With unemployment high and consumer confidence low, retailers are getting more creative to lure wary consumers. Grabbing shoppers from rivals is no easy task, but merchants are making a stab at innovative ways, beyond price cuts and low overhead, to lure consumers. Merchants have little choice now but to boost sales to keep profits up.
With today's consumers deluged with new media and messages — on any given day, the average consumer will be exposed to nearly 3,000 media messages, of which they'll pay attention to 52 and remember four — marketing campaigns need to be as close to one-to-one conversations as possible. At last month's Digital Marketing Days Conference & Expo in New York City, Christa Carone, chief marketing officer for Xerox, provided strategies to help retailers shift their marketing efforts from one-way conversations to true dialogs with consumers.
Greater emphasis is clearly placed on value and multiple-unit purchases rather than on adding “frills” via merchandising tactics beyond clearance areas and rebates. An interesting aside is that unlike B-to-C customers who have come to expect plentiful free shipping offers, the lack of such promotions does not seem to negatively impact the B-to-B customer’s decision to make a purchase.
Combining the forces of social media with email marketing has been under way for some time, with savvy marketers using the two channels to complement each other rather than compete. As companies gain experience in the area, their choice of tactics may change. A survey of small businesses by email marketing company AWeber found the most common tactics implemented last year were tweeting email newsletters and sending out blog entries to email lists. Fewer than four in 10 small businesses were engaging in those activities, and only about one-quarter had email sign-up forms on their social profiles or links within email messages to follow them on social sites.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today released its Quarterly Business Review for the first quarter of 2010. As the trends toward increased accountability and technical innovation continue their rise in popularity and ROI among the business community, the digital channels have consumed the top slots for new marketing spending. The study shows that for the first time in two years, marketers and their service providers reported across-the-board increases in revenue, marketing expenditures and profitability compared with both the fourth quarter of 2009 and the same quarter last year. Their optimism about the second quarter also grew.
The Direct Marketing Association today released the 2010 Response Rate Trend Report, which provides key cost and performance benchmarks to help marketers gauge the efficiency of their campaigns. The updated report shows effective paid search campaigns usually lead to a multistep sales process.
On day two of the Retail Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla., last month, a panel of executives from Best Buy, Dell and 1-800-Flowers.com took part in a roundtable discussion on how their businesses have evolved their brand, e-commerce and marketing strategies to differentiate themselves from their competition through innovation.
Retailers encounter moments of truth that make or break their sales and marketing effectiveness multiple times each day. How they inter
H&M Style Eye was sponsored by Lucky Magazine, Conde Nast Digital and MTV Networks, and was held on Facebook. Whoa, watch out multipurpose powerhouses! For the contest, users uploaded stylish photos of themselves while others voted. H&M went on to choose the three most stylish, flew them to New York for a weekend, along with a $500 H&M gift card and a photo shoot for the July issue of Lucky. Best of all (and supremely smart of H&M), the entire hoopla was shot on video and then broadcast on YouTube and Facebook.
Tying the results of a marketing tactic to the actual financial performance of a company is no easy feat. You may not have ready access to business performance or transaction metrics to allow correlation. The sheer array of channels and options available to marketers, and the rise of new marketing tactics such as social media, only add to the difficulty of measuring clear results.