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Cole Haan Says Integrated Effort Is Right Fit

Cole Haan, a wholly owned upscale footwear and accessories arm of Nike Inc. with 70 stores nationwide, has begun its first integrated marketing effort.

The campaign for a select line of women's shoes and handbags uses media like a print advertisement in The Sunday New York Times Magazine, banners on Yahoo and e-mail to the house file.

“Previous e-commerce marketing didn't include or closely reflect offline actions,” said Buzz Morley, e-business project manager at Cole Haan, Yarmouth, ME. “This is also the first time we have used our customer behavior to target e-mail.”

The company sent 10,000 e-mails, with half offering a 20 percent discount.

“We want to gauge the effectiveness of inducements as a call to action,” he said.

A source code will be used to track the coupon redemption at checkout on colehaan.com.

“The company house file was filtered for women customers who have made online purchases in the past 90 days,” he said.

Banners will support e-mails, running through the week of Oct. 7. They link to Yahoo's shopping area.

Products touted in all marketing are the $125 Madison French Purse, $235 Paulina Slingback Heel, $275 Madison Medium Bucket Handbag and the $298 Racquell Boot.

Cole Haan typically uses daily newspapers, magazines, e-mail and co-op advertising with key wholesale accounts. But until now, the marketing effort was not in concert.

“What we're trying to do is leverage our current spend by thoughtful use and coordination among our various teams,” Morley said. “[Also,] we're stepping up our online efforts. It's a wonderful opportunity that is currently underutilized.”

A large reason for the sluggish use of the Internet was the handling of product images online. Software from Atlanta company MediaBin Inc. solves that. It offers a repository for all Cole Haan images, accessible by anyone in the company with a quick turnaround time.

“We have set up scripts that allow us to repurpose images on the fly,” Morley said. “Imagine your Internet content manager, the person responsible for in-store images, your brand marketing team and your online marketing team turning around a tandem initiative at the same time.

“Changing all these took 10 to 14 days, perhaps following your best sellers for the past week, without any additional staff,” he said.

Still, timing has been the biggest issue bedeviling Cole Haan.

“In the past, we haven't been well-coordinated with our in-store efforts or our media buys,” he said. “I would just love to get to the point where you see the full page in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, recall the in-window display at the Rockefeller Center store [in New York] from where you walked by on Friday and get the e-mail with the call to action that afternoon.”

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