Insights on Retail Marketing Today from Sarah Martinez, Vice President & Industry Lead, Retail, Oath


What are the best ways for marketers to create useful and meaningful connections with shoppers?

One word: mobile. Mobile usage has skyrocketed. Today’s shopper wants enhanced multi-channel experiences, whether in-store, on desktop, or on mobile. In a recent Oath study, we found that consumers spend 5+ hours a day on their phones, and that number continues to grow. Mobile has transformed shopping as we know it, so instead marketers should ask, how can we create useful and meaningful connections with shoppers on mobile?

The first step for any brand is to identify their shopper’s passion points. Is it the joy of purchasing outdoor gear before camping with family and friends? Decorating for the holidays? Or getting new equipment before the start of baseball season? Consumer trust is a core pillar to a successful marketing campaign, and in order to create and build upon that trust, brands must identify those key moments of excitement for their target audience.

Next marketers should look to some of the new advertising tools available today, to capitalize on those passion points and drive utility. Take for example augmented reality, or AR. AR ads offer shoppers an incredibly enhanced experience, while also providing the utility today’s consumer demands.

We’ve been testing new ad formats with some of the world’s leading brands, including The Home Depot and Pottery Barn, and are seeing incredible traction and positive performance. Within the AR ad, shoppers can select pieces of furniture and virtually place those items in their living space, all on their mobile device. Shoppers can see how a Pottery Barn lamp will appear in their living room, before even making their purchase.

As mobile becomes increasingly ubiquitous, it will be more important than ever to identify consumer passion points to build brand trust, and use today’s innovative advertising tools to give shoppers the mobile utility they’ve come to expect.

What adjustments are needed in order for marketers to keep in alignment with consumers’ needs?

Technology has given consumers unparalleled transparency and access to product prices and options. In order to stay top of mind with consumers who have choices galore, marketers should look at the full sales funnel from customer acquisition to solidifying brand loyalty. This isn’t just about reaching your target audience. It’s about understanding them based on real actions and interests and capturing their hearts and minds in order to grow meaningful relationships over time. As shoppers rely on multiple channels, forward-thinking brands should connect with those shoppers on each channel, at each touch point, to maintain alignment.

How is mobile marketing taking an increasingly primary role in driving foot traffic and sales for the traditional click-and-mortar retailers?

Mobile fuels a multi channel journey. Desktop shopping leads to desktop buying, and in-store shopping leads to in-store buying, but when the shopping process starts on mobile the path to purchase is multi-channel, meaning consumers eventually make a purchase on desktop or in-store primarily, but not on mobile. In-store purchases continue to be a significant part of the shopping experience. With geo-targeting, personalized promotions and other mobile technologies, mobile devices can support in-store goals by driving foot traffic.

What’s the most important thing for agencies to understand about the current state of Retail?

Mobile isn’t the only force transforming the retail industry as we know it. Smart data and innovation in premium content environments are also changing the game. Thanks to data insights, today’s brands can understand shopper patterns and behaviors, analyze that information across channels and ultimately personalize the shopper’s experience. Whether driving sales offline or online, data is revolutionizing retail and allowing brands to deliver the right message in the right moment to the right shopper.

Premium content is equally as important for agencies to understand, as it’s the best advertising vehicle for trusted-brands. There’s so much industry discussion around brand safety; in fact, 75% of consumers think that advertisers are accountable for the content where their ads are placed. Premium content has a huge impact on brand perception, so it should be a no brainer for retail brands and agencies today to prioritize premium content.

For those who weren’t able to attend #theverticals Retail discussion this morning, check out @laurenvolsen’s piece in @FootwearNews on the importance of experience and mobile innovation in retail.