Digital Marketing

‘We want to be in the places where they’re going to be’: How Shutterfly is reintroducing itself to younger shoppers

'We want to be in the places where they’re going to be': How Shutterfly is reintroducing itself to younger shoppers
Written by Publishing Team

Shutterfly recently launched its biggest marketing effort yet.

Since late last year, the California-based photography services company has ramped up its social media, live streaming, and online video efforts. It’s part of the brand’s retargeting to promote Shutterfly’s newly expanded offerings, such as prints and graphic designs. It’s also a play in presenting itself to newer, younger audiences and Generation Z, said Craig Rowley, Shutterfly’s chief marketing officer.

“People consume media differently,” Rowley said, adding that the brand should adjust its media mix according to where consumers spend their time, such as on streaming services and social media. “They show up in different environments and we want to be where they’ll be.”

Shutterfly is not alone. As the pandemic continues to push people to spend more time online and in front of the TV for streaming, brands like Edible Arrangements and Vivid Seats have also looked to digital video to diversify their media mix and get more shoppers.

The transformative media mix launched alongside Shutterfly’s “Make it a Thing” campaign last October, featuring more digital videos and broadcasts than previous campaigns. The campaign, created in partnership with marketing and branding agency Mischief, features 30-second spots depicting potential Shutterfly gifts, such as Christmas tree decorations for family photos.

The company has also increased its spending on social media advertising, particularly on TikTok and Snapchat, per Rowley. He added that the “Make it a Thing” campaign and the digital marketing efforts that surround it make it the brand’s biggest effort to date.

It’s unclear that those dollars were spent as Rowley declined to provide further details. However, the chief executive said Shutterfly’s ad spend was up year-over-year. In the first half of 2021, Kantar reported that Shutterfly spent more than $47 million on media. During 2020, the personalization company spent about $26 million on media, down slightly from the total of $34 million spent in 2019. These numbers do not include social media because Kantar does not track these numbers.

The way people shop has changed, which means that many are looking toward brands “to add value right now and they expect instant gratification no matter where they are,” said Eddie Gonzalez, vice president of strategy and performance at Razorfish media company. In response, companies like Shutterfly have created more marketing touchpoints in their strategies.

“Marketers who successfully activate the full-path strategy have been able to build a more complete picture of how marketing drives growth for the organization,” added Gonzalez.

For Rowley, the initial campaign saw a good delivery with consistent video completion and engagement rates. “These are the kinds of short-term things you can manage,” he said. “We’ll have to see in the longer term if it affects things like brand awareness, brand awareness or relevance.”

Moving into 2022, Shutterfly will continue to invest in the existing brand campaign, including new direction through expanded social media efforts, online video and live broadcasting.

“In these digital environments, there are many use cases for things that people didn’t even know they could make on Shutterfly,” Rowley said. “[It’s about] Being able to articulate that in detail, and target those in real life against relevant audiences as well.”

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