Not to fret. It’s nowhere near the end-all-be-all; in fact, a sort of new golden era is upon us; retail goods, services and economics aren’t necessarily opposed and retail is actually growing in countless directions. The so-called ‘retail ecosystem’ is merely morphing as consumers are still consuming and sales are steadily on the rise.
Success comes with identifying a void in the market, then filling that niche. And then, acknowledging that it is indeed a brave new era – one of effective digital marketing that can and will let you reign supreme.
Unless you have ducats of gold bullion under your bed – you know, serious investment capital by which to stay solvent – then it is highly unlikely that you will amass the wealth of an archetypal dinosaur like Microsoft or Walmart overnight.
These days, the trick is to find out where and why the big boys are falling short - probably because they aren't laser-focused on something of real value to the consumer. Identify that and zero-in on it. Do it with efficacy and measured results. This will dramatically increase your probability of becoming profitable while decreasing the competition’s odds of keeping up with you.
The recipe is tried and true: assume an acute and disruptive point of view, add the liquid-light speed and infinite consumer touch-points of the World Wide Web, and behold; the world is actually yours, all yours. Nowadays, you have the very real chance to upend multi-billion dollar markets that are slow to adapt.
One way to do this is to build a brand that bridges the gap between those dusty dinosaurs we mentioned earlier - with something comparable (hopefully better) - then let your thoughtfully targeted ads and heavy-lifting social platforms like Facebook get you there faster, so that you’re not really even competing with any physical retail shops if you can help it.
Here are some tips to help you tweak your branded content and refine your marketing approach:
1. Product is still paramount, but unless you can directly connect every marketing dollar spent back to measurable sales results, your big ideas and fancy ads are all for nothing, just a well-dressed depletion of funds and big hit to your bottom line.
2. Steer away from ‘vanity’ metrics. Meaningful KPI’s (key performance indicators) consist of more than just increasing website traffic or views (quantity metrics); success is also about how long visitors are engaged and the likelihood of actually closing a sale with them (making a conversion / quality indicators).
3. Since advertising and marketing came to be in existence, it has been rather difficult to accurately quantify the impact that campaigns have on your profitability. This is why data-driven digital specialists rely so much on bottom-of-the-funnel KPO’s like your CPA (cost per action), paid search, and tactical digital sales promotions; they tend to deliver immediate results.
4. Don’t forget to run high-level brand identity campaigns. Keep your brand classy. Content should consist of more than just incentivized, tactical campaigns that offer discounts. Simply announcing sale after sale will train your consumer to ignore you otherwise, while your competition potentially beats you out with a more aggressive pricing strategy or better branding. It’s no accident that luxury brands often destroy lingering inventory rather than running another sale. So, mind the frequency of- and aggressiveness by which you deploy special promotions. Branding campaigns also play their critical role; they help achieve sustainable growth.
5. Keep in mind that both branding and performance tactics are both for the same goal in the end and that goal is to grow your business. Tactical, seasonal sales campaigns can show fast, short-term results but if done properly, effective branding campaigns will have consumers searching for you and/or your product by actual name (branded search). This kind of traffic usually converts well and is less expensive in terms of your cost-per-click (CPC).
Your business should make money while you sleep. After all, you’re brand could be driving sales 24hrs/day, 365 days/year, across the globe.
This is undeniably a unique period in history. People are purchasing things like furniture, clothing and just about anything you can think of - even cars - from the comfort of their home or the convenience of their office - quite possibly, from the palm of their hand. And yes, we said cars, without so much as a test drive. That’s how differently the world is operating. You may have heard.
The reason for this is a ‘digital-first’ approach to sales and well-conceived strategies. This powerful combo makes for the common denominator among a slew of impressive success stories like Warby Parker, Casper and other pioneering e-commerce agitators.
It should come as no surprise if another one of your good, old, go-to brick-and-mortar stores goes belly-up. Or if your once favorite brand is no longer an everyday, household name. Because now, that ‘favorite brand’ is likely to become whatever Amazon, Facebook or Google tells you it is the very moment it is matched to your personal needs or catches your interest via Facebook.
Given the modern-day consumer landscape, the metric results of your ad-spend (quantity + quality KPI’s and conversions) can be catalyst to your success and imperative to how you conduct business.
While building an effective brand is of obvious importance, assuming an innovative marketing methodology is also of major significance.