In the midst of an economic downturn, retailers today need to explore effective marketing options that speak to an ever-growing community of mobile and digitally savvy consumers. In trying to get a handle on what drives consumers in the retail space, Demographica undertook two years of research into the retail industry and retail advertising as part of its commitment to building global best practice.
Digital direct marketing company, Demographica, has encapsulated these learnings into its Digital Advertising Bible for Retailers, a few of which are highlighted below.
Four traditional pillars of retail advertising and promotion were identified in the study, including traditional broadsheets, sales and launches, calendar-based promotions and store openings. It is no surprise that digital direct marketing campaigns can add considerable value to these marketing activities because of the inherent strengths of the channels and the size of the consumer database.
The Digital Advertising Bible for Retailers identifies these strengths as:
Low cost per reach: Email and SMS campaigns are extremely cost-effective as the distribution costs are marginal.
ROI: A lower cost will naturally make database marketing more attractive, but the higher returns due to higher impact seal the case when measuring the return on investment. Greater tracking and reportability add another dimension in which traditional media are starting to show their fallibility.
Demographic targeting: A comprehensive and verified database enables retailers to segment an audience by age, income, gender and location, which adds a level of targeting not possible with traditional media. The same segmentation that targets audiences by lifestyle - such as parents, health and fitness fanatics or shoppers - add further impetus to retail campaigns.
Location targeting: The power of hyper-local notices is phenomenal, and cost-effective. Campaigns can now be targeted at consumers in the immediate, or approximate, vicinity to drive sales at specific stores or locations.
Timing, flexibility and immediacy: Email and SMS delivery allow a level of flexibility and agility that traditional media simply cannot match. These electronic channels allow retailers to plan campaigns around event and time-based promotions, while doing so just as efficiently on the fly if a last-minute opportunity or change arises. Real-time results also allow for the monitoring of campaigns, which means they can be improved or adapted as needed, without enormous cost.
Visual: Email is a proven winner in being able to attract the audience's attention with visually strong, and information-rich content. The medium enables retailers to showcase a brand or a full range of products while carrying a call to action, prices and time restrictions without cluttering the message.
Testing: Email and SMS campaigns can be tested and optimised prior to distribution to ensure that they achieve the highest possible response rate.
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