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A new year is coming, and 2018 has been a successful and profitable year for German sportswear firm Adidas so far. The brand’s net profit over the second quarter rose 20% to 418 million euros and beat the analysts’ expectations. Adidas’ straightforward digital marketing strategy is the power behind this success.

With this well-implemented strategy, the company wants to topple its main competitor Nike from the crown. Brand’s e-commerce channel is the fastest-growing revenue channel and all the production processes as digitized as possible. Changing consumer behaviors with digital transformation also changes the way how Adidas works. Technology helps the company to build more direct relationships with their customers.

Here are the 5 things you should know about Adidas’ digital marketing strategy:

Adidas’s five-year strategy that issued in 2015 has the name “Creating the New”. Describing itself as a digital company, Adidas wants to be the world’s best sporting apparel brand. In order to achieve this, they use subsequent digitalization as the key part of their marketing strategy. For the “Best” means designing, building and selling the best sports goods in the world. The company spends 90% of its marketing budget on digital campaigns and social media.

High-speed manufacturing is one of the essential parts of Adidas’ digital marketing strategy. They digitized the production process with 3D printing technology and robotics at Speedfactory in Ansbach. Futurecraft 4D shoes that crafted with light and oxygen are one successful example of the brand’s advanced technology.

The purpose of the manufacturing process is to deliver the most innovative and personalized running shoes for every athlete. The sporting goods brand always tries to meet the high demand. Created with innovation and collaboration, the fresh and desirable products always ready for customers where and when they want them to purchase.

  • Relationship with consumers

They try to interact with their customers and create premium, connected and personalized experiences. In other words, they create enthusiasm and excitement about sports on a personal level. The brand takes every touchpoint like mobile, social and retail that consumers can interact to provide a consistent experience. By taking insights from digital analysis and Big Data, Adidas tries to be everywhere its consumers are. Adidas promises to deliver multichannel, unified and also unique experiences.

Engine Digital collaborated with the Adidas Digital Future Team to meet the needs of Run Genie’s other audience: the Adidas sales associate. They were tasked with defining an end-to-end customer experience that enables the sales team to guide the purchase decision through data visualization and connected hardware.

Here you can learn more about the project: Adidas: Using Data To Choose The Perfect Shoe

  • Open-source innovations and collaborations

Adidas opens its doors and calls all the creative including athletes, consumers and partners to learn, create, share and shape future sports and sports culture. They try to bring cool products to the market. Parley For the Ocean cooperation is a part of that initiative which includes producing 3 new UltraBoost models from plastic waste from the sea.

The brand also collaborates world-famous football players, athletes and singers to inspire. “Calling All Creators” campaign created by 72AndSunny is a great example of that collaboration. You can learn the campaign details from here and watch the video below.

Six cities (London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo) where shape the consumers’ perception, trends, and buying decisions have strategic importance for Adidas. In Europe, they focus on selling especially soccer products, but the US is a key country for other subsidiaries like basketball and baseball. North America is the biggest market in the sporting goods industry, and its total share is 40%.

The company is constantly revisiting its portfolio and concentrating on the core brand Adidas and Reebok. Thus the brand makes more precise targeting and reduces complexities. Footwear and apparel under Adidas Neo and Originals names continue to grow. Adidas has repositioned Reebok for more profitability during 2018. For Reebok, they collaborate with influential women designers like Victoria Beckham and women who want to change the world like Ariana Grande and Gigi Hadid.

Even if Adidas has a strong competitor, they’re trying to be the best sporting goods company in the world and they have no intention to give up the game. Using digital, technology, right targeting, speedy manufacturing processes, innovation and collaborations the brand is getting closer to catch the world’s number one. I guess we’ll continue to watch these two sportswear giants’ competition for long years.

If you want to explore the digital marketing and social media campaigns from Adidas, have a look at this page created for Adidas projects!

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