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Mobile to offer exclusive, location-based content for Fashion Week press attendees

By
January 31, 2013

Backstage at Michael Kors' spring/summer 2013 runway show

Luxury marketers should look to not only engage their most savvy consumers, but wow press attendees during Fashion Week runway shows using mobile technologies.

The overwhelming number of collection presentations that take place during New York Fashion Week leave luxury fashion houses competing to win praise from the press. Editors and critics are no doubt using mobile devices for personal and work-related duties and therefore, fashion marketers should look to use the channel on which attendees are comfortable to provide them with information and interactivity.

“Smartphones are the great equalizer when it comes to big events like New York Fashion Week,” per Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, co-founder and managing director at Digital Brand Architects, New York.

“It’s a tool that allows for immediate engagement and sharing with fashion press, style influencers and eager consumers alike,” she said.

Location, location, location
Leading up to the show, marketers should use location-based mobile technologies to gain eyes from those closest to the venue.

Press and other fashion influencers will be attending numerous runway shows and events during New York Fashion Week.

No matter their location, it is safe to say that their smartphone or tablet will always be with them, per Marcus Startzel, general manager for North America at Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD.

There is no other medium used more often than mobile at this time.

“With mobile, brands have an opportunity to drive real-world relevance with the right audience, at the right place and time,” Mr. Startzel said.

Fashion marketers should indeed take advantage of location-based services during Fashion Week, per Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, Beverly Hills, CA.

Marketers know that their desired clientele is in the area.

Brands need to take advantage of ad networks that can target mobile phones within the arena with their ads.

“Mobile will undoubtedly play an essential role in Fashion Week,” Ms. Lowy said. “The event is not just a gathering of the elite in world of fashion, but also the coming together of some of the most sophisticated luxury marketers.”

Show stoppers
Those in the audience at Fashion Week are armed with social applications on their smartphones and tablets and are likely to be followed by thousands of consumers.

Fashion marketers must take this opportunity to speak to consumers through these social influencers.

Mobile should play two roles – one for those in the room and another for consumers off-site, per Dan Israel, strategy lead of mobile and multichannel at SapientNitro, Atlanta.

“First, use the mobile device as a second screen, so attendees can get more information on the outfit, the designer, etcetera,” Mr. Israel said. “This actually increases engagement within the show, and provides a way to create real time metrics around what people like, share and make comments.”

Marketers should encourage attendees to use social networks such as Twitter and Instagram in some way during the show so that their followers can experience it in real-time.

For instance, a unique show hashtag can be provided to editors and influencers in attendance. Marketers can use the hashtag to curate and share the conversation happening inside.

“As smartphone use continues to rise, mobile will continue to play a prominent role because it allows those in the know to leverage channels like Twitter and Instagram to share their opinions and images with their followers,” Digital Brand Architects’ Ms. Bracken-Ferguson said.

Information overload
Mobile should also be a key channel through which marketers provide the press with relevant information.

Appropriate strategies might include preloaded iPads for front row attendees, QR code exhibits that link to products available for purchase or pre-order, augmented reality shows or a tool to create virtual outfits as pieces come down the runway, per Ms. Bracken-Ferguson.

“The right solution depends on your brand and your openness to truly incorporate mobile into your Fashion Week event,” Ms. Bracken-Ferguson said.

Mobile should certainly allow those in attendance to learn more about what they see on the runway.

“Last year, the once fast-scribbling hands of fashion critics were given a break when an app allowed attendees to see real time images of the models on stage along with details about their outfits,” Ping Mobile’s Ms. Lowy said.

“Fashion week has been and will be replete with mobile,” she said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York

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Tricia Carr is an editorial assistant on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at tricia@napean.com.

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