Social Media: Italy
Wow, first things first, I apologize for not writing anything in a while.
So, this semester, I am working to get prepared for studying abroad in Rome, Italy during the spring semester. Part of the application for the program included my writing an essay. I wrote about Social Media in Italy in the the Fashion industry. Below is the essay. Take a look and let me know what you think!
When people think of Italy, they think fashion because it has been one of the centers for fashion for decades producing many designers including Armani, Versace, Gucci and Fendi. Names like these are known throughout the world as high fashion. Not only have these designers found ways to share their designs through traditional methods, but new methods like social media, as well. As companies are learning about all the ways to utilize the internet, the question of how much focus should be placed on this new media and how much should be taken away from the traditional methods. Consumers are looking more to their peers for advice on what to buy than the latest print advertisement as found by Nielsen, a top marketing research company in their Global Online Consumer Survey from 2009. Because of this, countries around the world are finding themselves still searching for a balance and Italy is no exception.
In Italy, where the economy could use some work, finding new ways to encourage spending are a necessity. Italian professional who focus on the marketing for industries like fashion are still holding onto the past while looking toward the future. As mentioned in an article, Marketing in Italy Today by David Carson in The Journal of Marketing from January 1966, Italy is interested in catching up with those in the western world while still holding on to the strings of the past. Although this article is from long ago, it still holds true. History is still so much of what Italy is. Marketing professionals have been catching up quickly in this sense.
Take a look at Gucci and Armani for example. They have introduced some truly innovative campaigns when it comes to social media and consumer interaction on the Internet. Gucci is not only working on a new digital campaign called Gucci Connect, but has also found ways of utilizing Facebook and Twitter. Fendi and Armani have also found ways to utilize these resources that countless western companies haven’t even thought of. Fendi has developed not one, but three iPhone applications (a thriving market). Even before all of these extra resources, their websites are innovative and even more forward looking. These companies seem to not only have understood many of the powerful companies from the western world but also have even surpassed some.
It seems that Italian’s top fashion designers have switched the vast majority of their focus to utilizing the new media methods. Personally, I think this is a bit of a drastic and risky choice, especially for Italy where according to a 2009 Nielsen report on Social Media in Italy, only forty-three percent of the population are internet users. Italy, a country looking to stabilize its economy, should be looking for a way to reach as many people as possible and to me that does not mean directing all of their attention on the internet, when the majority of the population doesn’t even use it.