Retail marketing is perhaps one of the most competitive areas of advertising today. It also happens to be one of the most complex challenges for which retail marketers constantly strive to gain actionable insights, control, and consistent year-over-year improvement.
The name of the game is ROI
Whether a retailer has a local marketing budget of $30K or a global one of $300M, their goal is almost always the same: acquire more customers and drive incremental sales, at the lowest possible cost. Those who can maximize budgets to drive the greatest incremental impact and profit for their brand, will win.
Additionally, with the rapid advancement and development of consumer behavior among new technology-enabled demographic groups, the game is constantly changing and marketers need to be more agile than ever.
Marketers as entrepreneurs
As a result of increasing challenges and opportunities, retail marketing has evolved into a more entrepreneurial discipline. David Packard, the founder of HP, is credited for having once said “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” While in the past this quote may have come across to marketers as a painfully accurate slight, today it could not be further from the truth.
The marketing organization has evolved to become the nucleus of retail. Today’s successful retail marketing campaigns require the carefully calculated coordination of highly effective cross-functional teams; from strategy-minded executives, to product merchants, creative designers, P&A analysts, marketing analysts, brand coordinators, pricing managers, CRM & loyalty teams, omnichannel, digital marketing, mobile, customer service, and third party specialists.
The next best thing
The demand for third party specialists (agencies, technology companies, and marketing intelligence platforms) grows as the shift to digital engagement among consumers also grows. So there exists an ever-increasing flow of new marketing platforms, tools, technologies and products that marketers constantly need to be aware of, vet out, and eventually adopt to remain competitive in the market.
Marketing in the 21st century requires new and emerging technologies that allow marketers to adapt and inform their strategies and the ways they communicate their brand’s promise to customers.
For retailers today, the big question should not be whether they choose to leverage existing technologies to gain an advantage; it’s whether or not they think they can compete effectively without them.
Which marketing technologies do you think are changing the game for retail marketing?