Trends, Shifts, and Challenges in Retail Marketing, and How Local Addresses Each

It’s safe to say that today’s retail landscape is transforming at record rates. As consumers’ purchase behavior continues to change and mobile and digital play a bigger role in the research phase of their journey, it’s imperative for national retail marketers to stay abreast of the trends and shifts in today’s ecosystem. In this week’s roundup, we’re highlighting the biggest considerations marketers need to be aware of to succeed in reaching their target consumers.

 

Amanda Cash-Crowley – Demand Generation Marketing Manager

NRF: 10 Concerns of Retail CMOs?

 

STORES Magazine, which is published by the National Retail Federation, recently published an article breaking out the top concerns for CMOs in the retail vertical. The result is a mix of the expected (promotion cycles, agencies), to some unexpected worries.

 

One unexpected concern at the top of the list is the weather. Bad weather typically deters shoppers from venturing out into retail outlets – unless it’s for something they need immediately such as gloves, boots, or a generator. Leading brands are combatting this unpredictability by planning automated campaigns that react to the weather itself, such as display ads that promote parkas only when the snowfall reaches a certain amount, and only in the geographic areas that are affected. These types campaigns are facilitated by Balihoo Local Marketing Cloud by both national brands, and their agencies.

 

Another top concern is the value of an agency of record. Agencies themselves are struggling with their identities – especially when smart brands are pushing them to prove ROI and solve for problems throughout the entire customer journey, from search to store. Some brands are shifting funds to specialized agencies that can handle newly critical marketing functions such as local marketing, while keeping their AOR focused on branding.

 

Marcie Ellison – Marketing Manager

MediaPost: Retail Engagement Trends

 

This MediaPost article dives into how our society is currently in the midst evolving from the “Age of Information” to the “Age of Context”. Noting five forces behind this transformation, including data, mobile, and location-based technology, the article drives home just how dependent our society has become on our mobile devices. As such, as a category, retail engagement is also undergoing some large scale changes. For retailers, one of the biggest (and most critically important) changes is how significant marketing at the local level has become. Local is now – and will continue to increasingly be – the new norm.

 

While the internet has undeniably made the world larger, it’s also increasingly making the marketing landscape smaller for retailers whose consumers are looking for heightened customization at the local level. As noted in the article, “The need to localize experiences will be personified through mobile services that connect local buying experiences and local in-market customization of products and services.”.

 

Lana Odintsova – Senior Managing Editor

Forbes: 7 Retail Trends That Will Shape How You Shop This Year

 

In late 2014, Forbes released their trends and predictions article for the coming year. An interesting highlight they included, that hits home strong for national retailers, is that “retailers will leverage customer data beyond e-commerce and marketing.” More importantly, (and accurately) the author asserted that “localization will be a big focus for retailers as they look to manage inventories more effectively, increase revenue, and improve margins by creating the right product assortment for the right stores according to local customer demand, store attributes, and product preferences.”

 

Trying to mass market in a customized, localized fashion presents a challenge for most retailers. Thankfully innovative technology exists that enables retail brands to build consistent and strong omnichannel affinity as well as activate advanced 1:1 relationship with target consumers. Check out this Balihoo self-guided tour to learn how technology can help your brand get there.

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