Article | August 17, 2020
For many in the B2B marketing world, original research provides an effective way to build thought leadership and drive content for owned and earned media. Unfortunately, many research reports from B2B companies are dry, uninspired and focus solely on pontifications from the brand point of view. Such unremarkable content isn’t helping customers, especially if they never see it due to information overload or they don’t trust it.
Article | December 11, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic brought an old realization back to businesses – The devil is in the detail. As stores shut and opened tentatively, Amazon’s delivery cycles stretched and returned, and brands reconfigured production-supply chain combinations several times in a span of months, one thing was clear – staying strong and emerging through the current chaos would require close attention to details on a real-time basis:
Where is the demand moving?
What’s my inventory?
What are my operating costs and profit margins on one channel vs. another?
What are my buyers’ other options right now?
How do I optimize digital assortments?
What are the new and emerging customer needs?
And amid the chaos, another thing became apparent to brands – they needed a robust digital strategy to not just drive through this crisis but to thrive in the emerging world. Driven by lockdown restrictions and the desire for safety, more consumers have moved online.
According to research by Adobe Analytics, the total U.S. online sales reached $73.2 billion in June 2020, year over year up 76.2% (from $41.5 billion the previous year).
Consumer research by various teams at Course5 Intelligence has shown that the pandemic has created a large population of first-timers on eCommerce, with a massive increase in online spending by those who were already shopping online earlier. Most research respondents said that their shopping would continue to be omnichannel in the future, with an increased share of online.
And yet that’s only part of the reason why brands need an effective digital strategy. Even before consumers buy their products, they are looking online for information on what they want, availability, meeting the safety standards, and aligning with their preferences and needs. Google and Amazon have become the first point of research when users when to buy something, so digital lies at the very start of their purchase journey. And this is also where digital has distinctive strength over offline channels – the space and scope for a brand to define their brand, highlight distinguishing characteristics from competitor products, share user reviews to gain credibility, and deliver highly customized price-product offers, optimizing gain for buyers and the business.
However, many CPG companies do not have their direct-to-consumer platforms; many are still focused on partnering with a variety of e-marketplaces that exist globally or regionally.
How do you optimize your brand parameters for eCommerce platforms?
Even though many brands have set up their own D2C sites (for instance, PepsiCo’s snacks.com and pantryshop.com), there is no comparison in reach with major eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, Walmart, Flipkart, Shopify, Tesco, Target, Alibaba, Costco among others; your brand needs to be here. Each of these platforms has different engagement parameters for brands. While Amazon has 1P (1st party – Amazon is the wholesale buyer and markets and sells to consumers) and 3P (3rd party – Brand sells direct to consumer via Amazon) options, with Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) and FBM (Fulfilment by Merchant) options within 3P, others have a variety of other arrangements brands must choose. Making more significant decisions such as choosing the platform/s you want your brand on, the right selling/fulfillment strategy and base pricing to fine-tuning the advertising, product messaging, price, optimizing the supply value chain and product assortment on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis requires a combination of real-time contextual insight and the digital capabilities to be responsive.
Course5 Intelligence has been helping CPG, Retail, and Technology brands use AI-driven insight mechanisms and digital capabilities to define their eCommerce strategy and improve revenues in three broad ways —
WIN THE DIGITAL SHELF BATTLE
Price — How do I optimize my pricing strategy based on various trends?
Product portfolio — How do I optimize my product portfolio and packaging initiatives?
Catalog — Which categories do I overplay?
Market Share — How do I drive sales and gain market share faster than my competitors?
Brand Hygiene — How do I optimize search, product discovery, and reach for all my SKUs?
OPTIMIZE MARKETING SPEND
Ad-spend Attribution — What marketplaces are delivering the maximum ‘clicks to revenue’?
Purchase Signals — Are my ads targeted on purchase signals or on guesstimates?
DEMYSTIFY DATA COMPLEXITIES
Enable Quick Decisions — Do I have visibility on all dimensions and objectives?
Expedite Data Semantics — How quickly can I glean insights from new data sources?
Solve the ‘Alt-Tab’ Environment — Does my analysis exist in an ‘alt-tab’ environment? Or within a single product?
These are just a few data points that drive action within an effective and profitable eCommerce strategy. CPG brands that would like to make lasting inroads to consumers’ online shopping habits will need to deliver compelling value to buyers continuously. To do this, they will need to expertly navigate a complex and dynamic set of parameters to shine through at every level of the buyer’s journey – from the first appearance on the buyer’s horizon to becoming their first and last choice, always ensuring that the numbers match across buying price to experienced value.
Optimizing your digital marketplace strategy for the end-to-end buyer journey in an amorphous market landscape is the only way to stay ahead of the competition, establish category leadership, and increase revenue on a sustained basis.
