Christopher Parr is an industry leader with over 15 years of experience in digital marketing. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. He launched Pursuitist as a curated list of the good things in life, with guest contributors from Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Glamour, Saveur and more sharing their favorite luxuries. Askmen.com recently named him “one of the 6 coolest guys in fashion,” his family is featured in Disney’s new social media campaign, Marc Jacobs leverages Pursuitist’s editorial, and Milton Pedraza, CEO, Luxury Institute, calls him “One of the top expert practitioners in global luxury in marketing with a particular expertise in marketing, selling and engaging customers in the digital world. He is one of those professionals who executes brilliantly. He is innovative while looking out for the return on investment…”
Here’s a Q&A with Christopher Parr as he shares his digital strategy behind creating an authentic luxury platform to engage affluent readers and connect with luxury brands. It’s a new age of blogging and editorial intersecting with digital luxury marketing and social media to create online buzz for the world’s best luxury brands.
Can you talk a little bit about where you got the idea to start Pursuitist.com?
The idea of Pursuitist.com was to create a travel, style and leisure destination for affluent consumers. For readers pursuing amazing fashion brands, hotels, restaurants, gadgets, experiences, and autos – Pursuitist is a destination site that curates the good things in life. We’ve brought in world-class content producers — remarkable writers sharing remarkable experiences.
How has the experience of the site differed from what you expected it would become?
It’s been a blast. As I tell my writers — write about remarkable people, products and experiences. We aspire to go beyond the bling – Pursuitist is luxury redefined. We focus on the artisans that make amazing handcrafted products – from a designer at Louis Vuitton to a 2nd generation organic winemaker in Napa. We pursue to tell the story and go behind the scenes. We officially launched last year. While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include remarkable writers.
How does the site plan to attract affluent individuals?
To build awareness, we’re launching a 360-degree advertising campaign. To attract and keep the right readers, our strategy includes word-of-month, PR, campaigns with Facebook, Twitter, banner ads on other affluent websites, and email marketing. Facebook integration is also a major tactic – the sharing, liking, and commenting is exclusively powered by Facebook to help us go viral and obtain more likeminded readers.
What is your relationship to the brands you write about?
As we’re able to serve up a targeted audience, luxury brands love our platform. We’re also very selective of the advertisers that appear on our site. Pursuitist is truly a targeted online destination for luxury advertisers to connect and engage with affluent consumers. Advertisers have included Burberry, Coach, Intel, BMW, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Broadmoor Hotel and Cosmopolitan Hotel. The Pursuitist is a great place to be seen – as our readers are affluent (65% with an annual income of $75k and up) and influencers.
How do you keep your content authentic?
There’s a shortage of online destinations for affluent consumers seeking authentic experiences. Plenty of cold bling sites exist, focusing on editorial content with ultra premium and inaccessible luxuries. That’s the void, and why Pursuitist was created — there’s not another site like us. Pursuitist is one destination site with 9 targeted sections (Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel) – best described as an online mashup of The Huffington Post and Conde Nast.Our editorial is also different — from our travel journals to our features on amazing artisans and clever destinations. With friendlier and accessible narratives – our readers tell us they feel like insiders, along for the ride.
In general, what kind of lift can this kind of content offer brands? Is this something they should focus on getting more of?
We’ve also worked quite closely with other luxury brands to organically integrate and feature their products – from Four Seasons, Hermes, Patron, Gucci, Prada, Robert Mondavi Wine, Ralph Lauren, Lobel Steaks of New York, to Chanel. As we only focus on premier brands and destinations, we are selective of the brands we feature. It’s a terrific halo effect – to be “Pursuitist Recommended.”
Do most brands react to what you write? How do they respond to your content?
They love it. The brands, from Marc Jacobs, Land Rover to Viking Range prefer to re-tweet and link to our editorial on their social media channels. (See an example of Marc Jacobs leveraging Pursuitist’s editorial here.)
Also read, Luxury Daily News: Interview with Christopher Parr on latest startup and creating online buzz with Marc Jacbos, BWM and Jimmy Choo
Christopher Parr, CEO of Parr Interactive, is an award-winning writer and online marketing strategist. Since 1995, the Madison, Wisconsin-based internet pioneer and marketer has launched numerous successful web projects, viral videos and online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. In addition to creating blogging and buzz marketing platforms, services include web design, social media marketing, digital marketing and SEO. Visit www.parrinteractive.com to learn more.