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Round-up of Social Media in Luxury Watch Publications

Social networks like Facebook, Youtube, MySpace and Twitter were, until recently, relegated to the ranks of platforms whose audience didn't correspond to the "affluent" target market of luxury watch brands.

Today, we can count over 120 000 fans of luxury watch brands on Facebook - 3 times more than there were 6 months ago according to the WorldWatchReport 2009. Furthermore, against all expectations, the demographic segment "35 years and over" saw the highest increase of all segments.

On Youtube, brands mark their presence through videos of their ambassadors, events and collections. However, 38% of them originate not from the brands themselves, but from their fans.

It's clear that brand building now goes beyond the brands' official websites.

To better understand this evolution, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, Europa Star and Worldtempus each published articles discussing this subject, in collaboration with IC-Agency:

Are social networking sites the new eldorado?
Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Fondation Haute Horlogerie logo
Facebook and YouTube are now a part of life for millions of Web users. But is the watch industry lingering on the sidelines of this global phenomenon? Not so sure, considering that Audemars Piguet’s homepage features a link to its channel on YouTube. So have mentalities changed?

Facebook and watch brands: Success in the making
Europa StarEuropa Star
Before launching into social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, it is necessary to formulate a strategic plan. What networks already exist for the brand? Why are some brands more successful than others? How can a brand start and take part in online conversations? What business goals can be achieved online?

INTERNET – La puissance des espaces communautaires
Sur le Web, une marque n’est plus maîtresse de son image. Blogueurs et internautes livrent sans restriction leurs avis et commentaires. Tour d’horizon avec IC-Agency.

By IC-Agency | July 07, 2009 | Luxury Watch Special
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“Focus and Excellence”, or how IC-Agency Makes its Presence Felt in Luxury Digital Marketing

Daily finance journal Agefi invited the director of Executive MBA Entrepreneurship at HEC Geneva, Raphaël Cohen, to share his perspectives on the economic crisis and the uncertainty it causes for businesses.  

In his article titled “Quelle crise?” (What Crisis?), he uses the example of IC-Agency’s successful business model and states that its “Luxury” positioning is indeed quite relevant, as it was capable of 25% growth in a year where advertising budgets have disintegrated. 

Here is an excerpt, translated from French: 

Focus “Are there actually businesses increasing their revenue during this crisis period? The answer: absolutely. I’ll use the example of IC-Agency, a company that specializes in Luxury Digital Marketing and has recorded a 25% growth without sacrificing profitability. This leader in e-marketing has continued to develop despite a deeply affected advertising market. What is their secret? Focus and excellence in a growing market sector. By proactively developing an intimate knowledge of certain industries (luxury, financial and, more generally, premium brands), IC-Agency has become an indispensable specialist capable of better serving its clients than its competitors. IC-Agency has identified an opportunity and seized it: the need for companies to speak with e-marketing experts with specific insights into the targeted demographics, instead of other web agencies with a more casual knowledge of the industry.” 

The full article can be found here.
By IC-Agency | July 02, 2009
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Bing.travel – A New Player in Online Travel

Last week, Microsoft launched their new search engine: Bing.com. With this launch, www.bing.com/travel, a new “meta” search engine, was also made public. 

With bing.com/travel acting as an intermediary in the value chain, the world of online travel now has a new heavyweight to contend with. Ironically, www.kayak.com has purchased sponsored links thanking Microsoft for copying its model and interface. 6a00d83455cacc69e201156ff8605f970c-800wi

Bets are open to see if Microsoft, who at one time had created Expedia before eventually selling it, will grab a share of travel-related searches. 

So far, bing.com/travel has 67’000 pages indexed in Google, whereas kayak.com has 4’890’000. Over the next few months, we will be eagerly checking Hitwise and Comscore stats to see who will come out on top!
By IC-Agency | July 02, 2009 | News & Trends
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The WorldWatchReport: A True Strategic Marketing Tool

 Three months have passed since the launch of the WorldWatchReport in Baselworld. The initial feedback from our brand clients confirms the relevance of the information contained and the added value a tool such this represents in terms of strategic marketing pour luxury brands, in theses difficult economic times in particular.

