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JCPenney scores on Twitter with finely targeted World Cup strategy

June 30, 2014

JCP's World Cup initiative

JCPenney’s World Cup initiative

JCPenney recently boosted a new strategic push into its U.S. World Cup initiatives by targeting Hispanics using mobile and social.

These efforts show how retailers can leverage social and mobile for real-time consideration around live events to drive awareness for specific products. In this case, JCPenney targeted Hispanics with text message offers, World Cup apparel offered on mobile application Shop Kick and a bracket featuring spirited fashion looks on its Latino Facebook page.

“To grow market share, JCPenney will be focused on connecting through culturally relevant messaging and extending media reach and delivery to the Hispanic consumer,” said Kate Coultas, senior manager of media relations and corporate affairs at JCPenney, Dallas.

“While the World Cup is typically geared towards men, our efforts show that it is just as important to women. The last World Cup was viewed by 112 million U.S. households and half of which were Hispanic households.”

Targeted efforts
JCPenney created a bracket on its Latino Facebook page compiling a collection of fashion looks that incorporate World Cup team colors.


Furthermore, shoppers can access a similar fashion look book on mobile application Shopkick allowing them to view the looks while in a store or on the mobile Web site on their smartphone.

Along with text messaging offers, JCPenney has been promoting its World Cup initiatives through the hashtag #JCPFantaticas as they target soccer fanatics.

“Catered towards ‘fanaticas,’ our campaign shows that without women, the World Cup is just a game,” Ms. Coultas said. “Whether it’s outfitting her family in team colors or hosting a watching party at her home, she is the one that makes the World Cup an experience.

“While this campaign certainly serves as an official kick off to our focus on the Hispanic customer, this is part of an overall company-wide plan and commitment to grow our market share with the Hispanic consumer moving forward,” she said.

Twitter kick-off
In efforts aiming for a broader audience, JCPenney targeted its consumers during a Twitter campaign offering them a chance to win free ‘kicks,’ with each tweet seeing an average of 500 retweets.

JCPenney used the hashtag #JCPFreeKicks following every free kick that occurred during the Germany versus U.S. game June 26. Every time a free kick was granted, JCPenney offered a chance to win a pair of shoes.

JC Penney created a separate tweet for each free kick. To enter as a participant, one had to follow @JCPenney and retweet each tweet. The campaign was active only during U.S. games and winners were randomly selected.

JCP’s promotional tweet

Each of the retailer’s free kick tweets garnered an average of 500 retweets and 70 likes, and the brand kept the experience interesting by formulating each tweet uniquely. For example, following the eighth free kick, JC Penney’s tweet read, “That’s 8! Go on a date…wearing your #JCPFreeKicks! RT 4 chance to win! #JCPCup.

Each tweet contained links to official rules of the sweepstakes and the brand’s World Cup apparel collection.

Beginning June 28, additional hashtags were implemented based on the yellow cards assigned during games and header goals, awarding $25 giftcards to consumers that used the hashtag #GiveMeAYellowCardJCP and a $300 giftcards for the hashtag #JCPScoreOnHeaders.

JCPenney has also promoted these campaigns on Facebook.

Reaching the Hispanic population
Among its many marketing strategies to reach either broader or more targeted audiences, JCPenney joins a community of other brands to personalize their campaigns for its specific consumer.

For instance, HSN’s innovative Univision partnership to reach Hispanic consumers via a mix of content and commerce across channels recently came out of beta, with mobile driving 60 percent of the awareness for the effort.

The home shopping network decided to double down on the Hispanic market after realizing several important areas of crossover with its offerings. Recent findings from a PwC report suggest that mobile will play a bigger role for marketers in targeting the Hispanic market, with these consumers more likely to access coupons, bank, make a payment, watch videos, use location-based apps and text more than non-Hispanics (see story).

Furthermore, with Hispanic consumers linking to mobile, brands such as General Mills and Clorox looked to reach these valuable consumers through the bilingual shopping application Veo.

Veo is a bilingual shopping app by Latinum Network that connects brands with the Hispanic market by engaging them in their native language with free product samples, recipes and giveaways. While Hispanic communities are the most digitally engaged of all consumers, many brands have failed to access this surging market (see story).

Similarly, JCPenney aims to connect further with these audiences by tapping into an event that has global appeal.

“This strategy kicked off with our sponsorship of Univision’s broadcast of the World Cup, marking the first time JCPenney has ever had a Hispanic only campaign that did not have a general market component and first time it has marketed around the World Cup,” Ms. Coultas said.

“As part of our turnaround strategy, we’re focused on growing market share with the important Hispanic consumer,” she said. “Our Hispanic customer consistently rates JCPenney higher on shopping experience, and our Hispanic designated stores are some of JCPenney’s best performing stores.

“In fact, JCPenney has now identified its Hispanic customer as its brand muse. Our Hispanic customer is a hard working mom focused on faith, family and tradition.

“She is fashion conscious and image driven. She is our ‘North Star’ and we know that if our initiatives resonate with her, they will work for our general market customer too.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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