Non-conventional marketing: Put your brand where your customers are today

BY Australian Retailers Association
16 January 2019

How retailers can use and leverage contemporary consumer platforms to benefit their business.

Today your ideal customer is less likely to pick up a newspaper, sit in front of television or listen to a commercial radio network. Consumers are mobile and interacting with content in different ways than before, and it is vital that retailers are present where their potential customer is, even if this means reaching them through unconventional means.

The reality is that if a brand is not present and offering content that is both relevant and interesting, they will face significant challenges in attracting visitors, let alone converting these into customers. So, what emerging channels should you be aware of that can help you reach and engage meaningfully with consumers today and into the future?

IoT for business marketing

Researchers predict that there could be as many as 50 billion connected services by 2020, with each human owning 20 or more connected devices. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT), the concept of being able to connect any device to the internet and to each other; has a huge part to play in customer experience, no matter the brand or customer type.

Retailers can today use IoT to send notifications to nearby devices with special offers or coupons, some even tailoring discounts depending on the part of the store the customer is in. Smart appliances and devices inform owners when supplies are running low, or will automatically order them online. They can even inform manufacturers or repair shops of breakdowns.

Australian retailers looking to market their products and services more effectively in the future should use IoT to bridge the disconnect between customer expectation and business capacity. Keeping customers updated and entertained while they wait for deliveries, support or to be seated will help avoid frustrations, inbound queries and abandoned purchases.

Put yourself into the conversation with chat bots

So, you’ve taken out banner ads on popular websites and blasted eDMs via a media database but have seen little results. Well, it’s important to remember that traditional digital marketing activities are not the only way to get content to a relevant audience. A huge trend, especially with Generation Z, is for using messenger apps, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Australian retailers can reach out to their audiences through these apps.

Normally the messenger app asks when someone is creating their account what their hobbies are, etc. Based on that, the user agrees to receive third-party ads as long as they are relevant to them based on the criteria they have specified. Those ads do not have to be in the form of a banner. For example, when a user is chatting with their friend about a shirt they saw in-store, the bot can deliver a message to them in that chat, using artificial intelligence to let them know that they have a sale on a similar item in a certain online store. The bot is adding relevant information to both the user and the chat. The bot recommends a product not only from what it knows about that person from their social profile, but also based on the context of the discussion they are having at that precise moment in time.

Be at the right place, at the right time with location-based marketing

Imagine you are walking through a city, dark clouds are building overhead and you are wearing your brand-new suit on the way to an interview. The last thing you want is to turn up in a drenched suit. Enter location-based marketing technology; your phone sends you a message to tell you there is a shop two minutes from your location that has a 50% off sale on umbrellas.

Impressive, right? Well, through a combination of your weather app, location tracking on your phone and some very good and smart marketing by a local retailer, this is actually already possible today. Location-based marketing can deliver targeted promotions or marketing messages to potential customers based on their location, through mobile devices such as smartphones. This form of marketing is a powerful tool to boost short term trade, and is ideal for static retailers and mobile-pop up businesses trying to entice passing foot traffic.

Make your voice relevant in the new world

With growing adoption rates and rapid advances in technology, Australian retailers can connect with customers in ways that would have been unimaginable until recently. However, non-conventional marketing activities should enrich people's lives and add meaning. After all, there is no value in inserting yourself into a potential customer’s conversation unless you have something relevant to say.

Wayne Jasek is the Director of APAC Operations for Kentico. He specialises in helping retail brands deliver exceptional online experiences that turn visitors into customers. Learn more at kentico.com

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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