Michaels Rolls Out New MakerPlace Campaign

Michaels is introducing a campaign to show off MakerPlace, its new Etsy-like platform. Called “Respect the Handmade,” the campaign is meant to encourage makers to join the platform, which the company launched a few months ago. The retailer has also begun to test an in-store program, inviting select sellers to offer their goods at their local Michaels, driving exposure and sales for their storefronts.

“We know one of the biggest challenges for handmade business owners is finding and reaching those potential customers in a crowded handmade marketplace,” says Heather Bennett, executive vice president of marketing and ecommerce. “The in-store selling pilot leverages our brick-and-mortar presence to provide sellers with a unique opportunity to break through some of that noise and connect with customers in their local community.”



The ads, created by Oberland, are aimed at two audiences: Independent handmade artists and makers, and the consumers who turn to them for unique gifts, décor and jewelry. Carefully crafted leather bags, candlesticks and crocheted chickens come to life, dancing to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” (The “Sock it to me” lines are, naturally, sung by an ensemble of hand-knit socks.)

She says ads are running on social media, the MakerPlace website, Michaels-owned channels, and streaming video and programmatic paid media.

“We’re looking to reach our extremely diverse audience of both potential sellers and buyers, so the ads explore the benefits of the platform from both sides,” she tells Marketing Daily via email.

While this is a pilot, starting with just seven stores, opening physical stores up to these makers could be a key differentiator. With nearly 1,300 locations, it gives Michaels an advantage pure digital players lack.

Based on feedback from the platform’s beta users, both the campaign and in-store pilot aim to convey a deeper commitment to handmade artists. “We truly want to help them establish their businesses and succeed. That’s why MakerPlace offers what others don’t, including multiple revenue streams.”

MakerPlace also offers lower fees and flexible membership options.

The better the experience and platform are for sellers, the Irving, Texas-based retailer reasons, the more makers it can attract. And that richness will translate to higher sales and satisfaction for the people who prefer to buy socks rather than knit them.

“We’re just getting started on what we have planned to further support the handmade community,” she adds, “with a roadmap of features and updates planned to keep improving both shopper and seller experience.”

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