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Social Native
Marketing Mix Podcast with Yoann Pavy

Yoann Pavy talks Snapchat marketing and building a community dialogue

May 22, 2019

Joining us on the Marketing Mix Podcast is Yoann Pavy, the Head of Digital Marketing at Depop. Yoann talks advantages to marketing on a “dying” platform, empowering their sellers as mini-entrepreneurs and leveraging events and workshops to improve the platform’s user-generated content. In his path from engineer to marketer, Yoann describes the need for innovation and testing to challenge marketing status quo and how being a pioneer in an uncommon space has given Depop a unique edge.

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Q&A

Jeff Ragovin: You started your career as an automotive engineer and now you’re a marketer. How did that happen? What are you up to at Depop today?

Yoann Pavy: I studied engineering, and did a few years of that and it took me a few years to realize that I was not going to do that all my life. I actually saw a Facebook post by a friend from University that had jumped into a Facebook marketing agency. I decided to apply and took a huge turn in my career to grow into a marketer.

Jeff Ragovin: With your background in the marketing world, you were doing performance marketing, paid social and now you’re doing peer to peer marketing. Can you tell us more about that?

Yoann Pavy:  My role at the moment is very interesting because I get to look after acquisition and various paid, performance-driven marketing and also content distribution across different channels and the brand-awareness side of marketing.

Jeff Ragovin: Depop originally started in Milan and has become very popular in the UK, what are the differences between US customers compared to London and Milan?

Yoann Pavy: At the core it is similar in the sense that we’re looking for creative people and attracting creative young minds to the platform. But if you look at Italy and the UK and the US, people have different styles and the communities are slightly different. So as we grow, we need to focus on creative content that we adapt to the local markets.

Jeff Ragovin: Can you tell us a little bit about why people love second-hand clothing so much when it used to be something that wasn’t always so desirable?  

Yoann Pavy: I think that Depop came at the perfect time where mobile phones and social media platforms exploded. People’s individuality is more and more important and people want to express themselves. That translates into buying and selling their own clothes and expressing themselves that way, so I think in that sense that is how Depop fit in. There was a time when the price of fashion was at the core, whereas now it is about the individuality or the history of an object.

Jeff Ragovin: I see so many brands spending their marketing budgets predominantly on Facebook and Instagram, however, Depop shifted their budgets to spend 3x more money on Snapchat than other platforms. Can you talk to us about that strategy?

Yoann Pavy: At a very micro-level it’s looking at who is your core user and where their attention is. 18-25 is really our core consumer and that’s who we target. Even though Instagram has been gaining a lot of traction in the past years, when you actually test things and don’t just listen to what the marketing world is saying you can get pretty amazing results. That’s what we saw just by testing and getting our hands dirty with a platform that is seen by people as dying and it’s still very relevant, especially within the younger demographic.

When I see an opportunity like that, especially when looking at the cost of traffic, I just double-down until we reach a ceiling, which we haven’t reached yet. By not listening to the trends and where you should be spending your marketing budget, you go against where everyone is going and you can find really interesting pockets of traffic to optimize.  

Jeff Ragovin: Have you guys done anything with TikTok? Are you seeing any opportunities to tap into it to bring more people into the app?

Yoann Pavy: Yeah, it’s in the pipeline for us. We are just ironing out the last few details. Like every new platform or new channel there is an advantage to being one of the first to use it. So, it is definitely in the pipeline for the very near future.

Jeff Ragovin: Can you talk to us about the long-term value of the photo studios that you have created? What do they bring to the company?

Yoann Pavy: It’s about enabling the community to do more. We really value the community as being mini entrepreneurs who want to learn how to take better pictures, have better photoshoots and run a better business. We are using the space as an extended arm of the Depop experience which, as an app, can be very transactional, so we are trying to bring an extra layer to the experience which is becoming a bigger part of our strategy.

Jeff Ragovin: What is the strategy behind the pop-ups and how you’re connecting in-person work with the digital and online experience?

Yoann Pavy: The space allows us to showcase some of our talents and the people who want to participate more with us. When you visit the space you get a real-life experience of some of our sellers and what they’re selling. You can still buy through the app, but get to feel and try on the clothes and you get that human touch on top of it.

Jeff Ragovin: Focusing on scale with paid and acquisition marketing, what are you guys doing to really tap into the Depop community?

Yoann Pavy: We try to keep the community at the core of everything. They’re everything to us, so if we can showcase them in our acquisition and paid marketing we do that by enabling them and utilizing full transparency. Instead of only having a transactional message, trying to sell something, we focus more on the individual. This is especially successful on Snapchat where we can focus on the individual and their personality and we showcase it in a visually interesting way.

Jeff Ragovin: Does your acquisition strategy differ at all when you’re talking about driving buyers versus sellers?

Yoann Pavy: Not really because it’s very blurry. We would greet any new user to the platform as a potential buyer or seller, but as of today we haven’t made a clear distinction between the two because we are focusing on the community first. It’s not that we wouldn’t test that, because everything should be tested, but right now the distinction between the two is definitely very blurry.

Jeff Ragovin: Thank you for joining the Marketing Mix Podcast.

Please note, the above has been paraphrased for editorial purposes