Attending conferences, for me, has always felt like getting the fast pass at Disney. The digital marketing landscape is in constant flux with a multitude of new technologies vying for attention and a limited time to invest.
A conference forces a commitment, though — cutting-edge resources, a group of savvy marketing cohorts and the time to fortify forward-thinking digital strategies. Game time.
I recently attended an eTail-branded conference in LA. Known for bringing together retail innovators, digital trailblazers and leading industry vendors, eTail conferences facilitate a journey of discovery for retail marketers, unraveling disruption and sharing solutions.
Most eTail gatherings are large scale, with top-tier speakers, thousands of retailers and providers all converging to network and learn. eTail Connect West stands apart as an invite-only, exclusive rendezvous of senior-level executives, accelerating peer-to-peer information sharing.
Mark Scherzer, program director for Worldwide Business Research, elaborated on the significance of eTail Connect West within the broader eTail event portfolio, saying, “eTail Connect West is part of our larger eTail events that we’ve been producing for the past 25 years. We bring together retail innovators from qualifying companies in a closed-door setting, which serves as a catalyst for open dialogue and collaborative problem-solving.”
Getting your marketing mix right — why it’s more critical than ever before
Smart digital marketers recognize the myriad challenges they face in today’s digital landscape, with privacy regulations (which are good for consumers) impacting the ability to effectively target their ideal customer across diverse platforms. Understanding which channels yield the greatest reach and impact on sales is pivotal, enabling marketers to effectively allocate budget dollars.
Ward Parry, vice president of business development at Fenixcommerce, emphasizes that “an omnichannel customer spends 2.5X more than an online-only or offline-only customer and given the current financial conditions, identifying your most valuable/loyal customer is more critical than ever before.”
He underscores the importance of meeting customers on the channels where they naturally engage. “The current behavior of most shoppers is multifaceted — across all categories and age cohorts. Amazon has proven how unlocking a unified shopping experience can lead to substantial, sustainable growth opportunities.”
Optimizing digital marketing spend for maximum impact
Understanding channel distribution is only one piece of the puzzle though. Marketing Mix Modelling analyses historical data to pinpoint actionable insights that empower future spend.
In a constantly churning digital landscape, however, waiting for trends to emerge — whether it’s days or weeks — can sometimes lead to wastage. Dan Williams, chief revenue officer for 3 Day Blinds, understands his customer base with finely tuned precision. His team analyzes data every 10 minutes, enabling swift pivots if spend fails to deliver results.
Williams explains that his team operates on an appointment-driven model. “Too few appointments impacts our sales team’s ability to achieve their goals — too many and appointments are booked too far out, which is not a great customer experience,” he says.
To maintain this delicate balance, Williams’ team meticulously monitors their geo-targeted campaigns throughout the day, ensuring an engaged sales force ready to seize opportunities as they arise.
How Overstock pivoted quickly with a full-scale rebranding
In the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, where privacy laws impact targeting capabilities and navigating various platforms poses constant challenges, it’s clear adapting quickly is essential. Overstock, a company intimately familiar with the ebb and flow of the digital market, provides a prime example of how to pivot quickly to grow market share.
Carlisha Robinson, chief product officer at the newly imagined (and online only) Bed Bath & Beyond drew from her love of sports to shed light on what a successful pivot looks and feels like in an uncertain, tumultuous economy.
“In basketball, one of the ball handler’s feet must stay in one place on the floor while the other foot is free to rotate anywhere in a 360 radius,” she said. “While your non-pivot foot focuses on the part of your business that remains unmovable, what is your pivot foot doing? How are you adjusting your strategy and tactics? How are you addressing your customers differently than before? How are you adjusting to changing marketing conditions?”
In the dynamic realm of retail and digital marketing, where innovation and adaptation are the keys to success, eTail Connect West delivered an abundance of knowledge, collaboration and inspiration. From dissecting evolving challenges in e-commerce and omnichannel strategies to optimizing digital marketing spend and drawing inspiration from the nimble pivots of industry leaders like Overstock, this conference encapsulated the essence of retail innovation.
Sabrina Cherubini, senior vice president of brand and digital at Hanky Panky, wrapped up the conference with an inspiring keynote on how beginning with a commitment to our consumers can lead to profitable growth. She emphasized coupling our use of technology with a startup, customer-focused mindset.
“If we maintain a deep empathy for our customers, technology can guide us to a better understanding of how to deliver on promises to our consumers and grow the brand in beautiful and meaningful ways,” she says.
As we navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, these insights and experiences remind us that, like a basketball player’s pivot foot, our ability to adapt, adjust and engage with our customers — while maintaining a relentless focus on what is working — is essential to staying ahead in the game.