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Adidas inverts marketing

News, 09 March 2015
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HERZOGENAURACH: Adidas, the sports brand, has turned its marketing organisation "upside down" to let groups in charge of running shoes and its Originals casual brand run their own campaigns, according to the CEO.

"We need to be more impactful in the marketplace," Herbert Hainer said on a conference call announcing the group's annual results.

More detail came in the Annual Report: "This massive shift in tactics will make us significantly more agile, enabling us to drive our brand initiatives in the marketplace more professionally and to bring our concepts to the consumer in a more effective way," he wrote.

An omnichannel approach is being developed, with click-and-collect trials generating "encouraging" feedback, while digital marketing "now acts as a backbone for all brand marketing activities."

"Our e-commerce business is doing extremely well," Hainer said. "By the end of the year we will exceed our own expectations."

The 2015 sales and marketing working budget, as a percentage of sales, is expected to increase, while Adidas will also step up marketing and point-of-sale investments to "secure and drive faster growth rates and market share gains", particularly in developed markets such as North America and Western Europe.

This follows what Hainer described as "a year with ups and downs". Sales of its adidas and Reebok brands were up 11% and 1% respectively in its latest financial quarter, but those of TaylorMade-adidas Golf declined 24%.

But he was upbeat about the year ahead. "The time is right to increase investment into our brands," he said. "We will be bringing more stories to life on the streets, on screens and in stores this year."

There will be fewer stores in Russia, however, where it is to shut 200 outlets after being hit by the rouble's devaluation.

Adidas joins a list of other major brands, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Carlsberg, which have cut back their presence in Russia due to the economic difficulties there.

Data sourced from Adidas, Bloomberg, Russia Today; additional content by Warc staff

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