Marketing to Achieve Retail Utopia

Marketing to Achieve Retail Utopia

marketing to achieve retail utopia

Written by Lauren Noonan, Senior Director, Global Marketing Cloud Practice Lead at PolSource

Imagine a world where your consumers email inbox consisted of only emails that they were actually interested in? Or where you are able to identify the same consumer across marketing, commerce and service channels in real-time? Imagine being able to truly predict the products and services your consumers would be interested in purchasing. As a marketer, do you feel like you are stuck guessing who your customer segments are and what messages to align to them? Are you tired of seeing sub-par marketing results for all of your efforts? The ability for a marketer to seamlessly identify your consumers across all platforms and trigger the right marketing communication at the right time in their buyer journey isn’t the marketing equivalent of the flying car, the technology is here now. Salesforce technology is leading this technology innovation and PolSource has the retail and platform expertise to implement these industry-changing tools.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital revolution across retail at a pace that took months, rather than the originally forecasted years. Our consumer spending habits will undoubtedly permanently change – nearly one-third of consumers believe their shopping habits will change on a permanent basis¹. Since the start of the pandemic, nearly half of consumers purchased a product online that they had previously only ever purchased in store¹. These changes have reshaped the digital experience and are forcing the hands of retail brands to evolve at pace with their consumers. The role of the marketer to successfully drive consumers to purchase online is more important than ever. Never has it been easier to enable this marketing experience than now. Marketers, it’s time to communicate with intent and integrate your customer technology platforms to inspire and delight your customers to future proof your marketing – retail utopia has arrived.

1) Communicate with Intent – Ditch your old marketing approaches to meet your customer expectations now

Todays consumers are inundated with marketing. We expect to open our inbox to see hundreds of emails from brands containing mostly irrelevant messages. We are surprised when a brand gets it right and actually sends us a communication that is relevant to where we are in our buyer journey. Read that again – we are surprised when a brand is able to get it right and actually know who we are as a consumer. How can it be that in 2021, with all the recent technology enhancements, that brands still struggle to know their customers and deliver relevant and timely communications? Marketers, it’s time to ditch our old marketing approaches and start communicating with intent to delight our consumers again. 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing content personalized and tailored to their interests². So sending that irrelevant email not only carries the risk that a consumer will not purchase, but that they will stop engaging with your brand completely and start engaging with a competitor.

Rather than guessing what content a consumer is interested in, it’s time to listen to what the consumer is telling you and trigger a relevant message back. Imagine knowing a consumer browsed for a product on your website and then having the ability to deliver a real-time offer across the consumers preferred marketing channel or predicting the products a consumer would be interested in based on their recent activity? The technology exists to enable this experience! Salesforce Marketing Cloud has added AI based technologies Interaction Studio and C360 Audiences to empower marketers to harness the power of AI to better understand, segment and communicate the right messages to their consumers in real-time, eliminating irrelevant marketing.

2) Integrate to Inspire – Design a true cross-cloud experience that fuses marketing, commerce and service

Marketing is no longer relegated to just email and social media channels. Retail brands with the most successful marketing programs understand that their marketing journey needs to expand into commerce and service. Fusion across all channels, tightly integrating the physical and digital spaces is needed now more than ever before. The pandemic has accelerated our ability to know both digital and in-store consumer activities. Digital commerce has seen a 40% growth in retail consumers who purchase online³. Shopping that was once done in store is now being done from home and consumers ability to have contactless and curbside pickup has opened doors for marketers to gain insight into this shopping behavior as consumers are scheduling these pickups online and through their mobile applications, adding more rich data at marketers’ fingertips.

Retail brands must integrate their consumer platforms in order to deliver experiences that inspire consumers to engage with them. Digital commerce platforms must be able to react, predict and deliver real-time product recommendations to drive consumers to purchase. Integrating commerce with Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows marketers utilizing Interaction Studio and Einstein to communicate these real-time product recommendations in the consumers preferred channel and at the time of day that the consumer is most inclined to respond. Integrating Marketing Cloud with a brands service channel arms the customer service teams with insight into a consumers product interests and available offers. This fused experience increases sales conversion rates, average order value and improves marketing return on investment – allowing marketers to delight their consumers and executive boardrooms alike.

The ability for marketers to deliver this desired retail utopia experience is here now. The technology needed to support this experience is no longer as out of reach as the flying car, it’s already arrived. If you are a retail brand struggling to deliver this experience, you are not alone – just 10% of marketers gave their marketing maturity an A rating where they have easy integrations and enjoy real-time visibility and control³ and two-thirds of all companies say their revenue and profit will suffer if digital transformation doesn’t move fast enough4. For retail brands, this is your watershed moment. The opportunity to leapfrog your competitors and delight your customers is now. If you don’t seize this opportunity, another brand will. Welcome aboard, let’s achieve utopia together!

Want to learn more about marketing to achieve a retail utopia? Attend our upcoming webinar, Achieving Retail Utopia: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.​​​​​​​ Join the industry experts from PolSource and Salesforce along with featured customer Nebraska Furniture Mart, May 6th @ 2 PM CT. Our webinar journey will cover the current challenges, solutions and future insights to evolve your Retail customer journey. Register now, no passport required.