Retail: Stop Marketing Like it’s 2014!

Retail is in a state of chaos right now, but we believe that is a good thing. Where there’s chaos, there’s also opportunity. The key is to run toward that opportunity, and that’s exactly what we want you to do. Succeeding in the future of retail requires a strong digital strategy.

Succeeding in the future of retail requires a strong digital strategy. So what can you do now to lay the right foundation? This is one of the most discussed questions with our clients, and below are the three efforts that surfaced time and again. 

Do Everything with the Customer in Mind

Terms like customer-centric and customer-first have become something of a mantra today. But despite the buzz around those terms, truly thinking about what customers want (and making marketing relevant to those wants) doesn’t happen as much as we’d expect.

Instead, retailers and their marketers are focused on revenue. Which makes sense, of course: businesses need to bring in sales to make money. But maybe it’s time to flip that model

The smartest retailers today only ask one simple question: how can we delight our customers? Rather than think about technologies first, they try to get into the hearts and the minds of their customers.

“As marketers, we should be changing the mantra from always be closing to always be helping.” -Jonathan Lister, VP Sales Solutions at LinkedIn


From there, they take on new digital efforts like personalisation and automation. As a result, they manage to build truly loyal customers. And sales not only follow, but become stronger because of that.

Run at the Speed of Your Customers

A good product at a good price isn’t going to cut it anymore. That’s why running at the speed of your customers is critical, especially in the retail business.

When it comes to speed, experimentation is key. You need to experiment with channels, tactics, technologies, messaging, product/service features, and so on. At the end of the day, as Emmanuel Seuge, VP of Content at Coca-Cola pointed out:

“For brands to stay relevant, innovation and experimentation is essential for survival.” -Emmanuel Seuge, VP of Content at The Coca-Cola Company

Make Data the Loudest Voice in the Room

Data wields a lot of power. A Gallup study recently showed that marketers who use customer data in marketing outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin.

We have an opportunity to be smarter with data, using important signals about customers. Both businesses and consumers can gain a lot from taking a data-driven approach to marketing.

If you’re still unsure how data-driven marketing might fit into your business strategy, here are a few examples that should offer some inspiration:

  • Retargeting: If someone has previously purchased from your webshop, or shown significant interest, why not look for them again? Offer them personalised deals or relevant content!
  • Dynamic advertising: Use social media to your advantage by creating ads across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Connect with your audience by allowing them to sign up and receive more information with just one click.
  • Optimised paid search: Analyse your preferred customers based on the types of keywords they search for, and consider what the competition is targeting as well. Leverage this data to position yourself at the top of the most relevant search results and drive valuable traffic to your site.
  • Targeted email campaigns: Is email marketing a part of your existing strategy? Take a data-driven approach to email campaigns by grouping together your desired target audiences. While this data will allow for automation, you’ll also be able to easily personalise messages to make one-to-one connections with each and every customer.

And always remember: When numbers talk, people pay attention.

Bringing it all Together

‘Market like the year you live in,’ it’s not only a quote of the eloquent Gary Vaynerchuck, it’s also the sacred Northstar guiding everything we do at the &KOO Growth Marketing Lab.

Growth Marketing Lab Retail: Market The Year You Live In
Source: Gary Vaynerchuk


Of course, having a strong digital strategy will only get you so far on its own. To truly thrive in the future of retail, you also need the right team to bring that strategy to life. And when it comes to shaping your retail marketing team, positivity and passion should count for a lot.

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