How Overland Sheepskin Co. Builds Partnerships & Taps New Markets with Alexa

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Analytics is an undeniable part of the many strategic business decisions made each day. Sometimes, analytics shows us where we stack up relative to competitors. Other times, we call on analytics to help us pinpoint gaps in our strategy and opportunities to boost performance. For Overland Sheepskin Co., analytics is an important part of identifying influential marketing partners and growing its customer base.

Founded in 1973, Overland is a family-owned retailer operating 16 stores across the United States. Its collection features high-quality sheepskin, wool, and leather goods.

For many years, the company relied on its catalog mail-order service. But as online became the more preferred shopping destination for customers, Overland began to shift its business. Because of the company’s catalog roots, the transition into the $1.5 trillion (2014) ecommerce landscape was a relatively natural one. However, two challenges arose. First, the company needed to guarantee its online experience mirrored the friendly, quality service delivered via catalog orders and in stores. Second, while its existing customers were often very loyal and evangelized the brand, Overland needed to familiarize its quality brand to new markets.

Tracy McCormick, Director of PR for Overland, tells us that analytics has been instrumental in identifying new marketing partnerships. For several years “Alexa has helped me effectively reach out to key marketing partners who may be more apt to share Overland’s products, or refer Overland to other top influencers,” she says. Monitoring the ranks and traffic metrics of top industry publications helps her develop a selective list of the most authoritative potential partners. And reviewing demographic data confirms there is alignment with Overland’s audience. With this information, she can then reach out and cultivate a relationship, pitch, and place Overland products.

As Tracy explains, the field of public relations is no longer based on gut feel or intuition, but on data. Often the amount of data she has to parse to make decisions is overwhelming, but with Alexa she’s able to gain a clear understanding of Overland’s customers, where they come from, and infer their interests. Likewise, by identifying lookalike audience groups of other companies, she can target where to introduce Overland’s messaging next. As a result, the company is able to make proactive decisions about product sourcing, marketing, and new store opportunities. In all, “Alexa saves me time, which gives me an edge in business.”

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