Working at Urban Outiftters in Search Marketing
The Fashion Newtork recently caught up with Laura Harrison, a search marketing executive at Urban Outfitters to give us an insight into the world of digital and how important it is for fashion retailers.
Hey Laura, you’ve worked in digital marketing for over two years now, what skills do you need to succeed in the digital side of the fashion industry?
You need to have a passion for fashion and the ability to change and adapt, as the digital industry is a fast-paced environment that is constantly evolving. You also need to be eager to learn, as the industry is constantly updating and there are always new things to learn about - whether it’s a Google algorithm update or a new advertising platform.
You need to be a team player and have the ability to share and bounce off each other’s ideas, but at the same time have an analytical mindset, as measuring the performance of different marketing channels is a big part of the job.
What advice would you give to somebody looking to start a career in fashion marketing?
Perseverance - don’t give up! The industry can be competitive, but if you’re passionate about fashion marketing, you’ll get where you want to be.
What does a typical day look like in the marketing department at Urban Outfitters?
Our working day starts around 9-9.30am, and every morning we start with daily reports, recording the performance of the day before for each of the digital marketing channels.
I look after SEO, PPC, retargeting, paid social, CSEs, and feed management, and my varied role means I need to monitor performance across a whole range of different digital channels.
On a daily basis, we will talk with our channel agencies to discuss performance and strategy going forward for the coming weeks and months, I will then get on with various bigger projects that I am working on.
In between all this, we will have regular meetings with the rest of the team to discuss upcoming marketing activities and how we will support them through the various marketing channels. We will also regularly meet with the buyers to find out the key stories for the season, so we can establish how we can best support this.
The great thing about working for Urban Outfitters marketing team is that no day is the same, which keeps it exciting.
How did you progress into your current role?
I studied Design Management for Fashion Retailing at Manchester University. Although my degree involved a lot of Computer Aided Design (CAD), I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in digital marketing afterwards, as this was the area that really interested me throughout my studies.
My first job was working for a small start-up digital marketing agency, where I primarily focussed on SEO for a broad range of clients. This was a great experience for my first job, but after a year I knew that I wanted to progress further and get into the fashion industry.
I then successfully applied for a role at Urban Outfitters as a digital marketing executive, where I managed the remarketing and CSE channel, and also worked on SEO and PPC.
In my current role as search marketing executive, I have more of a focus on these search channels (SEO & PPC).
How important is SEO as part of fashion e-commerce today?
Incredibly important. The fashion industry is very competitive, and to put it simply, if you don’t rank well organically in Google, chances are customers are going to shop elsewhere with one of your competitors that is more visible in Google.
If a brand doesn’t have any SEO, they are way behind the curve. SEO and digital marketing are so important and they are only going to get bigger as technology advances and more devices and platforms are introduced.
How do you develop content that fits into UO’s distinct style for the website and what informs it?
We have the UO blog, where we feature all of our content. On the blog, we work with a whole range of partners and influencers to generate content that differentiates us from the rest of the high street.
Content includes interviews with brands we are collaborating with, events UO is involved with, up and coming music artists, inspirational artists, DIY ‘how to’ guides, styling tips, blogger coverage, city guides… the list is endless
Basically, we want to generate content that is not only relatable and interesting to our customers, but also reflects our customers’ lifestyles and aspirations.
How important are bloggers and online influencers to your online marketing efforts?
Very important, bloggers have become more and more influential to customers’ buying habits and are a great source of inspiration for our customers.
Blogger/influencer activity has become a massive part of our online marketing strategy and is a great way to not only build brand awareness, but also to connect with our target audience - that’s why we work with bloggers that are inspirational and relatable to our customers.
Influencer and blogger relationship building sits with our affiliates team, where it’s all about finding new bloggers that are really going to represent the brand in a fresh, new, and exciting way.
You can check out the influencers Urban Outfitters currently work with on their blog here.
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