Understanding marketing’s evolving landscape can help your brand drive efficiency and performance
“Among marketing’s greatest challenges is foreseeing how customer wants, needs, expectations and purchasing decisions will evolve … Marketers shouldn’t wait for problems to develop or the market to point in a clear direction before making plans and taking action.” Augie Ray, VP Analyst, Gartner
As we slowly emerge from the COVID-19 cloud, there are countless opinions about what this all means for marketing. In truth, the only certainty is that things will be different.
Understanding the tensions at play will not only help you prepare but avoid unnecessary trade-offs impacting your brand. What’s needed is a fresh, integrated approach to drive new value and consistency at every stage of the brand journey – all while simplifying the process for marketers.
Growing complexity and shrinking margins continue to put pressure on costs.
Increased competition and a more elusive, demanding consumer mean excellence in execution and customer engagement has never mattered more. Marketers are trapped in a virtual gap between efficiency and effectiveness.
This gap manifests itself through the entire brand journey whether it’s between strategy and execution; marketing and the sale; price and quality; or one channel and the next.
An ever-demanding consumer
Consumers have growing expectations from physical retail environments where they can enjoy a brand experience that is consistently communicated from physical through to online.
While retail environments are becoming more experiential for consumers to look at and feel the physical product, they may be researching them online prior to purchase in store, or experiencing them in store and going on to purchase online.
Whichever purchase journey they take, consumers demand a seamless experience as they shop between channels.
Consistency consistency consistency
Sound brand strategy and campaign design can be betrayed by poor execution in retail. Aligning the campaign message between channels is critical for integrity of the brand.
For example, misalignment between pricing promotions online and offline can disappoint the customer if they can’t find the deal – and lead to disappointing numbers when you’re not making the sales.
Price versus quality
The trade-off between price and quality is a major tension for many brands, where the consistent drive from procurement teams to reduce costs can be at odds with delivering an excellent brand experience.
As budgets become pressurised and delivery of incremental savings for in-store campaigns impact brand quality, a mindset shift needs to happen where ROI becomes the target for brands and procurement alike.
Falling at the last hurdle
And then there’s the last step of delivering the campaign in-store, which if it is late or missing, simply leads to lost sales that cannot be recovered. Apart from straining the relationship with the retailer, all investment in delivery of the campaign is sub-optimal. Make sure you don’t fall at the last hurdle.
New normal: new model
The tensions will always be there. However, the challenge is understanding what they are, not accepting a trade-off but rather optimising every stage of the brand journey to ensure value and consistency are delivered. The new normal is the optimum time to change; to reevaluate; to reset. Especially when the current agency models aren’t delivering the value that they used to.
Make your new normal the time when you find new value.