Combining Talent with Creativity: Lessons Learned from the Music Biz

Eamon Mulligan, VP Product & eCommerce at EMPIRE, shares what cutting-edge marketing techniques they are using to stand out from other ecomm retailers.

In the music industry, having talent is often not enough to succeed. You need to find a way to stand out and be unique. That’s true when it comes to marketing and eCommerce in the industry as well.

Eamon Mulligan is the VP Product & eCommerce at EMPIRE, and it’s his job to help lead a team toward eCommerce success. The way he does that is through creativity and partnerships that have proven to drive traffic in big ways.

No matter what vertical your company lives in, there are tried and true platforms to place ads — think Facebook, Instagram, Google, ect. But Mulligan likes to think outside the box when it comes to where EMPIRE does its advertising. One new channel they are exploring are memes, which have exploded in popularity in recent years.

He also explains that when a customer does make it into the EMPIRE store, it’s important to make sure they don’t slip away. And he’ll use SMS messaging to make sure they come back if they do abandon their cart.

“If [a customer] gets all the way to the point where they’re filling out the payment information and put their phone number in and maybe their dog ran off the leash or whatever happened, and they don’t complete the purchase, there will be a text that gets sent to them automatically and remind them, ‘Hey, you left this in your cart,’” Mulligan said. “And there’ll be a direct link to their cart. And we’ve seen astronomical return on investment on that.”

Another area that has helped drive traffic is through sweepstakes and giveaways. But there is an inherent challenge when it comes to pushing out a contest or any kind of giveaway: skepticism on the part of the customer. In order to get around that, Mulligan says that the team at EMPIRE has to work closely with the artists themselves to lend their credibility to the promotion.

“[With giveaways] there’s still some skepticism on the fans’ end at some level at all times, but when the artist has posted on social media, that always helps,” he said. “That helps drive traffic to the store and it shows that it’s coming directly from the artist and not just this unknown entity.”

At the end of the day, awareness is key, and getting customers into the top of the funnel is the most important thing an eCommerce marketer can do. There are millions of ways to accomplish that goal, but Mulligan said at EMPIRE, there has always been the freedom to experiment and the drive to actually follow through on the crazy ideas.

“[Creative experimentation] comes from the top down,” Mulligan said. “Our founder and CEO, Ghazi has always said, ‘Try it. If it doesn’t work, then move on, but try something.’ So he’s always been encouraging of that. If you have that culture in your DNA as a company, then I think that helps. The other thing is hiring the right talent, and having the right minds and skill sets. You need people who can think of and structure and eventually execute these ideas.”

To hear about some of the more out-there campaigns Mulligan and his team have tried, tune into Up Next in Commerce.

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