NEW YORK— As demand in the category picked up in late February, many home office product vendors and retailers turned to email and social media to pivot marketing in support of segments that were enjoying accelerating sales as stay-at-home requirements proliferated across the U.S.
For example, Lamps Plus recognized that it had an opportunity to use quick-to-craft and relatively inexpensive social media and email advertising to reach consumers whose demand for home office and other products that helped them deal with the situation was taking off. The company attached specific messaging and extended its marketing efforts.
“Lamps Plus’ marketing during the quarantine has been focused on function and comfort over luxury,” said Dennis Swanson, the company’s founder and CEO. “We highlighted these themes on social media channels and in customer emails. We also held webinars for customers to get expert advice for their home projects.”
On the vendor side, the Ameriwood Home Facebook page offered a series of posts that demonstrated how the Dorel division could satisfy an array of home office needs. Ameriwood also featured different styles, color options and price/value presentations in the home-office oriented stream of Facebook posts that ran through March and into April.
“Our social strategy and consumer communication was able to react very quickly to stay relevant,” said Joy Raccagno-Bond, marketing director for Ameriwood Home. “We saw an immediate need and reworked all channels to point customers in a helpful direction so they would be best prepared to continue a comfortable work, school and home environment for an extended period.”
Social media and related marketing not only let Twin Star Home more quickly promote its desks and related office products as demand swelled but also allowed the company to engage consumers and garner insight.
“We are engaging customers wherever they are,” said Lisa Cody, Twin Star svp/marketing. “That is part of our growth strategy.”
She added that Twin Star used social media to address shopper concerns as they rose, direct customers to products and even information about how they could effectively assemble a home office. Online, Twin Star watches social media to see how consumers are posting and pinning its products in their homes to provide more insight.
“We are listening and being proactive,” Cody said. “We can see trends in social media. There’s a balanced approach we take in engaging to create relationships and pointing them in a direction.”
Mark Weppner, svp/marketing, design and engineering at Bush Industries, noted that the company has used social media and related marketing not only to tout products but to help consumers deal with the challenges that building an office at home creates, with speed of delivery being an important element. In its approach, social media became an important element of how Bush adapted.
“We intentionally shifted our marketing focus to help the customer navigate how to find the right home office furniture in a hurry,” he said. “We ran ads on our fast delivery times and also showed some of our low-cost items and complete office sets. ‘Need a home office fast?’ was the message that really resonated in the beginning. People really just needed help getting to work. We’re hitting all-time highs in traffic on our websites the past couple of months thanks to organic and paid visitors. There’s a huge demand for home office furniture right now, and it’s been crucial for us to get our message out in a variety of channels to reach a wide audience.” —Mike Duff