With rapid advances in digital marketing, data and technology, the journey from brand awareness to product sale can now be very short thanks to E-Commerce solutions. You can learn about a product, consider a brand and buy all in one go from a shoppable Instagram post. E-Commerce is driving much of the economical retail growth and presents a significant opportunity for brands. However, as customers’ behaviour changes, brands need to ensure they don’t get left behind.
Traditionally, many brands have had separate marketing and sales teams, and often each of these have very different objectives. Commercial agreements within the sales teams are often held to aggregate sales targets which drive efficient short-term sales. This is not always the case for marketing activity as the data available for sales driven on a granular level across retailers is not available. Brands really shouldn’t be allocating digital budget without visibility of the impact on total sales (both direct and from retail sites).
Unless a brand is managing E-Commerce directly, there will be a gap of transactional data when trying to understand the true commercial return on marketing investment and there is a major disconnect from the sales being driven through retailers.
Brands that can close this gap between sales and marketing are able to maximise the revenue opportunities from eCommerce. There are some clear steps that brands – and their retail partners – can take to capitalise on the eCommerce opportunities. Brands can upskill their sales teams to ensure they are asking the right questions when agreeing to digital media plans with a retailer, or they can involve digital specialists.
As retailers struggle to catch up with marketplaces like Amazon in terms of sharing data in real time, they should work with third-party technology providers or research companies to identify proxies for retail sales. In 2017, Amazon’s revenue from advertising grew close to 60%. As Amazon develops their self-serve platform to report back on media investments, retailers need to provide similar data and services for brands. Brands now need to challenge retailers to evolve even more quickly in this rapidly changing landscape.
We have seen an increase in brands developing e-Business teams, which is a great first step in bridging this gap. It is more important than ever to understand how all media activity collectively impacts brand sales and the true value of digital marketing included in commercial agreements.