More than 30 media stories, both broad and industry-focused - such as Bloomberg, Fondation de Haute Horlogerie, Agefi and Tribune.fr - have contributed in broadcasting the main results of the study.

Great reference material, the "Full" version includes over 250 graphs that decypher, in detail for 7 markets and 25 brands, the market share of the main actors in the luxury watch industry,  the models that are most in demand, strategies for selecting a brand ambasador, the visibility of brands on Youtube & Facebook without forgetting the profiling of consumer search intentions on the internet.

The 25 brands : Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Ebel, Franck Müller, Girard-Perregaux, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Montblanc, Omega, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Rado, Raymond Weil, Rolex, Tag Heuer, Vacheron Constantin and Zenith.

The 7 markets : China, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.

By IC-Agency | July 02, 2009 | Luxury Watch Special
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Protect Your Brand in Search Engines

A few weeks ago, Google modified the way they regulate the use of trademarks within Google AdWords sponsored link campaigns. To refresh your memory: this system allows for paid ads to appear on search results pages triggered by specific keywords in the search query.

Until recently, the dominating policy imposed by Google was the following: an advertiser could not use a registered trademark within their campaigns unless they have proven to be the legal owner of said trademark.

Only the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada were the exceptions to this rule: in these four countries, an advertiser could use the trademark to trigger their ads, but the trademark could not appear within the text of the ad.

Beginning early May, a more flexible policy than that described above was rolled out, and applies to over a hundred countries around the world. In the affected countries, advertisers now have more room to maneuver regarding sponsored link campaigns.

Among these changes, Google also announced another huge modification, exclusive to the US market: advertisers can now use registered trademarks in their ad texts, as long as they respect one of the following three conditions:
  • The advertiser's site must sell (or clearly facilitate the sale of) the goods or services corresponding to a trademark term.
  • The advertiser’s site must sell the components, replacement parts or compatible products relating to the goods or services of the trademark.
  • The primary purpose of the advertiser’s site must be to provide non-competitive and informative details about the goods or services corresponding to the trademark term.

This change worried many about the possibility of an increase in "legal" ads that promote sites selling counterfeit products. Essentially, these sites fit somewhat within the criteria of the first condition mentioned above, and can then fall into the new Google policy and escape the trademark dispute process offered by the search engine.

This danger is one that the Mountain View giant rapidly understood, and has consequently reacted: it now offers the possibility to denounce a site suspected of selling (or facilitating the sale of) counterfeit products, with the goal of removing them from the AdWords system. This protection necessitates on the brands' behalf a constant monitoring of their intellectual property.

Effectively, now that American advertisers are more free to use trademarks in their ad campaigns, the hunt for counterfeit products now turns to the identification and individual analysis of suspected sites. This requires a tremendous amount of work, considering the size of the market and the number of unscrupulous advertisers.

in this context, manually monitoring these trademarks within a system such as AdWords is almost impossible. Conscious of this reality, IC-Agency has been constantly improving on BrandSweeper,, an exclusive monitoring and trademark protection solution, in order to help those brands defend the search engine territory that is legitimately theirs.

This solution has most notably help clear Nespresso's official territory, which is a case study we invite you to (re)discover. Don't hesitate to contact us for more information!

By IC-Agency | July 02, 2009 | Search Engine Protection
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Discover the Harley Davidson e-mailing program

The emblematic brand Harley Davidson offers on its website an excellent 6-step e-mail marketing program. Its objective? To allow you to quietly discover its brand, its advantages and, most of all, to directly encourage you to make a purchase.

