Category Archives: E-Commerce

Brand Fast-Trackers #190 – The Shopper Journey

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Today, we return to our shopper marketing series with Chris Brace. (See Episodes 140, 141, 144, 147, 149, 155) Marketing is traditionally viewed as transactional. It is all about guiding the shopper to the transaction, the purchase. When P&G introduced their path-to-purchase model (above), it was revolutionary. It is also very linear or transaction-based. But as Chris shares, the idea of the path-to-purchase is being redefined. We have certainly discussed just how critical it is to understand the journey your shopper takes when buying your product. Their path is certainly not linear.

What would happen if we refined how we look at marketing? What would happen if we made it about the relationship we form with consumers?

Chris challenges marketers to stop building brand plans where the consumer and shopper aspects are siloed. Marketing then, is about building relationships that we can then leverage to sell products and services. The path becomes the shopper journey and looks more like this. If marketers embrace this model, the result is more selling, says Brace.

“We need to be better at building this relationship.” 

Until marketers really understand and embrace the shopper journey – the non-linear journey your shopper takes, digitally and non-digitally, that drives them to buy from your brand whether they are in-home, in-transit or in-store, we are missing sales.

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Brand Fast-Trackers #184 – The Consumer is in Charge

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We’ve all heard the term ‘big data’ tossed about quite a bit in the last year. But what does big data really mean and how can marketers take advantage of it? Today. we speak with a true authority in the space, Martin Doettling, CMO of Webtrends. In the past, we have spoken about how a marketer could spend the bulk of the budget on a major TV buy and reach most of the target audience, but in today’s ever-more fragmenting world such a thing is impossible. Moreover, the CREATIVE used to lead the charge on how a campaign unfolded and how that spend was divided across mediums.

So how can a brand marketer connect with the audience and ultimately deliver REVENUE? Martin shares this nugget:

“The consumer is driving the charge. You can’t rely on creative and national campaigns alone anymore. Creative is still important, but the case can be made where data that provides actionable insights drives the creative.”

Think about that sentence again - data provides actionable insights. So what does that really mean? CPG companies, for example, have always had a ton of data at their disposals, zip codes and certain demographics like age groups. This type of data, while important, is not enough to provide real, actionable insights. According to Martin, companies who used this data were basically just “spraying and praying,” an expression which I love and which I think applies to more marketing than any of us care to admit.

So now brands are able to turn to companies like Webtrends (Keep in mind, I’m not advocating one solution over the other. There are many players in this field.) who can dig into the data, both offline and online and turn it into compelling content for the consumer. How and where does your consumer interact with you? How do they like to experience your brand? So take this data and apply it. Martin gives an example of a high end luxury goods company that brought an online, showcasing video experience into one of their flagship stores, so when a customer picks up an item (in-store!) the video screen shifts to that product and its particular features of craftsmanship. Wow – very powerful.

In my mind, the most important thing that Martin touches on is that the Consumer is in Charge, so brands need to not only recognize that, but finds ways to take advantage of it. Let’s be honest, if a consumer can’t find something they are looking for, they will move on. How many times have you hopped to a new website because you weren’t happy with the results? And how long did you stay on the first website? 10 seconds? 5 seconds? The answer is probably less. In a year where we saw Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales up 30% and more online transactions than ever in history (!), marketers have to looking at data to help them drive marketing treatments and get the most bang on their buck.

Martin also makes a few predictions of what is coming next that I will leave to the audio. Tune in below, grab it off of iTunes (Hey, and leave us a review while you are there!), or subscribe to us on Stitcher (no syncing required!).

[Lead Image from Tom Fishburne - The Marketoonist]

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Brand Fast-Trackers #182 – Mobile is Not a Channel

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Mobile Marketing

To QR or Not to QR

QR codes…maybe you love them, maybe you hate them, but chance are you are not ambivalent. QR codes may not be the end all, be all mobile engagement tool it’s been promised to be, but the question is not what you gain by using them, it is what you stand to lose by not using them. Today’s guest is a mobile industry veteran.  John Lim is the CEO/Founder of Life in Mobile and believes fervently in the monetization of mobile for brands. As John points out, many brands sell via retailers, so how their products are displayed or sold are very dependent upon the retailer. What is a customer wants to know more about a product and the store salesperson does not know or is misinformed. At minimum, QR codes provide a great place for brands to interact directly with their consumers – everything from cereal to cosmetics to electronics. As John says, they come at almost a zero cost factor (you are already creating the packaging), so when it comes to QR, marketers have to think of the ROI of you NOT having them.

