Although Spring is nearing the end, it's the time of year when we clean out our homes and offices. This year we're taking it a step further by sorting through our marketing strategies and challenge other marketers to take this opportunity to rejuvenate their strategies as well.
With their freshly organized closets, shoppers will be perusing the web looking to fill the empty space, so a fresh marketing strategy should be a priority for retailers. The goal should be to toss outdated and unnecessary tools, preserve what's working well, and update your technology to be more modern and efficient. Here are five tips for marketers trying to revitalize their marketing strategy this spring.
1. Throw out generic display ads and segmented email blasts.
Consumers now expect a personalized shopping experience at every step along their journeys, so stop serving generic ads and filling their inboxes with generic email blasts. Segmentation is not enough. Communicate directly with each consumer individually based on everything you know about them. Consumers say that personalized product recommendations sent via email are significant influencers on driving them to the website or physical store, which means that segmented email blasts won't produce the same results as deliberate, targeted emails. Consumers recognize that they purchase more from retailers who personalize online ads that promote products from websites they've visited, so don't waste your money with generic display ads either. Get personal and move beyond segmentation
2. Stop accounting for online purchases only.
With more than 90 percent of all retail sales still coming from the physical store, retailers that aren't accounting for in-store purchases in their marketing strategy are making a huge mistake. Consumers report frustration when retailers don't take into account in-store purchases when marketing to them, a sentiment that is likely to escalate over time. Seventy-eight percent of surveyed consumers are willing to allow retailers to utilize information gleaned from their in-store purchases in order to provide a more personalized shopping experience wherever they shop. This spring is the time to start incorporating consumers' online purchase histories into your marketing efforts.
3. Ditch assumptions about age groups.
The general consensus is that only young shoppers find personalization valuable, but older consumers see value as well. Baby boomers are increasingly willing to share their shopping behaviors and preferences, as well as in-store purchase data, with retailers if it means they get a more personalized shopping experience. But it's more than just willingness. Sixty percent desire recommendations on retailers' websites and via email. So look past misconceptions about age groups and start making personalization a priority for all shoppers.
4. Start offering real-time recommendations.
Recommendations in real-time are incredibly useful for shoppers, so they deserve a spot in your online marketing strategy. If a shopper purchases a new couch, retailers should be suggesting pillows and throws to go with it. Both sides of the table benefit from real-time recommendations-shopping is made easier for the customer, and you sell more products. Shoppers recognize that they purchase more from retailers that leverage shopper interests and buying behavior, and even more than that, they want that information to be used. Thirty-nine percent of consumers get frustrated when retailers don't update product recommendations in real-time based on browsing behavior.
5. Unearth lost shoppers.
Marketers should make more of an effort to pull customers back to their website or store. Retargeting emails and display ads-particularly when they are coordinated-are very effective, and consumers are increasingly receptive to them. Today, 58 percent of consumers are receptive to abandoned cart emails, and one-in-three consumers are receptive to abandoned site emails. While abandoned cart emails are regularly utilized, abandoned site emails are not an industry standard today. This spring, make your marketing plan more effective by optimizing email and site-abandonment strategies.
Purging outdated tools and integrating new technologies should be top of mind for retailers looking to spruce up their marketing strategies this spring. Marketing has come a long way in the last decade, and continues to shift on a regular basis. You've outgrown segmentation. It was a good start, but engaging each consumer on a one-to-one basis is what consumers want to see from you. So out with the old and in with the new. The holidays will be here before we know it, and acting now will help you reap the rewards long before the first snow falls.