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Comment: Performance must trump potential


Over the years, retail marketing has seen a gradual increase in complexity, sophistication and transparency, becoming more science than art. So much so that marketeers spend more time crunching than lunching, giving them unprecedented data and insights that help balance the investment and returns of a major marketing campaign.

However, as marketing channels and solutions for retailers have become more intricate, they have also become harder to define and justify to the board, who are looking for beautiful ads that do the brand justice, as well as impressive numbers showing ROI and incrementality.

This is where a delicate balance between the traditional and the digital comes in, and there’s nothing like great advice to get that right.

Turning Potential into Performance

There is no doubt that good large scale print, TV or radio branding campaigns can play a significant role in making a product desirable; in other words, making a product relevant, by touching a nerve, working off emotions and creating conversation. This is when a successful campaign gets the valuable word of mouth machine going and user generated social marketing takes over.

Once that happens, you then need to make the product buyable. Thousands if not millions of consumers will have been touched by the advertising, but what is going to get them into the store, or onto your website? This is where the digital channel comes in; to turn that potential into performance.

Some of the options within digital media are very new but if a retailer does it right, the rewards for brands are boundless. The growth of the Cost per Acquisition (CPA) model, when a retailer only pays when an acquisition is made, is a great example of how, with great consumer insights, a willingness to experiment, and some trusted advice, retailers’ marketing budgets can be allocated more effectively.

In real time, you can see the performance of one creative execution or promotional message over another, and make the instant adjustments required to ensure maximum effectiveness and return. Here are two areas where this model can be put to effective use.

Digital Media Brands of Tomorrow

The first category of partners are the rising stars of e-commerce; digital publishers that feature product promotions and reviews, often with offers attached. From deal-based sites such as MyVoucherCodes, Savoo, VoucherCodes and Nectar, that have enormous following and drive real volume, to the more niche but rapidly growing content and lifestyle sites such as Sheerluxe, Shopstyle, Lyst and Mumsnet. These sites position retail products and promotions in front of millions of active consumers (who are there because of the great products on offer), and have proven a huge source of growth.

Cash-back is another sector, (e.g., Topcashback and Quidco), that is seeing enormous growth and increasing relevance in austere times such as these. Not only are these emerging media sites proving valuable in terms of volume, they are creating real loyalty among consumers. They are growing in credibility and building brands of their own as they play an ever more important role in the purchase cycle.

Recapturing a lost customer

Another growing area that many retailers have achieved fantastic success in is retargeting or remarketing. This is a way to re-engage with a valuable consumer who has been much of the way through the purchase process on your site, only to leave for any number of reasons before closing the deal.

The cost of getting someone to spend time on your site can be considerable, so to lose them at the last minute is frustrating.

SalesCycle, VE Interactive, MyThings and MediaForge are all varying examples of this ability to bring back interested consumers, and are all worth considering for suitability to your brand.

Carried out with respect for the consumer, relevance to their needs and care for the cost model, this is a great route to improve profitability of a wider marketing campaign.

Overall, investing wisely in well-balanced retail marketing comes from a learning process that ensures you have chosen the right partners for your consumer and your brand. There are a lot of great channels, publishers and solutions on offer, but perhaps most important of all when weighing up the options is the trusted advisors you have around you.

Published on Wednesday 05 December by Editorial Assistant

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