Fashion e-tailer Boohoo announced earlier this month that it is taking an "innovative approach" to marketing its brand in 2015, as it looks to drive loyalty and build an emotional connection with its customers.

For its spring/summer collection the retailer is creating behind-the-scenes videos relating to the brand and its people, which are broadcast on boohoo TV and social media, allowing customers to share the various images, music, health and lifestyle tips.

In a preliminary results announcement for the year ending 28 February, published at the start of May, Boohoo said that marketing expenditure had been 13.2% of revenue over the year, with second-half investment focusing on the markets identified as having greater potential, namely the UK, Australia, Ireland, France and the US.

The strategy for the current financial year is to continue to focus marketing expenditure on those aforementioned key markets, with a moderate level in developing markets. And it was announced this week that the retailer will be working with software company Visual IQ in order to gain performance analytics for each of its marketing campaigns.

Visual IQ will provide Boohoo with insight into how the retailer's multiple online, offline and mobile marketing channels and tactics work together to drive sales, and the vendor's IQ Intelligence Suite will be used to suggest where the company can best allocate spend to improve its return on investment.

Jamie Hughes, Boohoo marketing analyst, said: "Partnering with Visual IQ will deliver tangible benefits to our business by providing an unprecedented view of our consumers' path to purchase."

The Boohoo prelims went into some detail on marketing strategy, which arguably reflects the company's need to talk about itself and raise awareness, as a young international business. Indeed, some of the strategies were allude to by Boohoo marketing director Richard Clark during a panel debate at this year's RBTE.

Boohoo marketing director Richard Clark at this year's RBTE, alongside Essential Retail editor Ben Sillitoe

Boohoo's social media team – like other retailers with global remits such as Mothercare and Debenhams – identifies influencers and trends in fashion in order to harness them when marketing to new international territories. Last year saw the online fashion retailer work with international blogger Nadia Aboulhosn, who supported its plus-size range with live tweets in the autumn with a reach of 1.4 million followers.

Meanwhile, YouTube 'celebrity' Zoella, who has 7.8 million subscribers, posted videos where she was wearing Boohoo outfits, and this reportedly generated significant consumer interest and a noticeable immediate increase in visitors to its website.

Blogger outreach was also used by the e-tailer in Australia but the business went a few steps further in the US by launching a pop-up shop in New York, to support a series of promotional events, including music sessions, blogger meet and greets, a student ambassador programme and college fashion weeks. As a result, its US division saw an upturn in sales and actually reported a 44% rise in constant currency revenues for the year as a whole.

As Boohoo looks to experiment with new routes to market in 2015 and beyond, it will be looking to Visual IQ to help shape its marketing strategy by providing an array of data-led and analytical information.

Vanessa Tadier, European general manager at the vendor, commented: "We are delighted to be working with Boohoo to optimise its multichannel marketing strategy.

"We are committed to providing the very best platform for brands to understand the effectiveness of their cross-channel marketing performance and positively influence future marketing decisions."

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