With DMEXCO just a few days away, VAN is speaking with some of those who’ll be on stage to hear their thoughts and expectations ahead of this year’s event. Andreas Antrup, marketing director and VP of data and advertising at German fashion brand Zalando, will be on stage on day two of DMEXCO at 16.25, on a panel titled ‘Retail Media – The Unpleasant Child or Hidden Champion?’ Here, Antrup discusses what makes for a successful video campaign for a fashion brand, and how Zalando tackles influencer fraud.
Some readers might not be familiar with Zalando Marketing Services – what is it, and how does it fit within Zalando as a whole?
Zalando Marketing Services is Zalando’s marketing unit. At the heart of our business is a holistic data-driven marketing approach for fashion and lifestyle brands across many different channels. Zalando Marketing Services combines marketing solutions along the whole customer journey, access to audiences with significant reach, in-depth data knowledge and privacy-compliant targeting. We also work with brands on content and marketing ideas with our ‘Creative.Lab’.
ZMS serves as a strategic partner to advertisers, helps to increase their brand impact, drive their sales and celebrate product launches with tailored messages, both on and off Zalando properties. We work with many of the world’s largest fashion brands, and also sports, lifestyle and beauty brands as well as agencies.
Which sorts of video formats work best for fashion brands?
Video is a high reward, but also higher risk format: there are a lot of decisions to get right. Which format works best of course depends on the objective you have. We have learned that videos can be engaging or informative depending on these decisions, meaning they’re optimised for interaction or for view time.
A general learning is that videos in fashion work best when there is a certain focus on the product, ideally showing multiple products together, like full ‘key looks’. Additionally, videos should reflect the customer target group in terms of the creative (the talent involved, the look and the feel of the ad) as well as more technical (format, cuts, length) aspects.
How important is social media to fashion brands like Zalando?
We generally see very good engagement with our content on social platforms and we see a good flow of consumer attention between social platforms and our own platform. That said, there is a very clear trend of consumers engaging with Zalando and potentially also other retail platforms in entertainment environments, in ways that used to be only happening on social platforms.
Influencer marketing is extremely popular with fashion brands, but some remain concerned about things like influencer fraud and poor measurement. How does your influencer division overcome these problems?
Our influencer division Collabary has created what we call the ‘audience credibility score’. We gauge the authenticity of an influencer’s followers by looking at those followers’ profiles – things like their avatars, bio descriptions and posts, to judge whether they are real and active users or not. We see that this feature has really helped mitigate risks and raise confidence levels for buyers.
People often speak about Amazon with awe due to their ability to close the loop on attribution. Are Zalando in a similar position for fashion?
We closely watch what competition is doing, big or small. However, we focus on our own strategy and to provide the best offer for customers and brands. At Zalando we have been at the forefront of marketing impact measurement introducing concepts like steering TV advertising with performance marketing metrics, which are now industry standard. When it comes to attribution we are use a continuous experimentation-based incrementality approach and rigorous CLV (customer lifetime value) uplift measurement. We work very closely with our brand partners to bring us forward together on the maturity curve.
What do you think will be the big themes at DMEXCO this year?
We expect the topic of machine learning for advertising technologies to again be at the top of many agendas. This is increasingly linked to data-driven personalisation and a lot of talk will be about how to bridge this with the sharpened focus on privacy in the market.