Luxury marketing: Finding captive audiences through innovative storytelling

October 2015

For luxury marketers, powerful stories can change the way people feel about your brand. Google’s EMEA Brand Solutions expert Caitlin Monaghan reveals new tools that businesses can use to find and connect with the right consumers through digital innovation which can bring brand stories to life.

For as long as I can remember, luxury marketers have been the creative leaders of rich, immersive brand storytelling. These stories may illustrate a proud heritage or a complete fantasy. They are designed to attract the ideal consumer, create an impactful memory, and hopefully a desire to purchase. Unfortunately for all storytellers, the web is a wonderful place for your beautiful story to get lost. We’re all familiar with the philosophical tale of a tree falling in a forest: If no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?

Google is a company whose heritage is more closely linked to geek rather than chic, but we are dedicated to making it easier for users to find better answers to their wants, needs, and desires. Luxury marketers can benefit from Google’s technology to help find better answers to their marketing challenges -- which, to be honest, haven’t changed magically overnight. The challenges for luxury marketers today are the same as they were long, long ago, but the tools are just better for solving them.

Find the right captive audiences

On a basic level, technology can give us access to what a consumer is interested in. For example, a business executive reads online business articles, and a young fashionista reads fashion and beauty blogs. This isn’t quite rocket science. But today, marketers have the opportunity to use much more interesting signals based off what actions a person has actually exhibited online. So this may show us that the business executive is looking at sailing classes and the young fashionista is researching Burning Man tickets. This is relevant information Google uses to create dynamic personalized profiles and profiles of lookalike audiences based on their recent and repeated behaviours. Marketers can benefit from these sophisticated algorithms -- which fuel targeting offerings like Custom Affinity segments.

You can also reach people you already know are you customers. Many luxury marketers are already sitting on rich customer databases. (Perhaps you call up your favorite customers when the latest collection comes into stores? Or you send them an email when there is a beauty event in a nearby town?) Google’s recently launched Customer Match tool allows marketers to upload a list of email addresses and match them to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way. From there, you can build campaigns and ads specifically designed to reach your highest-value customers on Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail. You can also reach Similar Audiences and drive awareness by showing ads to prospective customers who have similar interests and characteristics to your customer match lists.

Invite audiences to connect and discover layers of your stories

As a luxury marketer, you are already convinced about the power of storytelling and how it can change the way a person feels about your brand. It is safe to assume you are currently planning ad campaigns, lookbooks, long- and short-form video content, events and fashion shows for the next few quarters and year. Challenge yourself to make the most of all this amazing content and scale it through innovative media.

Moncler’s beautiful Fall/Winter campaign caught my eye while recently flipping through pages of Vogue, but I had no idea there was a intricate modern-day fairytale element to the images until I stumbled across this behind-the-scenes video of the Annie Leibovitz photo shoot in Iceland (watch: A Moncler Icelandic Fairytale by Annie Leibovitz). Like Hansel and Gretel in the video, I too want to “escape in Moncler,” after watching the video! SOLD.

Because you are not limited to the typical :15 or :30 second spot with digital, you can do so much more with your creative these days. It is easy to extend an invitation to your ideal audiences with our TrueView ad format. Viewers can easily discover more layers of your content with our Cards, and now they can even purchase products directly from the TrueView ad with our new TrueView for Shopping product.

Test your messages with innovative measurement tools

Marketers have never had such amazing real-time tools at their fingertips. Our Brand Lift tool allows you to test different stories and the impact they are having on different segments of your audiences. Other free tools, like YouTube Analytics, can even measure how audiences are engaging and reacting to your content. The ultimate goal is to see how your campaigns are driving the right metrics, such as awareness, ad recall, and brand interest.

Consumers are now living their lives out online thanks to mobile accessibility (and dare I say, dependency in my case). This means luxury brands can reach their ideal audiences at any time of day or night and at any moment of the consumer journey. More than half of millennial luxury consumers in the UK buy luxury products through online channels on a regular basis, how can you reach them with powerful stories that evoke emotion and perhaps even action?

How data helps luxury brands tell better stories