The Power of Retail Insight
Multichannel and online retailing has made it difficult to measure the impact of marketing on sales, but analytics consultancy Ohal has the techniques to find the right insights
The face of the high street is constantly changing and that change has never been faster than in recent times; the growth of the multi-channel retail environment, the digitisation of previously tangible products, the instant accessibility to product / vendor reviews together with access to price comparison sites has led to high profile casualties as well as huge opportunities.
Retailers and marketers are under increasing pressure to understand the needs of customers and ensure payback from their communication efforts however the standard customer journey is now being interrupted by the digital age. The proliferation of media channels such as aggregators, affiliates, search and display alongside the ever increasing number of mobile devices is challenging the ability to associate a sale with the original marketing stimulus.
So how does a retail marketer harness the opportunity from the emerging communication channels and vast quantities of data held on consumers and their buying and browsing habits?
In the digital age, the ability to meaningfully interpret the available data is one of the biggest challenges that retailers and marketers face today. Whilst big data has quickly turned into a meaningless marketing cliché, the need to better understand customers and their wants has never been greater in this increasingly competitive environment. The data alone is worth very little; it’s the insights and subsequent decisions that really matter.
The direct marketing industry, particularly within retailing, has been dealing with big data and extracting nuggets of information for decades. By setting clear objectives and creating specific hypotheses, retailers’ internal marketing insight teams have been able to successfully gain real financial value through identifying cross-sell, up-sell and retention opportunities.
However the ability to control the consumers’ environment is long gone. Understanding what stimulates demand for a product alongside the channel that results in fulfilment of the sale is essential. Adjusting the marketing mix to enable both will be the sweet spot that marketers should strive for.
Analyses by econometrics consultancies such as Ohal have shown that successful marketing campaigns use a variety of channels to maximise the impact. For a retail marketer and their planning agency, the key decision driver when establishing how much budget to allocate in order to stimulate demand is understanding the marginal returns for each media. Many retailers have spent large portions of budget on one media on the basis of achieving a dominant share of voice without understanding the overall impact. When running multiple channels simultaneously, it can be even more difficult to separate cause and effect. Ohal have developed a multimedia approach that specifically counteracts this issue providing results at both the campaign and channel level.
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