“2 or 5% of 10MM is still better than a 100% of 0%.”

This brings me back to Tom Fishburne’s hilarious, yet true cartoon at the top of this post. Brand loyalty is illusive at best and consumers may have favored (vs. favorite) brands, but they will sacrifice you in a minute if the cost or THE EXPERIENCE is not to their liking. QR codes may offer a point of redemption, BUT as my CEO discussed this summer, you had better send them to an optimized experience.

Is this the year of mobile?

We’ve talked a lot about mobile marketing this year, and we have heard from respected marketers like Mitch Joel, Jay Baer, and Diane Kegley about just how critical mobile marketing has become, but I’ve never quite heard it from this perspective:

“It’s not about mobile per se as a channel. Do you mean mobile advertising or the mobile app world? [...] For brands there is never a year of mobile it could be the year your mobile consumer makes or breaks your brand. It should never exist within a brand organization.” — John Lim, CEO/Founder, Life in Mobile

Think about that statement - This could be the year that your consumer MAKES or BREAKS your brand BECAUSE of MOBILE. Very powerful, and proving that mobile needs to be integrated into every single thing you do, every campaign, every interaction, every single consumer touch point. Brands who don’t do this are losing out. Recent Google stats show that 45% of all consumers use smart phones for in-store product research, 39% checked other online retailers while in store, and most startling is that 53% of walk-outs (when shoppers leave without making a purchase) were influenced by smart phone usage.

Tune into the audio below for more on mobile, I think you will enjoy John’s ROI-focused perspective. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving from Brand Fast-Trackers. 

[Lead image by the fantastic Marketoonist - Tom Fishburne]

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Brand Fast-Trackers #181 – It’s All Commerce Now

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“It’s all commerce now because consumers don’t recognize channels anymore … we are all just connected ”

Forget the ‘e’ in eCommerce says today’s guest Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance. To me, this is right on. Consumers want to be able to connect with a brand/retailer seamlessly whether they are in-store, or on their desktops, tablets or mobile. And this is certainly true for me personally as a consumer.  Today’s show also ties into the shopper marketing series we have been doing. (See Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

RichRelevance helps retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and Marks & Spencer interact with the customers in a smarter way online. (You may remember RichRelevance from a recent study and accompanying infographic that made its rounds on the interwebs that confirmed that nearly 86% of shoppers click-through from Facebook, but that Pinterest drives larger orders – nearly double the $$$ of other social channels.) Diane gives this great example in the show:

Creating the Emotional Connection

If I’m searching for a flat screen television online. When I hit, I will be presented with a custom landing page featuring only flat panel televisions. As a move through the site and say add a TV to my cart, I will be prompted to perhaps add to my purchase with relevant peripherals or accessories. In Diane’s words, “It’s almost like there is a really good sales person standing next to you.” In other words, it creates the key thing that Omar Johnson spoke about in a recent show - an emotional experience. And the challenge, according to Diane is:

How do brands get to the point where they have this kind of emotional connection when their consumers?

In today’s fickle market, brand marketers have to think back to what it takes to win loyalty. Brands are finally realizing all of the big data they already own and trying to leverage it. This is the future of shopping. A seamless experience for the consumer. Brands need to think like a tech company and turn everything into marketable insight in real time. This is what Amazon, Google and Apple are already great at – personalization. And that is a win for all – as long as it’s done right.

Personalization vs. Privacy

Which brings me to the flip side of this personalization — a concern for privacy. Consumers want brands/retailers to read their mind, but only when they want them to read their minds. It reminds me of a few posts by Mitch Joel (mind crush), but particularly a March 2012 post about the Do Not Track Button. He writes:

“Odds are that you want personalization, but you also want to maintain your privacy. Let’s face it, we tell things to a search engine that we don’t even tell our spouses or families. You’re kidding yourself if you think this information (positive, negative or neutral) is not being tracked and stored. Then again, who wants unrelated advertising flashing and bleeping across our screens? In the world of tracking, I’d much prefer that the Web is capturing everything I’m doing to deliver more relevant content to me, I just want to be rest assured that this information can’t be tracked back to me as an individual, right? If all you have is my habits but none of my personal information, please track away. But, if you’re combining my usage with who I am, personally… then shame on you (unless you have my explicit and implicit permission).”

There are so many more insights in this episode, but I don’t want to spoil it all for you! Tune into the full episode below or pop over to iTunes.  No time to sync? Check out


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