December 28, 2020
Global brand performance organization ForwardPMX is Luxury Daily’s 2020 Luxury Agency of the Year for its digital engagement and expertise in fast-growing markets, including China.
During a year when marketers faced several unprecedented challenges, ForwardPMX found success by focusing on luxury markets in Asia. The agency also stood out for its mastery of several digital channels, both Eastern and Western.
“Luxury, like many sectors in 2020, has felt the effects of a health crisis, the consequent economic impact, as well as social unrest occurring throughout 2020,” said James Townsend, global CEO at ForwardPMX, New York, in a statement. “Consumers have developed new behaviors and priorities, and the luxe sector has had to adapt.
“Despite the challenges this presents, many luxury brands are pressing forward with a courage and boldness that defines them at their very core – reaching beyond product to deliver heart and new relevance to inspire tomorrow’s generations of luxury consumers,” he said.
The Luxury Agency of the Year award was decided based on advertising, marketing and media services for high-end luxury clients. All candidates selected by the Luxury Daily editorial team had to have appeared in Luxury Daily coverage this year. Judging was based purely on merit.
A digital-first agency, ForwardPMX has substantial local leadership in China and other key luxury markets in Asia. This foundation has been a draw to several luxury clients.
In July, British fashion label Mulberry tapped ForwardPMX to lead its performance marketing program in China, targeting one of the fastest-growing luxury markets worldwide that has survived the COVID-19 outbreak relatively unscathed compared to Europe and the United States.
The mandate to ForwardPMX includes organic and biddable media and campaign management across key local platforms such as Weibo and WeChat (see story).
ForwardPMX also counts the Kering Group, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein and Matchesfashion among its luxury clients.
The agency’s luxury clients are able to use ForwardPMX’s proprietary technology platforms automate and streamline marketing channel activity. This is also helps brands better gauge their ROI to help make smarter investments with their marketing budgets.
This year, ForwardPMX helped one leading apparel label achieve more than 4 million monthly visitors through an effective multichannel strategy. In China, the agency leveraged The Red Book and WeChat to build brand awareness for different luxury clients.
ForwardPMX also released its 11th annual report examining how luxury brands are faring in terms of online engagement.
According to the “Global Online Engagement with Luxury Brands” report, the United States had the largest Google search volume for luxury brand names, but search volume is growing faster in other markets, especially in Asia, the Middle East and Brazil. Among the most searched brands globally were Chanel, Coach, Gucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton.
Annual search volume for luxury brand names in the U.S. grew 8 percent year-over-year, while site traffic to those same brands fell 2 percent y-o-y. This suggests that in the current environment, luxury consumers remain engaged, but more are visiting multibrand retailers, social platforms and resale destinations (see story).
“We remain truly humbled by our clients’ resilience and unwavering devotion to their cities, their people, and to their craft in this difficult year,” Mr. Townsend said. “As partners, we look ahead with optimism, working to drive the advancement of brands’ digital agendas across their businesses and acting as strategic guides to ensure brands are agile and fit for the changing world.”