Many CMO’s in retail are experiencing the ever increasing stresses of revenue targets. Post pandemic, more than ever, marketing is looked at as the online sales team. At management meetings C level marketers are being pressured by the companies’ desire to not miss the opportunity of online. The lift in online focus has received so much press coverage and public attention, everyone has become an expert , the whole C Level team feels like they can play the role of the Monday morning Quarterback when it comes to dishing out marketing advice. 2022 is not going to be easy.
The CMO will have to maximise revenues, they’ll need retain their new online clients gained in the pandemic surge, deal with the massive price increases in SEO and online advertising channels, deal with death of third party cookies, MPP, tracking, cope with diminishing returns from email, go more direct and personal through improved first party data management and do more on mobile.
Here are a few tips and observations that should assist in staying ahead of the curve, and being the smartest person in the room at C level management meetings.
Build a bridge between marketing skills and technology needs – and do it now.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for marketers is in the skills required for 2022 and beyond. Marketing is the defacto online sales engine. Online sales is all about process, integration, data management and the tech skills required to extract the best out of CRM and CDP investments to deliver right levels of personalisation, the right messaging, at the right time and over the right channel.
It’s a fact of life that one of the famous marketing 5 P’s (Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People ) is NOT PROGRAMMING.
Increasingly programming and tech skills are being required to bring tech stack investments together, to enable marketing to work independently and co-operatively with the CTO. In the past marketing have been able to farm our the technical skills required for social and SEO out to agencies – and for the most part managed email internally through the CRM Team. Recent privacy changes in outsourced social and SEO make the social agencies work even less trackable. Social prices are going through the roof, this channel will need to be re-assessed and most likely greater pressure and performance emphasis will be expected from the inhouse team as contact goes more direct and marketers will be required to work inhouse on data management, contact and messaging.
There is a gap, as we said earlier, one of the 5 P’s is not programming, and to get the best out of the tech stack investments – good tech knowledge is essential. MD has spoken to a number of C level marketing execs in large online businesses. These C level executives recognise the skills issue and in 2021 were looking to bring in new team marketing members with tech skills knowledge.
It was a common issue with CMO’s. They had little or no success in seeking marketing professionals with IT skills to carry the tech load. As a result, and some pragmatic thinking – they have reshaped their Job Descriptions to now be looking to employ programming and IT skills trained staff who have an interest in marketing.
These skills in the short term can be contracted from tech based organisations who recognise the need for the skills set, who can provide 3 to 6 month contracts to maximise the value of the tech stack, build the required integrations and put triggers and processes into the marketing organisation. That contract should also require the contractor to work with and support their client in employing and training a technical person to be able to long term be the go to tech person in marketing and have the skills, knowledge and temperament to build a workable bridge between the requirements of the CMO and pressures already being carried by the CTO.
Text Message Marketing
If your organisation is not using text for marketing, you need to get on board, and fast.
Text Message Marketing (TMM) is the fastest growing channel in the USA, organisations using text message marketing are claiming $71.00 for every dollar spent, and in 2021 claimed over 20% of their online revenues had been generated through TMM.
Text message marketing can be a Simple Text (SMS) which is the familiar 160 character message delivered into your text inbox, or a Rich Text Message (MMS) which is a 300kb visual message, that can include upto about 1,000 characters of text attached, the ability to include a VCARD and delivered to 100% of smartphone. There is also a third category which is a Richer Text Message that has all the features of an MMS, but also contains the ability to personalise each message on the actual vision, and enable purchasing of promoted visual offers instantly without password/uersname, logon or email.
At a time when email open rates in retail are their lowest ever, Simple Text has a 98% open rate, and our Australian experience is that click throughs are usually between 7% and 12%. Rich messaging on average delivers 8 to 40%, and richer messaging, likely due to the personalisation and ability to use unique codes delivers higher response rates and higher trackability. Anecdotally we can say that MMS campaigns generate higher revenue per conversion, positive brand equity and temporarily increase email open rates.
