Profits, Sales, Marketing – considering the sequence backwards, we understand the foundational aspect of marketing. More so of the Direct Marketing since the early days of the market system. The onslaught of digital, social media and cloud platforms have only stimulated the richly deserved creativity behind the Direct Marketing efforts. While Direct Marketing occupies a significant spot in the revenue mix, its impact on Retail Sales may require another protracted discussion.
Retail sales traditionally considered more humane than overall sales is on an adrenaline boost of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Language (ML), pattern matching, advance analytics et all. Yes, the proliferation of data has played a vital role in accomplishing the dividends of customer loyalty and ROI hike. But then the results are not static; a consistent effort coupled with innovation must be made to secure the desired business objective. Let us run-through some of the interesting cross-channel and direct marketing ideas to help you rethink your Direct Marketing strategy.
Integrate data across all channels
The target customer is no longer limited to one brick-mortar façade to explore buying options. The world is on his finger-tips, quite literally. It is then very logical to integrate in-store customer data pertaining to stock reviews, outlet suggestions, service feedbacks with online and offline channels. Not only retailers can encourage the customers to share their feedbacks/suggestions on the online medium but also may have content generating tactics of their own to be amplified in the online media. Be it a positive video feedback that can go viral to stock information sharing a note that can be personalized – data integration is only meant to benefit.
Direct marketing is not a one-time effort. A sustained, personalized and customized customer out-reach across various relevant touch-points is key to the lead conversion. Social media sites, email marketing, digital marketing, ads are some of the oft used tactics and successful too.
It has never been easier to share your offerings with prospects. With the accessibility of location data, retailers are actually able to share their in-store campaigns, discounts, offers, nearest outlet with the utmost relevancy to the customer. Further, rewards for brand loyalty or even brand initiations send in encouraging signal to the customer for coming back.
Newsletters and email marketing
It is important that your customer engages with your communications. Newsletters and emails help in boosting in-store sales. It works all the more in favour if the communications are designed for mobile devices for 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. A concise, convincing, consistent copy which is a visual delight and has eye-catching subject line help in encouraging the customer to take ‘call to action’ decision!
Boom & Bloom
Spurred by rise in disposable income, gifting sentiments, bursting retail options and digital marketing – all has led to the growth of retail sales. The chart below says it all.
The retail landscape has been transforming at a break-neck speed keeping up with the evolving technology dynamics. However, innovating and humane ideas for customer out-reach shall always stay at the core of retail tactics. Hence, personalization, relevancy and readily accessible communication should be the framework for designing customer communication. Advanced Analytics to help capitalize on this framework is the next big step for retailers.
By Sunil Munshi, CEO, Denave India and APAC