In a world where consumers are seeking to develop two-way conversations with brands and Localgeddon is a daily battle, the stakes are high for enterprise marketers looking to make an omnichannel, localized impact. Customers are expecting brands to develop a fully personalized user experience and remain agile; if not, they are more than willing to purchase from a competing local brand.
At Etail West, three particular sessions pointed to the need for truth in digital marketing, the democratization of data and overall brand personalization.
The Truths of Digital
Living at the intersection of healthcare and fashion, LensCrafters has a unique marketplace position that makes it important to deliver knowledgeable insights and personalized options to local consumers. Eric Anderson, President and GM of LensCrafters explained during his keynote that the company’s uses a robust CRM and dynamic strategies to predict customer behavior and develop an ongoing dialogue with consumers using. Anderson indicated the following truths of digital to explain the LensCrafters brand strategy philosophy in connecting with customers in the most personalized way.
Know what you want to be- Digital is the only enabler. It all starts with customers and what they say. Technology can only bolster efforts so marketers must be selective and careful in implementation to ensure that the efforts are delivering the most value possible.
Maintain flexibility in technology choices- Marketers can’t afford to lack on the customer experience for lack of improved technologies. It’s important to be experimental and experiment with technological capabilities to adjust how your brand uses its marketing technology as strategies and objectives change.
Invest in change management- Anderson explained that from corporate down to the store level, technological adoption takes time and so change management is essential. Investing and empowering local associates takes continuous training but can ultimately drive value and loyalty from local customers.
Democratization of Data
Adobe Director of Industry Strategy Michael Klein took the stage with Beach People’s CEO Drew Koven and Newegg’s Director of Marketing Jim Merk in a panel discussion on retail brand agility.
Overall, the discussion highlighted the need for brands to develop customer trust and loyalty in order to take roots and grow 1-1 engagement. Organizationally, this either indicates a top-down or bottom up collocation and ultimately, calls for the dissemination of data across all organizational silos. One faction of a company won’t cut it in engaging with the customers. To stay agile, the overall organization and all the silos within it have to have exposure to the same data to make a more impactful connection to customers.
“You must democratize access to data,” Koven said, explaining Beach People’s TMZ Team approach to effectively disseminating customer data across and empowering organizational silos.
Overall, marketers don’t need to take a “waterfall” approach to adopting technologies or applying their data. Brand agility is about taking the most secure step to be where customers are and delivering quality engagement.
No More Storytelling
Brian Beitler, COO and VP of Lane Bryant explained the company’s recent image refresh through a series of empowering campaigns for its target audience. Lane Bryant’s main marketing driver, Beitler explained, was to pull away from one sided brand storytelling and begin developing a conversation.
To make a scaled impact, Beitler explained that brands must understand who and what drive conversation, pushing topics that resonate to particular audiences and developing places for people to share and congregate, whether that be through social media and reviews, or even online landing pages.
So far, the insights at the Etail West 2016 conference have indicated that now is the time for brands to get agile with a more localized and personalized marketing strategy. We’re looking forward to the remaining sessions of the event. Keep up with the conference and follow us on Twitter!