Your first steps in TMM will be securing an accurate mobile customer list. QR codes and keyword can be used very effectively in store, on web and on all hardcopy media to generate SMS’s agreeing to be contacted. Most organisations in Australia have not gone through a formal process to collect mobile numbers for marketing, instead using lists derived from mobile numbers collected for online delivery. This is currently legal, but may come under stricter scrutiny in the near future when SMS SPAM, threat agents and fraud actors draw the attention of the government. This government regulation and increased privacy protections caused massive problems for mobile marketers in the USA and Europe – the lists they were using were deemed un-useable, resulting in organisations having to reset and seek formal opt-in approval, in writing, from the people they had been SMS’ing for years.
We recommend to all our clients that they seek to work on securing formal and specific opt-in instructions for their mobile lists or run the risk of losing access to their mobile clients. Mobile clients in Australia keep their mobile number over 18 years, that makes an opted in mobile number a very valuable business asset – any activity now to secure a legally opted in client will be well worth the investment in the near future.
Make Use of The Mobile Phones Native Features
The most used APP on the mobile is the Text APP, and the most valuable CX value add APP is definitely the Wallet App.
- you want to push messages direct to the mobile
- you want your clients to have frictionless easy access to you,
- you want to be able to use the phones geo location capabilities to trigger push messaging
- you want to sync messaging to the phone calendar
- you want consumers to be able to store your brand loyalty cards and awards
- you want your clients to store specific campaign coupons,
- you want to update their loyalty status
- you want to push new message and update cards stored in wallet with new visual imagery, new content and new links.
- you want to provide your clients with instant access and important links to key information they may need or value
Conversational Concierge and the Experiential Host
The pandemic effect has made us look differently at retail, and potentially opened up an opportunity for hybrid retail solutions, based around remote two way contact between vendor and customer. We have observed through over 45 million personalised text messages that receivers of text like to reply, if they can. Frankly, if I can’t reply to a text message I think its SPAM or a Phishing attempt…so I just delete it, but if I can reply, I trust the message more, and because I can I may potentially reply.
We are observing our clients now watching the increasing volume of return text messages after campaigns, and responding through the SNIPERChat feature. Even when the vendor does not seek return texts, they get them. We have observed over 1,000 return text messages received after an outstanding offer was sent – (to 12,000) and they did not ask for a reply – but so good was the offer that half the text responses were people saying they wanted to buy the product on sale, or asking the company to hold the product for them.
It is not far away when smart vendors will pull key people out from behind counters in store, and put them in a room with a campaign management tool like SNIPER, send text offers out, and encourage text responses through SNIPERChat. These keyboard sales people will act as a cross between a concierge service and that of an experiential host.
Already we are seeing signs. We have clients who may use SNIPER to run 50 different visual campaigns a week, and some of the campaigns may only be to 15 or 20 people. However, they get a 100% success rate – because they know what their client wants, can show it to them, and then engage over text to refine their interest and close the sale.
The mobile phone is our identity device, once we have opened our phone, through facial recognition, fingerprint, inserted our code – whatever – we are in our secure world – this is a secure as things get, nobody knows how to get into that world. So why, why, why why why why, do we need to login to commerce sites, give them our email, our username, our password – and its even more annoying when they have followed you around on the net for the last two weeks like a crazy ex girl friend trying to get you to buy stuff you left in your cart.
eCommerce was designed for the desktop and has been adapted to the mobile. Abandonment rates are much higher on mobile – text based commerce fixes the eCommerce checkout friction issues.
In text commerce there is no need for logon, username, password or email. Your mobile is your secure location, text commerce platforms know who you are because you are using your phone, your number on you handset, and that opens up the incredible opportunity for the removal of unnecessary friction points in the on-mobile online purchasing process.
With the SNIPER Tap2Buy.link and Tap2Buy.com mobile marketplace, organisations can send visuals of products to their text inbox, with pre-approved payment token, delivery address and product information, all the receiver has to do is confirm the purchase or not. The purchasing process using Tap2Buy takes seconds. This is the future of mobile commerce.