Article | August 31, 2021
Customer centricity is a process of knowing your customers’ requirements, perceptions, and demands. Customer centricity means keeping your customer on your utmost priority while creating any promotional activity.
While creating marketing strategies, you can’t ignore your customers as your ultimate goal is to make them happy. So, let’s take a look at some of the most effective strategies to enhance the experience of your customers.
Why Are Customer-centric Strategies Indispensable?
According to CEI Survey, approximately 86% of consumers are enthusiastically ready to pay more for a better customer experience. Therefore, customer-centric strategies are highly advantageous to increase a brand’s identity and delivering positive ROI. It provides a remarkable experience to your target audience and persuades them to promote your products or services.
Keeping your customers on center and making them happy is a time-consuming process that requires perseverance and calculated planning. So, let’s dive deep into how to create successful customer-centric strategies.
Best Ways to Create Successful Customer-centric Strategies
Let’s understand how to enhance customers’ experience. Here are vital steps to create effective customer-centric strategies.
Data Collection of Customers’ Feedback
To run a successful campaign for your brand, you need to communicate with your customers frequently. Therefore, collecting different data through chat, emails, SMS, phone calls, message boards, etc., regarding customers’ feedback will help you provide an incredible experience to your customers and improve your marketing tactics.
Promote UGC (User-generated content)
Once you focus on UGC, it will automatically enhance brand credibility and brand recognition. Customers enthusiastically participate in UGC and share their views. It also boosts social media metrics and helps you do online marketing better.
Introduce Offers and Prizes
Introducing exciting offers and prizes is always helpful. It attracts their attention and convinces them to buy your products or services. However, the best part of introducing offers and prizes is receiving unexpected audiences’ responses. You can offer discounts, prizes on sales and convert your audience into long-term customers on a particular occasion.
Implementation of Content Intelligence
With the help of content intelligence, you can create unique and engaging content. It helps in different marketing purposes such as brand awareness, brand credibility, boosting sales, enhancing customers’ experience, etc. Many marketers believe that content is the crucial part of influencing the target audience. Therefore, content intelligence is a highly advantageous medium to create persuasive, engaging, effective, and relevant content.
Adoption of Advanced Technologies
Without technologies, your marketing efforts are ineffective. Prominent brands constantly evolve their marketing approach with advanced technologies. You can make your marketing efforts fastest, productive, and result-driven by adopting advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, programmatic advertising, machine learning, augmented reality, etc.
Connect with your Audience on Multiple channels
There are different platforms or mediums to connect with the audience, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email marketing, etc. These platforms will assist in finding a diverse audience, boosting conversion rates, and making you stand out from competitors.
Follow the Statistics
Different leading market research companies conduct profound research to discover valuable and relevant information. By focusing on those researches, you can improve your marketing tactics and understand competitive analysis.
Analyze KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
KPIs play a crucial role in the growth of an organization. It is about tracking the progress of your marketing efforts in terms of every aspect. KPIs provide detailed information about your team, marketing strategies, sales strategies, products strategies, and much more. It also helps in finding your loopholes and strengthens your marketing efforts. Here are some common marketing KPIs that can help improve your consumers’ experience, such as Customer Acquisition Cost, Customer Lifetime Value, Digital Marketing ROI, Social Media Traffic, etc.
Customers have different queries or problems, and they need instant solutions. Therefore, personalized marketing is the appropriate option to grab their attention by providing the quickest and personalized approach. Resolving your customers’ issues quickly and appropriately increase brand loyalty, engagement and build robust connections with them.
Approaching the target audience with innovative ideas attracts them towards your brand and compels them to know more about it. Owing to audience diversification, it becomes easy to create engaging & appealing content. You can influence them with your creative ideas by providing them value-driven content.
Customer-centric strategies are much more powerful to give your optimistic results. Prominent marketers believe that customer-centric approach is one of the best ways to enhance the Google visibility as it enhances the engagement of the audience.Implementing the above tips about customer-centric strategies can accelerate your growth and gain innumerable business outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the secret formula for scaling your business?
Defining objectives, keeping customers on center, evaluating KPIs, adopting advanced technologies, and improving the quality of the products consistently help in scaling your business.
What are the top customer-centric marketing tools?
To enhance your customer-centric marketing approach, here are some marketing tools such as Google Marketing Platforms, Hootsuite, PopSurvey, Quintly, etc.
"name": "What is the secret formula for scaling your business?",
"text": "Defining objectives, keeping customers on center, evaluating KPIs, adopting advanced technologies, and improving the quality of the products consistently help in scaling your business."
"name": "What are the top customer-centric marketing tools?",
"text": "To enhance your customer-centric marketing approach, here are some marketing tools such as Google Marketing Platforms, Hootsuite, PopSurvey, Quintly, etc."
