If you’re in the retail space, there’s no denying that digital marketing is important to your brand. The days of brick-and-mortar sales being the primary driver of retail success have been over for a while, and the biggest brands are constantly finding new ways to sync online and offline channels to establish a complete brand voice that connects with their customers wherever they visit or buy.
But what should the chief goals be for digital marketing campaigns? Whether they use your website, email, mobile app, or SMS messaging, the best digital marketing campaigns are typically going to have many of the same ultimate goals. Here are the three things that the very best retail digital marketing campaigns are going to accomplish for your brand:
Makes your brand more human
Marketing expert Mark Schaefer has taken to the mantra that the most human company wins, which is to extoll the somewhat counterintuitive idea that the company that concentrates the least on selling and the most on understanding their customers is the one that will actually succeed in the end.
This sort of approach requires a lot of confidence. But even that is part of the appeal. The more desperate your brand seems to get people to buy, the more suspicious they might be of your motives and the quality of what you’re selling. If you’re confident enough to put selling aside in favor of relating to them as human beings, showing you’re more than just a big brand name, you give people warm feelings about interacting with you and make them think your product must be good enough to sell itself.
The above Burger King ad from March 2020 is a good example of this. When the pandemic struck and many restaurants had to close their dining rooms, it was a big blow for a lot of businesses. Burger King created some buzz with a headline telling customers to buy from their biggest rival, then listing off several others. It was a signal that they understood that there were things more important than selling, and that all of us were in this together at a difficult time.
Delivers an experience that’s unique to your brand
One of the ways to ensure the success of a digital marketing campaign is to think about what your customers trust your brand to do better than anyone else, and then center everything around bringing that directly to them. It will often take some creativity and some really smart people to make it work, but the results will absolutely be worth it when customers start diving in.
Sephora has been a trusted name in cosmetics for a long time, and they’ve built that brand upon providing high-end level service to customers in a welcoming environment with lower price points than many small boutique stores. How could they double down on that in-store service experience with a digital campaign?
By launching their own Virtual Artist within their Sephora to Go app, allowing users to try on thousands of lip colors directly from their phone, wherever they might be. They incorporated a 3-D live view that moves around with the customer so they can see exactly what each color looks like, giving them a personalized shopping experience that only Sephora might be equipped to deliver. And giving them a reason to keep coming back.
Drives customer loyalty and engagement
And that brings us to how you can ensure customers want to return to your brand over and over again. It’s the holy grail of all marketing, digital or otherwise — establishing a true relationship with your customers to where they trust that you’ll deliver the product and experience they want consistently every time, to the point they wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Hollister’s Cali Club does a great job of this, encouraging customers to download the app and log in to their account, where they’ll see a nice graphic with their current points, along with how much they have left to reach the next tier of rewards. The app allows customers to save products they love, and members can get into members-only events, gain access to sales before the general public, and earn birthday rewards. Then you can buy directly from the app and have it delivered or picked up in store. You can even listen to in-app music.
They’ve created a one-stop place where their customers can continue to come back to with a slick UI and an easy-to-understand rewards system. That’s the type of digital marketing that leads to customers not only coming back to your brand but recommending it to friends.
Getting digital marketing right across all channels is essential for the enterprise retail marketer today. If you can keep these chief goals in mind — be human, deliver a unique experience, and give customers a reason to stay loyal — then work to reach them with each campaign, your brand will continue to succeed in the digital marketplace.