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Best of the retail marketing web - October 2015

Here are the four articles we've found the most interesting and relevant to retail marketers from over the past month.

Marketing personalisation and the buyer journey

The team at Leapfrogg wrote a really interesting article about personalisation this month, dissecting the John Lewis 2015 retail report and revealing the impact social media is having for the customer experience with John Lewis. There's something of a theme in this article - authentic connections. Online, social media allows brands to facilitate consumers to authentically interacting with one another around content themes in an organic, natural way. Offline, retailers like Zalando have launched personalised stylist advice whereby:

A team of 150 stylists offer personal telephone consultancies and personal product picks to customers, at once driving sales and building customer profiles through real-life relationship building, not, just real-time automation.

We love hearing this kind of thing. It's testament to how one retailer is really trying to engage customers in an authentic, personal way. I wonder whether those stylists have access to insights about each individual customer they're advising based on their past and predicted future behaviour? That's when this kind of offline, human-driven initiative can really create lasting impact.

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Content Marketing and Big Data is the key to creating Growth Hacking Magic

Digital Marketing Magazine posted this interesting article on Growth Hacking and where the phrase really stems from. They view it as an amalgamation of two mega trends: Big Data and Content.

We heard a recent talk byDavid McCandless who refers to data as the new 'soil' (as opposed to oil):

"it feels like a fertile, creative medium.Over the years, online,we've laid downa huge amount of information and data, and we irrigate it with networks and connectivity,and it's been worked and tilled by unpaid workers and governments.And, all right, I'm kind of milking the metaphor a little bit.But it's a really fertile medium,and it feels like visualizations, infographics, data visualizations,they feel like flowers blooming from this medium..."

The beautiful data visualisations that McCandless refers to are engaging content, in this case visual content. So data enables great content to be produced. Once you know who your audience is and where they hang out, you can create the relevant means to engage them and get them engaging with each other. There are also some great online and offline marketing examples given of how brands have driven engagement in this way, from Salesforce and Tinder.

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 Minimising the impact of stock unavailability through improved marketing

Summit's article does a great job at quantifying the losses of stock unavailability for retailers, which are huge. The specialist retail agency goes on to share some great digital marketing tips to help mitigate issues around out-of-stocks, like stopping promoting items which aren't in stock. Simple right? But how often has that happened to you?

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Social Engagement for Ecommerce: How to Build, Measure, Improve

This article by Practical Ecommerce goes into great detail about the need for Social Engagement for e-commerce businesses by providing a step by step guide for any business to follow,that defines, executes, measures, and improves their social engagement efforts.

There are many companies out there which share irrelevant content to their social audience. These are the types of companies using all channels available to broadcast all messages and clearly are lost when it comes to understanding which channel is right for their intended purpose.

The article provides great insight into the thinking process a company must go through to ensure it impacts its targeted social audience correctly to ensure it gets a positive return. Needless to say, planning and measurement play a big role.

click here to read the article