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Advice to marketing leaders planning activities for 2022

Advice to marketing leaders planning activities for 2022

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Publicis Sapient has released its inaugural 2022 Retail Guide to Next report. The report highlights the key trends retail companies must focus on in the year ahead to transform their businesses into shopper-first organisations. 

Sudip Mazumder, Publicis Sapient’s Retail Industry Lead, North America, said: “In 2022, retailers must continue to reimagine their businesses for the new age of retail, from evolving as platforms and transforming their store experiences by integrating online and offline to monetising data, investing in financial services products and optimising return costs by focusing on a better customer experience.”  

Evolve as platforms to create one-stop shopping for customers 
According to Publicis Sapient research, the future winners of retail will be those that build a connected ecosystem of related services that customers can engage with through one seamless experience.  

Reimagine store experiences by integrating best of online and offline 

In 2022, seamless integration of online and offline will be critical to success. Store experiences need to be digital and data-driven. By seamlessly integrating data across web, mobile, storefront and inventory channels, retailers can digitally expand their physical footprint while providing the connected, personalised experiences shoppers want. 

Monetise data to increase brand engagement and sales 
Just 37% of shoppers who buy online would like personalised offers based on spending preferences, while 31% want personalised content or advice to help them shop. Retailers must break down data silos within their organisations to gain a clearer view and better understanding of their customers’ preferences.  

Transform as financial companies 
Many retailers today are offering financial services or connecting customers with financial services providers as a natural extension of their retail function of buying and selling consumer goods. By leveraging technology and the vast data they have on their customers, retailers are unlocking a large customer base that is either under-banked or has no current banking relationships but still needs financial services like loans, advice or payments.   

Optimise returns by delivering better customer experiences 
Data is key to improving customer experiences and operational efficiency. Retailers need data about their products and insights into how customers are buying and returning their products so that the data can be fed into the customer experience. Providing as much information as possible about products will help customers make better purchase decisions. In the case of apparel, retailers should use data to ensure that, from the start, a product fits the customer.  

Intelligent CXO asked three experts from Marketplacer, ActiveCampaign and Similarweb for their advice for market leaders as we head into 2022.  

Jen Kreutzer, Vice President, Marketing at Marketplacer 

With business conditions expected to improve following the disruptions of the past 12 months, many marketing professionals are drawing up plans that will guide their activity throughout 2022. 

Whether a business is operating under a B2B or B2C model, there are a range of key activities that should be incorporated into this planning process. Together, they will help to ensure marketing campaigns reach the right people and deliver anticipated results. 

Four of the most important activities you should undertake in 2022 are: 

  1. Earn your client’s trust: 
    Many clients and prospective clients will be feeling uncertain about what the new year might bring and will be seeking someone on who they can rely. Discuss with them the wider trends affecting their sector and the initiatives being taken by their peers. 
    Also, take the time to understand their specific requirements and goals. It can be dangerous to simply assume you already know what they need as this may reduce the chances of establishing a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship. 
  1. Increase cross-functional alignment: 
    In the past, it has tended to be the sales and marketing teams that have worked most closely together. In 2022, it will be worth extending this relationship to include teams from other parts of the business. 
    Consultation should include everyone from product and customer success teams to those focused on enablement and fulfilment. Obtaining ideas and feedback from all these groups will help to shape the development of a very effective marketing plan for the year. 
    It will also be increasingly important to tighten the processes used to guide clients from the stage of being a new prospect through to needing post-sales support. None should be allowed to fall through the cracks. 
  1. Boost the profile of marketing operations: 
    Businesses have access to a sometimes bewildering amount of data which is assessed by the marketing operations team. In 2022, the status of this team should be elevated so it can provide not just reports but also strategic advice on emerging trends and the opportunities they present. This advice will be invaluable when planning marketing campaigns and will ensure they match real-world requirements. 
    Making this change will also help a business overcome the challenges that will occur when Google moves away from cookies as a means of tracking activity on websites. Marketing operations will be able to provide other data streams that will continue to provide valuable insights. 
  1. Undertake more account-based marketing: 
    Account-based marketing will evolve from a nice-to-have into an essential strategy during 2022. This means marketing teams will have to focus on developing messaging and content that is directly relevant to individual customers. Teams will also have to focus on different people within the same organisation, shaping their messaging to suit each. 

