With rapid advances in digital marketing, data and technology, the journey from awareness to sale can now be very short thanks to eCommerce solutions. You can learn about a product, consider a brand and buy all in one go from a shoppable Instagram post. Cassandra Stevens from MarketingTechNews.net has some tips to maximize your digital sales and marketing teams.
eCommerce is driving the majority of retail growth and presents a significant opportunity for brands. However, as customer behaviour changes, brands need to ensure they don’t get left behind with legacy sales and marketing models.
Traditionally, many brands have had separate marketing and sales teams, and often each of these has very different objectives. Marketing teams need to reach the right customer at the right moment and are measured by brand awareness and reach metrics. Sales teams need to meet sell-through targets and are assessed on a percentage of added value acquired in a deal or incremental sales driven in a short time period.
Commercial agreements within the sales teams are often held to aggregate sales targets which drive efficient short-term sales. This is not always the case for marketing activity as the data available for sales driven on a granular level across retailers is not available. Brands really shouldn’t be allocating digital budget without visibility of the impact on total sales (both direct and from eRetail sites).
Unless a brand is managing eCommerce directly, there will be a gap of transactional data when trying to understand the true commercial return on marketing investment and there is a major disconnect from the sales being driven through retailers.
On the other side, you have sales teams agreeing to digital media plans with retailers when they are rarely experts in digital media. While the concept of the formats being offered by retailers is not unfamiliar (i.e. priority shelf positioning), most brands have digital specialists within their organization or at their media agency that can support in scrutinizing these media plans or ensure that commercial agreements are inclusive of marketing requirements.
Brands that can close this gap between sales and marketing are able to maximize the revenue opportunities from eCommerce. There are some clear steps that brands – and their retail partners – can take to capitalize on the eCommerce opportunities.
Brands can upskill their sales teams to ensure they are asking the right questions when agreeing on digital media plans with a retailer, or they can involve digital specialists.
When a sales team receives a programmatic plan or an on-site placement, for example, as part of their commercial agreement they should consider viewability, industry benchmarks and creative refreshes. These are all standard questions for someone with a digital marketing background.
As retailers struggle to catch up with marketplaces like Amazon in terms of sharing data in real time, they should work with third-party technology providers or research companies to identify proxies for retail sales.
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