The End of Mad Men’s Retail Era: How Digital Marketing Can Enhance Retail Results

BY: ANTONIO BUCHANAN  |  MAY 15, 2020 – 10 MIN READ

The rise of digital marketing has led us to a space of great opportunity for retail brands, while also enhancing the customer experience.

While our tech-savvy, social media thriving world now presents us with more opportunities to reach an even greater audience, it also evens the playing field for any other platform that wants to throw their hat into the ring.

Brands must now rely on innovation, creativity, and an element of surprise to have their name stand out on an ever scrolling feed of marketing and information overload.

Farewell Madison Avenue

It wasn’t too long ago that brands, particularly those dealing directly with retailers, could continue to grow their profit without having to worry about the digital end. Those days are done.

In fact, Don Draper himself might effectively shit himself if he saw what the world of marketing has become today.

Retail brands can no longer “play it safe” by relying on tv spots and print ads alone to drive consumers to retail. Which means it takes more than a large advertising budget to move product off the shelves.

We are also entering a place where retailers are working in collaboration with their audience, not on a singular level. Buyers are expecting retailers to offer the new products they discover online, and most importantly, to do it faster than their competitors.

Hello Silicon Valley

While returning to the drawing board to navigate new seas may feel like a challenge, there’s a massive opportunity for retail brands to place digital at center stage.

By stepping outside of the confines of traditional ad structures, retailer brands are met with several benefits:

  • We can build stronger consumer relationships than ever before
  • We can send and direct messages like never before
  • We have more data available to us than ever before

By using the right digital marketing techniques, brands can elevate their outreach and take the guesswork out of customer acquisition and retention. In addition, teams can now launch new products and offerings seamlessly on even tighter budgets.

Tapping In

As 2019 came to an end, we saw a rise in creative and interactive digital marketing techniques. Specifically, in the retail arena, brands leaned on trends like:

  • Voice search optimization
  • Chatbots
  • Integrated influencer marketing
  • Live and interactive video events
  • And transparent privacy measures

While it was originally predicted that most of these trends would carry into 2020, the wildfire known as COVID-19 has taken us into a new direction.

With many retailers forced to pivot and consumers putting second thought into what makes it onto their grocery list, the need to focus on consumer relationships and messaging has never been stronger.

Where We’re Heading

Brands that are leaning-in to this Black Swan moment in history are responding to the elevated expectations of consumers—knowing that this will hopefully lead to higher demand for their products among retailers.

Some trends we’ve spotted so far include:

Taking Personalization to the Next Level

The last thing your customer needs right now is to feel like another number. With an overwhelming need to connect, digital marketing needs to enhance the personal approach.

In fact, 72% of customers expect retail brands to continue to personalize their communication. This means everything from first-name-addressed email campaigns to live shout outs during video broadcasts.

A More Intimate Look at Live Streaming

Speaking of live broadcasts, live streaming is becoming the gold standard among digital marketers. While video, in general, leaves a remarkably strong impression, a live stream creates a feeling of community (local) for those involved and some deep-rooted “FOMO” for those that aren’t.

Live streams create the ideal opportunity to engage with your audience, whether it’s a teaser of a new, yet-to-be-released product, an in-store cocktail party, or a question and answer period that shows authentic engagement.

Voice and Podcasts

Consistency is a significant component of digital marketing, especially with the current environment’s growing need for routine.

Reassure your audience that you will be there for them provides a familiar voice and strengthens your retention rates. Enter the podcast.

Think the world of podcasts is still relatively “underground”? The numbers show that 35% of LinkedIn members worldwide listen to podcasts, including 44% of senior-level decision-makers.

Podcasts can offer a wide range of insight and connection to your audience, from interviews between brands and vendors to an in-depth look at production practices and company culture.

CX (Customer Experience)

If you’re not among the 90% of B2B executives that cite CX as a top priority, then it’s time to be. Brands leaned-in hard to CX in 2019 and the trend continues into 2020.

Everything from pop up stores to app development and website design can contribute to your customer’s overall experience, with the option to interact still standing as a consistent expectation.

Artificial Intelligence 

“Hey Siri, where’s the nearest Whole Foods with organic wine?” With a steep rise in voice command searches, brands now adapt everything from their copy to their coding to make sure they remain Siri-compatible.

The AI trends don’t end there. From robotic programming that helps you pick the best stock options to discovering how much you can make off of your Airbnb, AI technology provides audiences with countless ways to experience their favorite brands.

Defining Your Digital Space

While the endless trends and outreach options can be significant assets, they can also easily lead to analysis paralysis. Many companies site this seemingly unsortable data deluge as the reason they choose to avoid the “mess” of digital marketing altogether.

Don’t be that brand

Break from the traditional mode and see firsthand why digital and retail are a match made in heaven.

Antonio blog profile image

WRITTEN BY
Antonio Buchanan

Short Bio — In 1999 after leading the charge on accounts, such as American Express, IBM, & Microsoft, at traditional global agencies in large agency networks, Antonio Patric Buchanan set out on his own to create a new agency model with his agency, bang!zoom. Within a couple of years, the agency was purchased by the Canadian holding company, MDC. In 2004 he launched Pure Moxie, which was rebranded in 2017 to what is now Antonio & Paris.

Antonio blog profile image

WRITTEN BY
Antonio Buchanan

Short Bio — In 1999 after leading the charge on accounts, such as American Express, IBM, & Microsoft, at traditional global agencies in large agency networks, Antonio Patric Buchanan set out on his own to create a new agency model with his agency, bang!zoom. Within a couple of years, the agency was purchased by the Canadian holding company, MDC. In 2004 he launched Pure Moxie, which was rebranded in 2017 to what is now Antonio & Paris.

SEE ALL ARTICLES