Zalando Marketing Services (ZMS), Zalando’s in-house marketing agency, is building a forum to share the strategies and learnings of its global community of brand partners. The newly launched Inside Fashion Marketing podcast is built around informed discussions with brand partners that span categories and price points, profiling their specific marketing campaigns and business strategies in individual episodes.
By launching the podcast, ZMS aims to provide educational insights and share best practices from across its community, fostering a learning culture to drive shared success and provide inspiration for fashion, lifestyle and beauty marketing professionals. Designed to easily fit into the marketing professional’s day, podcast host Andreas Antrup — Zalando’s senior vice president of advertising and managing director of ZMS — is joined by guests including the likes of The North Face’s marketing director Sebastian Reinhard and Toms’ chief marketing officer Ian Stewart.
The podcast itself is a timely concept. Appetite for audible learning is taking hold, as Edison Research estimates that 100 million people listened to a podcast each month in 2020 — a figure that is expected to reach 125 million in 2022. Meanwhile, a year of uncertainty has seen increased cooperation and collaboration across the industry.
Now, BoF hears from Andreas Antrup to discuss how this new medium can help brands grow their business and increase visibility, as well as the benefits of creating a collaborative learning environment for the fashion and beauty industry.
Why did you choose to create a podcast?
With people continuing to work from home and often spending many hours in front of their screens jumping from one video meeting to another, screen fatigue is a real phenomenon. At ZMS, we’re always looking for ways to provide insightful and actionable recommendations for brands and to foster community, and we want to provide that content in a format that best suits our partners and wider listenership. That’s why we decided to launch the podcast, to provide bite-size insights and inspiration that partners can listen to on the go.
We have run a huge number of campaigns with our brand partners over the years, and gathered a lot of experience in online fashion marketing. With so much knowledge hidden in the minds of our partners and internal subject-matter experts, we decided to pull all this information together to share with our partner base.
We have a good mix of best practices and strategies to help our audience meet their performance and branding goals, as well as real-life insights from brands, big and small, into how they expand to new markets, engage with customers in a targeted way, and use data to drive their decision-making.
What can the audience expect to learn from the podcast?
We want to inform our listeners about relevant industry topics and showcase best practices. For example, influencer marketing is an increasingly important part of the strategy in many of our brand partners’ campaigns. We want to share how to integrate new voices in the field, as well as the different media platforms and sales channels, to help our partners create an enjoyable, seamless customer experience.
We’re always looking for ways to provide insightful and actionable recommendations for brands and to foster community.
We also discuss topics like how to develop customer relationships or share case studies on how various brands and industry players have improved performance. We want to ensure that a broad mix of brands are represented, showcasing larger, smaller and mid-sized players in the field, in addition to a variety of categories.
What data insights does ZMS share from across Zalando?
As the largest fashion retail platform in Europe, with over 560 million visits per month and 45 million active customers across 23 markets, Zalando is in a unique place to understand where the customer is going. We understand the styles, price points and categories that resonate with customers, and we offer a variety of advertising capabilities for both branding and performance.
If you complement this with our market research capabilities and direct interactions with our customers, we can create a vivid and detailed view of what is driving customer sentiment and need. We understand how the customer is evolving. In a near real-time experience in a fast-paced industry like fashion, this is particularly valuable.
What is the next development in how ZMS supports its brand partners?
The past year has been about democratising our consulting services. This means offering more in terms of self-service, but also sharing our knowledge and experience. We aim to provide brands with the best possible platform experience and to do so, we must provide guidance and data-backed insights to help support their success on the platform. With this in mind, we initiated the podcast series to better support and inform our partner base.
Our evolution is also iterative; we are taking it step-by-step. We have learnt that the best teachers are often our partners. We want to hear how we can improve our offering from their perspective. It’s been a great experience thus far to see such openness from our brand partners, engaging with us on this podcast.
We have learnt that the best teachers are often our partners. We want to hear how we can improve our offering from their perspective.
So far, we have received very positive feedback, and we want to continue to learn with our partners and from their experiences. There’s always more you can do if the audience and the collaborators are there for it. We’ll continue to find innovative ways to help our brand partners reach and exceed their goals and connect to customers on Zalando and beyond.
What are the most compelling themes featured on the podcast so far?
There have been so many surprising and interesting moments in these conversations. But three major recurring themes I am seeing includes: storytelling, authenticity, and data-driven marketing. Customers want to know the story behind the brand, the collection, the product they are buying, and customers are increasingly conscious shoppers. Brands cannot underestimate the importance of being values-driven and telling stories around the brand and its assortments that are rooted in those values.
Moreover, data acts as a tool for understanding, for ensuring that investments are well-placed and that the right audience is being activated with a tailored approach.
What can listeners expect to hear in the coming weeks?
There are plenty of exciting projects and discussion topics in the pipeline, a few coming up soon include how to start selling directly to customers; how to build sustainability into your marketing strategy; and how to contribute and talk about female empowerment.
We’ll also be breaking down some complex topics around data insights too for Cyber Week, along with what it takes to pull off a great influencer marketing campaign, how to rethink your strategy in light of the changes in customer behaviour sparked by the pandemic, and how small brands can compete with the big players.
This is a sponsored feature paid for by Zalando Marketing Services as part of a BoF partnership. Learn more about how you can sell your assortments on Zalando through its marketplace model, the Partner Program. Plus, listen to Inside Fashion Marketing by Zalando Marketing Services.