How it works:

1) The presence of the call-to-action "find out how you can ride à Harley" on the Harley-Davidson.com site


2) online registration


3)First e-mail : (1/6)


Comments :

Many brands have been using, some for many years, e-mail marketing.
Nonetheless, few have been engaging in an e-mail program structure like the one used by Harley Davidson, with the goal of anticipating and systematically treating objections that would occur from their prospects (ex: financing). These e-mail programs are more often than not integrated in overarching marketing campaigns of the moment, but rarely are they present as part of the content of the site.

Still, the benefits of such a program are numerous :

- Increase in the visitor/buyer conversion rate
- Generation of qualified leads
- Stimulation of online/offline sales
- Expansion of the CRM database

All of which within a 100% opt-in strategy - offering real benefit to the consumer.

How does this link with IC-Agency and Digital Luxury Marketing?

It's not surprising to see similar e-mailing programs become standard practice, as they are very complimentary to standard newsletters. In the luxury industry, brands like Louis Vuitton and Cartier have already taken steps to offer newsletter subscriptions. Going forward, adding e-mailing programs inspired by the Harley-Davidson model could become very useful. For example, the program could confront objections such as those of the younger clientele who are ready to acquire the product they dream of - but are not ready to a step into their boutique. The botton line is, by changing the luxury brand clientele's perception, and consequently brand communcations, through a pragmatic, online objection treatment system could create a true competitive advantage that would generate sales.

By IC-Agency | July 02, 2009 | News & Trends
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Learning Advanced Online Advertising at SMX

With all the different types of online advertising growing and changing almost as fast as the Internet itself we are always working to stay up to date.  That is why IC Agency headed to the United States to attend SMX Advanced in Seattle June 2nd and 3rd.  While there are a lot of great advertising events in Europe including some from SMX there is no event worldwide that can match the tracks and attendees that are at SMX Advanced. 

Google-QS SMX Advanced often is a place where companies make announcements and new features are released.  At this year’s event Google shared a lot about the AdWords Quality Score and new SEO guidelines coming soon to the algorithm but the biggest event was Microsoft officially launch bing.  Microsoft was at the event with several of the developers of bing showing off the functionality and features and answering questions about the future of bing and Microsoft.

Almost like a bunch of friends getting around a table and sharing at SMX Advanced people freely share industry insights, such as Frederick Vallaeys from Google unveiling more on how the Quality Score works at AdWords, agencies sharing optimization insights which included how to give any AdWords account an instant QS boost.

Yahoo-SEO Other insights came from Laura Lippay from Yahoo! on SEO and from Derrick Wheeler from Microsoft showing how Microsoft’s team handles SEO which included a brief introduction into the new SEO toolkit from Microsoft.  All these things really make a difference to how SEO and online advertising works for our clients and while some of the things discussed are still not public knowledge they are what is happening now.

Since this is the only event worldwide that offers this level of insight the advertising elite from Europe where in attendance including some from Germany, France, Spain, the UK and a some even came in from Asia, but most of the attendees are from the United States as that market is still on average running ahead of the rest of the world, but hopefully in future years it becomes more of a International event.

SMX-Europe Another great advantage of attending an event like this in the United States is getting to speak first hand to the people that created or manage the tools we all use daily.  During this event we had several talks with the various management teams at Google as one of their largest development teams based in Seattle but the one company facebook we normally pass by this time we ended up spending a few hours talking with.

According to Google facebook in Switzerland is the most used website with 1.8 million users that generate 950 million page views monthly and with the new systems from facebook, targeting those users is easy and effective.  That is while even though debate about connecting luxury brands to facebook never ends these targeting options and ad formats make advertising on facebook a viable option to target even the most sophisticated and discerning users.

What is next for IC Agency? Well there are always the regional SMX, SES, ad:tech and smaller regional events in which we attend, but we do hope with the help of other agencies, clients and the Internet community as a whole that in the coming years Switzerland can attract higher level advertising events. Maybe we will even see SMX Advanced doing a European focused event based in Switzerland?

By IC-Agency | July 02, 2009
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