even how we hire. A team of data scientists help us drive this and allow us to troubleshoot, problem-solve and more importantly, innovate and adapt. I’d say our ability to feed data back into the business is one of the key reasons for our growth and success – we’re also nimble enough to use insights to finesse everything we do while we are doing it, so the end result tends to work.
- Shift your marketing away from ‘spray and pray’
It won’t be long before we are horrified if we receive an email that looks the same as the one sent to our friend or colleague. We are going to come to expect highly personalised communications and marketing efforts from brands that speak to who we are and what we like. This obviously can’t be done by humans, so the fast evolving bots will need to take care of it. We are already in the process of building sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) into our systems that will use an algorithm to tailor email newsletters and other communications to each individual.
- Use all the tools you have available to you
For a strategy to be successful, it needs to use data to pull together all the pieces of the puzzle – traditional above-the-line marketing, SEO, dynamic display, retargeting, paid search, social media channels, and so forth. It’s also about having a strong brand that communicates with customers in a highly considered way. The Way of Us – Superbalist’s in-house produced magazine and blog – has helped to establish this voice, which positions the retailer as a leading authority on all things fashion-forward.
Gone are the days when you could flight an ad in the news and hook 90% of your target audience. Now, your market could be anywhere. The success of our YouTube advertising is testament to how diversifying a marketing budget can bear fruit. Our view at Superbalist is to use every marketing tool at our disposal – both the traditional and digital – but to ensure that our messaging, look and feel are so consistent and so on brand that it really doesn’t matter where you ‘find’ someone. They’ll still just get it.
- Consider an in-house marketing model
We do the majority of our marketing in-house – from strategy to execution. This allows us to feed data insights back into our teams rather than going through a lengthy briefing process with agencies. We work with agencies for competencies that aren’t covered in-house, but the main core of our marketing comes from within. Here hiring is critical – we take the recruitment process incredibly seriously and making sure people are a cultural as well as professional fit is critical. Our awards success is, in our view, a true indictment of the success of this approach.
- Never stop innovating
Superbalist is a company driven by the ‘what’s next.’ Our fast-paced environment is built to be nimble, allowing us to constantly reinvent ourselves and our offering to better meet the needs of our customers.
A brilliant example of the role AI will play in our future is The Next Rembrandt experiment which saw a bot imitating the master’s painting style well enough to convince critics that it was an original. So even creativity can be emulated by machines. This means we really can’t rest on our laurels for a second. Luckily for us, this is what gets us up in the morning!