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The changing face of retail marketing

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Marketing for retailers is changing rapidly – and it needs to, with increasing numbers of abandoned baskets, changing shopper habits and a shift in how people use shops. Even travel agents are seeing falling footfall, as holiday-makers go digital.

These changing habits are shifting everything that retailers do. And chief among these is how to reach out to shoppers in the first place. has taken the leap of teaming up with Bauer Media to produce shoppable video content for mobile (and online), offering stories and imagery to help sell clothes.

Sports brand PUMA Europe, meanwhile, is investing in technology to deliver ever-more personalised and contextualised marketing to its customers.

All this is aimed at creating that all encompassing, personalised marketing effect that retailers now realise they can’t live without.

But it is worth doing. While the latest marketing analysis by Tetra Pak suggests that retailers should be targeting a small minority of ‘super leaders’ – just 7% of the customer base but whom have massive influence and reach over their peers – the methodology that you have to now engage consumers in new and immersive ways holds for all your customers.

The problem is that everyone now needs you to reach them where they want you to reach using all sorts of clever ways to entice them to engage with you.

Very’s Bauer deal is very interesting as it ties together publications – Grazia, Hello et al – with a fashion brand that shares much of the same demographic. The deal is obviously advantageous to both parties as it seeks to leverage the other’s reach over the same people, but the real winners are the consumers. They get some awesome, interactive video content that they can share and from which they can shop.

The brands themselves also then get the sharing and UGC/earned content that is increasingly becoming key to generating that ‘buzz’ that everyone expects.

As with all things digital, what makes it tick is data. And that is what sits behind PUMA’s efforts to personalised the marketing function. It has teamed up with Mapp Digital to use its integrated Data Management Platform (DMP) and modular software suite to provide increasingly personalized messages. PUMA joins the likes of Pepsi, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom and Lloyds Banking Group in using Mapp Digital to drive their marketing efforts.

This will pull in data on a near real-time basis to allow PUMA to ‘talk’ to its customers based on a much more personal view of them – and what they are doing.

All this is essential for the modern retailer: Marketing has to get cleverer and has to no longer be an intrusive by-product of a customer ‘touching’ a brand, but has to be something of value.

This is a challenge for any retailer or brand. Creating content that is compelling and interactive and suitably novel to catch the attention of a swamped consumer is a massive challenge.

What is interesting about the three stories in this week’s newsletter is that they all involve teaming up with third and even fourth parties. Increasingly, the marketing function has to be realised by the creative views of the retailer or brand, in conjunction with a technology provider and an expert in particular forms of content delivery.

This makes the process complex and increasingly expensive. And in these early days, it is hard to quantify the ROI. But not doing it could well start to hit the bottom line sooner than you think.

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