Article | May 4, 2021
In recent years, the focus and surge in ecommerce has been undeniable. There has been clear evidence of how a lack of online consideration can ultimately result in a brand’s demise, with Debenhams and Topshop just two recent examples. However, the latest moves by online giants, including Amazon, are suggesting we’re not quite ready for a complete digital switchover just yet.
In this article, Nate Burke, CEO at Diginius, a proprietary software solutions provider for digital marketing and ecommerce, explains that multichannel models are the next logical step, and how businesses can boost their prospects with not just a presence in both the digital and physical space, but by combining the two to create a frictionless customer experience.
While it might have felt like the pandemic was driving us closer to some sort of digital utopia, particularly with the closure of non-essential shops, remote working and online social gatherings being the norm for over a year now, it has become apparent neither businesses nor consumers are quite ready for things to transform to such an extent just yet.
One clear piece of evidence is the buzz and excitement that surrounded the reopening of retail in England and Wales from 12 April. This date marks the first time this year non-essential stores allowed customers to enter, browse and purchase items in the traditional bricks and mortar way.
Stores and hospitality venues were met with queuing customers on day one of the eased restrictions, showing a clear desire for physical brand offerings. One brand in particular which is known for its strictly-bricks and mortar model is Primark. Despite months of plummeted sales, its stores across England and Wales were one of the most popular among consumers on the first day of reopening, with many even lining up outside before business hours.
Although the excitement may have simply been down to pent up frustration after having spent months indoors with few other recreational activities available, there is undeniably a certain sense of trust, convenience and comfort offered by the in-store experience, that digital channels are yet to trump.
However, when taking to high streets and re-entering shopping centres after so long, consumers are no doubt being met with an unrecognisable physical retail landscape, with a significant number of empty units, some of which once belonged to flagship stores and iconic brands.
A changing physical landscape
The pandemic was the tipping point for many brands that had been slow or reluctant to adapt to the gradual digital transformation that has been occurring for some years now, examples of which include Debenhams and businesses operating under the Arcadia Group. Essentially, while some of these brands were struggling against online competitors before the initial lockdown, forced store closures drove customers to shop with those that had perfected their digital experience as there was no physical alternative anymore. So with no other options, the enhanced experience and simpler processes of trusted online brands outweighed any incentives to remain loyal to those which favoured the in-store offering. Evidently, the two channels are not the same and a mere presence in both online and offline spaces is not enough.
But while consumers bid farewell to stores they have known and visited their whole life, we welcome new brands and ways of shopping to the high street, suggesting it’s not completely over for bricks and mortar just yet.
One of the latest additions is Amazon Fresh. The online giant has been taking up space in physical retail across the U.S. for some years now, with bookstores, Amazon Go and the acquisition of Whole Foods. While the latter helped Amazon break into the competitive grocery market in the UK too, its most recent Amazon Fresh store opening in Ealing, London, is on track to solidify its position.
The unique store concept of a till-less shopping experience aims to disrupt the grocery industry by removing frictions and enabling customers to get their goods in the most convenient way. The concept utilises hundreds of cameras, depth sensors and artificial intelligence to recognise and monitor items customers pick up and put back. Upon entry, they scan a barcode on their Amazon Shopping smartphone app, and upon leaving, their accounts are automatically charged with the items they walk out with.
Of course, Amazon certainly did not need to make this move into physical retail, especially considering their growing online financial performance. However, the business clearly understands the importance of a model that comprises both online and physical channels, particularly as consumers’ behaviours and sentiments adjust following the pandemic.
Digital-led bricks and mortar
While digital offerings have provided a lifeline for both businesses and consumers amid lockdown restrictions, there are still certain items that customers prefer to buy in-store, with groceries and clothing two of the biggest categories. Ultimately, in-store grocery shopping remains the most convenient way to get items you need instantly, and digital is yet to offer a way to help customers gauge fit, feel and quality of clothing items online. The only option is to place an order and return it if you are unsatisfied, which as Amazon is beginning to understand, comes at a great financial and environmental cost.
The brand’s physical stores offer a way to combat these issues until a digital solution is established. Not only do they offer a fast and seamless way to shop for essential grocery items, Amazon Fresh also features a station at which online orders can be picked up and returned, minimising the impact delivery to multiple addresses and round return trips have on its bottom line and the planet.
Going forward, this is precisely what the future of retail will look like. Rather than pulling all physical presence, technology and digital software needs to be integrated into in-store offerings in order to reduce pain points of either channel.
Many multichannel retailers offer similar click and collect services that help merge customer experiences across channels and create a seamless and convenient process. And while Amazon Fresh is a unique concept, we can see other brands making similar moves with the likes of Scan and Go services and self-checkouts.
By embracing and leveraging the technology available, brands can make the most of their multichannel models, whereby online and offline routes are not separate entities, but rather a way to boost business prospects through greater presence, frictionless processes and an overall better buying experience for the customer.