The Changing Face of Retail Marketing


Mar 25 2019

How retailers are transforming their customer communication approaches

In association with Retail Week

The retail sector is changing at breakneck speed – with the decline of the local high street, the unstoppable rise of ecommerce and increasingly technology-enabled customers, retailers are having to work harder than ever to win spend and loyalty from shoppers.

Against this backdrop, how retailers market to their customers has pivoted significantly in recent years.

Long gone are the days of the print advert and Christmas campaign being enough to stay front of mind. The importance nowadays lies with businesses being unique and differentiating themselves from their competitors, utilizing data to create true personalization and providing added value that creates an all-encompassing experience for the consumer.

But with so many different marketing channels and platforms to utilize, and new tech advancements happening daily, how do retailers decide which avenues to focus on? And how can businesses keep a cohesive brand message when communicating with customers across multiple touchpoints and countries?

Williams Lea Tag’s retail whitepaper in association with Retail Week delves into three new battlegrounds that have emerged in retail marketing:

1) The rise of FMCG brands

The continual rise of ecommerce has impacted the traditional retail model on multiple fronts – shoppers no longer need to go to shops to buy the products they want and brands no longer need a retailer’s shelf space to be in front of consumers.

Multi-channel integration allows brands to differentiate themselves from competitors, and further investment in supply chain and logistics has allowed them to get their products into their consumers’ hands with ease.

And retailers are clearly taking note of the rise in direct-to-consumer. According to our report, 48% of retailers say they are competing directly with FMCG brands when targeting their customers and highlighted it as a concern.

2) Influencer marketing in brand activation

It’s testament to the power of social media that more than half of retailers say they engage with online influencers as part of their marketing strategy.
However, only 30% are satisfied with the results from their work with influencers and a further 28% say they are yet to see any tangible return on investment.

The first question any retailer needs to ask themselves before joining forces with an influencer is what a successful result from that partnership will look like. Of those surveyed, 86% say success is defined by the reach of the influencer’s audience and the number of people who see the tie-up by association.

Retailers will need to create robust strategies regarding who to work with and why in order to ensure their brand is as authentic and relevant as possible.

3) Visualize the journey

It’s all very well having a robust store estate and online proposition, but if a retailer cannot market the two effectively – and in conjunction with one another – it’s easy for one to lag behind in terms of sales and customer experience.

Retailers seem to be closing the gap between their online and offline channels. Almost half of those surveyed (47%) say social media plays an equal role in environments, 52% use hashtags in store to promote marketing campaigns and 46% utilize QR codes to lead customers to their website.

Brands today need to have a clear vision of how technology will enhance their marketing proposition and customer experience.

To gain more insight from the research and approaches, download our whitepaper: “Transforming Customer Conversations – New Frontiers in Retail Marketing.”

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