Extole CEO, Matt Roche, recently wrote on CMO.com about the Rise of Challenger Brands and their willingness to adopt creative marketing tactics to fuel their growth. Matt praised Challenger Brands for their ability to “use the critical mass of passionate customers to fuel rapid growth…since customers are more empowered than ever and want a personal link to brands, they often take to social channels to express preferences, giving brands reach like never before.” And, that’s exactly why a number of small retailers have landed at the top of Internet Retailer’s (IR) 2014 Social Media 500 list.
Recently released, the IR Social Media 500 “profiles the 500 leading North American e-retailers that have cemented their standing in social marketing and commerce savvy based on the percentage of site traffic they’ve derived from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.” Based on the research, the top 10 e-retailers are actually Challenger Brands that have turned to innovative strategies to drive engagement and sales. These e-retailers, like BucketFeet and Ranger Up, almost exclusively operate online and drive most of their traffic from social networks. Sans deep pockets and high ad spends, these challengers are outsmarting the competition by delivering great content backed by nimble marketing teams and customer-centric strategies.
As Matt mentioned in his byline, many Challengers employ customer-centric strategies like referral marketing because they tap into customers’ innate sharing nature and can be directly tied to sales. So, it’s no wonder the IR’s Top 10 companies are those that leverage that knowledge and use it to their advantages (BucketFeet has a referral program!).