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‘Notonthehighstreet.com has the power to disrupt any consumer sector’, says marketing director Ben Carter

Online retailer Notonthehighstreet is in a position to “disrupt any consumer sector” through its ability to offer personalised products that “talk to people on their terms”, according to marketing director Ben Carter.

Speaking at The Drum’s Digital Convergence event, Carter said the brand is aiming to become famous in the next three years and despite the business growing 150 per cent year on year, there is still a huge branding job to be done. “Our prompted awareness among females is very high but among blokes that prompted awareness is not,” commented Carter. “So, our mission is to make sure we are relevant to anyone who wants to buy something on the internet. That’s a big mission and we have big competitors like Amazon, but we have the ambition and determination to make it a success.”

Currently, 80 per cent of the products on the website are sold by females and the retailer is channeling efforts to make the brand more omnipresent with men. One of the ways it is doing this is by “investing in the right channels above the line”, creating an ongoing conversation and pushing a constant reminder of the brand through media partnerships.

Carter also said that the brand is increasing its marketing investment to drive home the message that it is more than just a ‘gifting’ retailer and a place to go for personalised products for yourself.

“Notonthehighstreet has become an established gifting destination, but we sell so much more than gifts,” he said. “Our mission is to make you realise that you don’t have to have the same doormat or bed sheet as your neighbour. Our priority is to work out how we become known as more than that and to further grow the site around self-purchase”.

As part of this push, the retailer last week ran its first ‘reactive’ advert after seeing the opportunity to engage in current events and news. It used a conversation around pre-nuptial agreements and in two hours created the advert and ran it in print the next day. It also pushed the content through core social media sites.

Creating advertising and social media engagement through current events is something Notonthehighstreet is heavily investing time in. Carter said the marketing team is “almost like a news team” with news gathering calls taking place three times a week. However, he added that reactive “isn't really reactive” and needs to be more of a planned process, with the team forward planning key events such as pancake day throughout the year.

Talking about targeting customers at the right time, Carter said the brand is “cutting through the clutter” and from a commercial point of view still “working out the balance for Pinterest”. Notonthehighstreet currently has a 180,000 strong Facebook fan base with CPAs through the site described as “phenomenal”.