ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Macy?s, Marriott approach SnapChat very differently as platform?s influence grows

Macy?s and Marriott are two of the top brands using Snapchat as part of their mobile marketing strategy, and both are leveraging the social media application in very different ways. 

Macy?s will be offering its customers a first look at some of its Black Friday specials via Snapchat, while Marriott will be rolling out an interactive series on the app as part of its big mobile push. Both brands recognize that the growing importance of Snapchat in the marketing sector allows for a plethora of ways to leverage the app in a way that is consistent with the target audience and overall campaign.

?Overall, CivicScience has seen a strong trend in social media's influence on purchase and consumption decisions,? said Jennifer Sikora, vice president of marketing for CivicScience, Pittsburgh, PA. ?In a report published in October 2014, our consumer research platform identified that in the past six months, social media's influence rose 10 percent while TV advertising dropped 12 percent - the two are now equal in percent of consumers who find they are more influential.

Younger demographic
One of Snapchat?s biggest positives and negatives is the younger demographic it attracts. For brands hoping to attract millennials, especially for Black Friday sales, leveraging the sharing app is a smart strategy.

Macy?s fans can add the retailer as a friend on Snapchat, under the name MacysSnaps, and can tap their smartphone?s screen to view selected Black Friday specials. The quick window of time to view the image may also help drive impulse buys during one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

However, while the strategy will help reach a wide audience, the amount of income per consumer may be a caveat.

?The one downside may be the limited purchasing power of Snapchat's core fan base, due to their age and therefore earnings: they are 25 percent more likely than the general population to have an annual household income of under $25,000,? Ms. Sikora said.

However, Macy?s is also using a slew of other social media and mobile tactics to push Black Friday sales, via its shopping list on tablet and mobile, mobile app and Pinterest account.

Interactive content
Marriott aims to use Snapchat as a storytelling device to resonate emotionally with consumers. It has partnered with marketing and analytics firm Naritiv to roll out an interactive series, via the ?stories? feature of the app, to support the brand?s Travel Brilliantly campaign.

?The stories feature is a great way to share content between the influencers we?ve partnered with - where our brands merely play a character in their stories and journeys ? and make the emotional connection that is was one of our 18 brands worldwide enabled the story to happen,? said David Beebe, vice president of creative and content marketing, global marketing at Marriott International, Washington D.C.

?Mobile is a key focus for us with content and it is a preferred way to communicate among millennials. Today, the consumer chooses when, where, and how to interact with brands,? he said.

Marriott claims to be the first hospitality brand to develop interactive stories on Snapchat, and it is likely a feature that will augment not only the campaign, but the brand as a whole. 

While Macy?s Snapchat strategy is designed to create more awareness for a single day, Marriott?s is created to strike an emotional chord within the user.

?People love to tell stories,? Mr. Beebe said. ?It comes naturally they spend our lives telling them. Stories and narratives provide feeling, and it?s that emotional connection that will resonate with Snapchat users.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York