Emmanuel Heymann, Area Vice President for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia at Similarweb 

The online world is so pervasive today that for a lot of Australian businesses, the online strategy is becoming the overall company strategy. 

To succeed in this new reality, every marketing leader needs data to contextualise what’s happening online. Critically, it is not enough to rely solely on understanding your digital properties and company performance. You need to blend internal metrics with insights into the broader behaviours of consumers and the performance of competitors in your industry.  

In other words, digital intelligence. 

With this broader digital intelligence, you gain real-time insight into how potential customers are behaving. If you can understand what they’re searching for and purchasing, what trends are driving their behaviour and how they’re interacting with competing brands across your industry, you’re in the best possible position to meet their needs. 

Often businesses take a tunnel vision approach and rely only on internal metrics and their digital assets. This is like driving on an empty road with no one beside or behind you; you can craft whatever strategy you think works best. But online marketing is more like a busy avenue with multiple intersections and lanes to choose from and cars all around you. In this environment, you need to learn how to navigate the complexity of the road to be the first to arrive at the desired destination. Digital intelligence is your online marketing GPS to avoid letting opportunities pass and being blindsided whenever a challenge hits. 

In today’s post-pandemic environment – if we can call it that – consumer needs are changing faster than ever before and digital plays a more crucial role. Digital insights not only help make sense of the online world, but they also allow marketing leaders to contextualise and better understand the changes in their industry, the emerging players and trends and the performance of competitors. 

With a 360-degree view of the entire digital landscape, you can make better strategic decisions and optimise your acquisition strategy. 

One great example is the recent emergence of Black Friday sales as a key event on the Australian shopping calendar. We recently analysed the last three years of web traffic to Australia’s top 100 online retailers and discovered Black Friday sales are now just as popular locally as the traditionally dominant Boxing Day sales. 

Another crucial insight we discovered was that last year’s lockdowns saw traffic numbers explode for both events. Whereas in 2019 both online sales events attracted around 40,000,000 visits each, in 2020 this increased more than 50% to around 65,000,000 visits for both Black Friday and Boxing Day. 

With all these insights in your toolkit, you’re always in pole position. 

John Lamphiere, RVP ActiveCampaign EMEA and APAC 

Judging by the uptick in Christmas adverts, retailers are trying to maximise sales for the last quarter of 2021. Thankfully the last 12 months have seen a brighter retail outlook than the year before with nearly 60% of small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) reporting growth. This has led to renewed confidence that 2022 will be a better year for retailers, but only if they capitalise on the opportunities that exist. 

The pandemic accelerated e-commerce and forced many businesses to move online. Despite the initial challenges, many retailers benefitted from increased insights from their customers as a result and, in turn, were able to deliver more personalised experiences.  

Although COVID-19 still lingers in the background, the return to high street shopping with fewer restrictions has started, but businesses need to consider how they bridge the gap between online and offline to create a personal experience for customers across multiple channels. 

According to a study conducted by BCG: “When the shopping experience was highly personalised, customers indicated that they were 110% more likely to add additional items to their baskets and 40% more likely to spend more than they had planned.” 

Moreover, with supply chain and staffing concerns still likely to be a factor in 2022, businesses need to focus on what they can control such as the customer experience.  

It isn’t enough to send vouchers on a customer’s birthday – they want to be wowed and feel unique rather than sold to. By building one-to-one experiences across multiple channels, marketers can benefit from increased engagement rates and the ‘share’ culture customers naturally exhibit when they feel passionate about the product, service or brand.  

Technology allows businesses to create these one-to-one experiences through automation and save marketers time by bringing lots of tools and tech together. For example, you can connect your brand’s SMS to your website marketing channel and have a text offer sent to your contacts when they show interest in a particular product on your website. 

Audience segmentation will also become more important as it allows marketers to create campaigns based on individual interactivity with the business. This could include providing relevant recommendations based on purchase frequency or patterns or perhaps even relevant educational content. For example, a business selling plants could follow up with advice on plant care based on what a consumer purchased. Or a makeup brand could ask the consumer to volunteer information about their ethnicity to provide tailored recommendations that are the perfect fit for them. Being able to curate this level of personalisation will give businesses the edge over brands that solely focus on generic emails that don’t speak to the consumer on an individual level. 

As digital marketing continues to accelerate and businesses find new ways to innovate, marketers who don’t embrace the opportunity to curate one to one experiences will be the ones who get left behind.  

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