How a Considered Purchase Methodology Will Influence How You Execute at Retail
Whether you’re a brand with a goal to improve retail execution in 2020 or a retailer looking to boost traffic and sales, new strategies are in order to compete in a world in which a handful of retailers possess so much purchasing power.
According to eMarketer, retail sales are expected to increase by two percent in 2020. However, the same report also states that the biggest beneficiaries of this increase will be big-box stores like Target and Walmart.
Using strategies from considered purchase methodology will lead to better retail activation with better communication plans. These plans should include four key components of considered purchase marketing: your target personas, the kinds of content they need, the right channels for content delivery, and the metrics for measurement. Read on for how to structure your communication plan for the new year.
The WHO: Use Buyer Personas to Personalize Messaging
Consider these stats:
- 87% of consumers surveyed said that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand.
- 63% of consumers said they’d think more positively about a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting, or relevant.
- 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, OR knows their purchase history.
It’s clear that personalization should be a key component of your marketing plans, but where do you start? Considered purchase marketers use highly detailed buyer personas about highly specific segments of their target audience to provide content that resonates on a personal level with each.
It’s a lot easier to personalize your marketing message if you have an in-depth understanding of the various groups that make up your customer base. So make sure you go beyond age, demographics, and HHI and dive deep into what makes your target segments tick to create a fully fleshed-out content plan that includes a personalized messaging track for each of them.
The WHAT: Choose Marketing Elements that Will Move Buyers Along the Path to Purchase
When you know you've got interest from a consumer—as evidenced by a social media follow or an email list sign-up—it's time to start getting people to think about their lives after the purchase of your product or from your store. What problems have they solved? What pain points are no longer an issue for them? How much more efficient will their lives be? At this point in the journey, touchpoints should focus on answers to these questions instead of features and can come in the form of social media, blogs, and website content.
As you move toward the end of the funnel, make an effort to include videos in your marketing. This isn't about trying to wow your future customers—it's about reinforcing your marketing message. Video viewers retain 95 percent of the message shown to them in a video. Put your best efforts into informative videos that are designed to sell a shopper on a particular item—feel free to talk features here, and don’t forget your unique selling proposition. The goal is to get them excited to head to a store to check it out in person.
When they’re in the store—at the decision stage of the funnel—be sure that your signage, flyers, tear-sheets, and POP displays reinforce the messaging and branding they’ve seen all along their journey. Make pricing and any offers or discounts clear and straightforward. You’re instilling confidence in the customer that the product they’ve been considering all this time is going to deliver what’s been promised. They’re excited, and your in-store marketing should use that excitement to carry them over the finish line.
The WHERE & WHEN: Activate Different Marketing Channels Throughout the Buyer’s Journey
Considered purchase marketing is built around educating the customer so they feel they have all the information they need when they’re ready to buy. Where and when you educate them changes as they move through the buyer’s journey, but every touchpoint you have with a consumer across channels is an opportunity to instill a little more confidence—both in the brand and/or retailer and in the product.
Blogs, videos, and social media posts—and even offline channels like newspaper ads and brochures—can all help to educate a consumer who is just entering the awareness phase. As these individuals become more interested in your product offerings, you can provide them more in-depth materials that teach them the difference between features and models. Targeted emails and in-depth product review videos all create deeper immersion into your products and leave the shopper more interested in making a purchase from you.
When the time is right, you can direct them to view a particular product in a store, whether it be a test product on the sales floor or a coordinated in-store demonstration. These demos may also catch the eye of others, causing the curiosity cycle to begin with a new set of consumers.
Nearly 75 percent of customers use multiple channels to do research and compare prices, but only 22 percent of marketers actually provide a multichannel experience. Providing this for your audience will help you to see a fuller picture of how your brand or product will fit into their lives while encouraging loyalty among your customers.
The WHY: How to Tie Together Metrics for Measurement and Optimization
Typical retail metrics focusing on revenue per square foot, order frequency, average customer spend, and popular items can be helpful to retailers, but they don’t quite tell the whole story. There’s much more to a retail sale than someone coming through the door and purchasing an item. With a considered purchase product, plenty of research and in-depth comparisons have led a consumer up to that point.
Be sure you’re capitalizing on the data that can be gleaned from the research and comparison your customers are doing before heading into the store. Data from the content and online advertising you’ve done can show how your customers prefer to consume advertising content and promotional materials. Email click-through rates, lead conversion rates, and cost of conversion can also help uncover insights into your audience and how to best nurture leads along their path to purchase.
These kinds of marketing metrics ultimately show you why someone has reached the decision point in their buyer journey and why they’ve ultimately decided to go with you. It’s this “why” that informs a fully optimized considered purchase marketing strategy. And when it comes to retail, if you can identify the “why,” you’re able to create a communication plan that fully addresses who you’re marketing to, what elements you should create to market to them, and where and when you should show up along their buyer’s journey.
Topics: considered purchase marketing
Written by Allison Wilker
Allison Wilker is Icon’s Chief Client Officer and has 23 years of leading clients to marketing, retail, and PR success. Clients include Tempur-Sealy, College of Mt. St. Joseph, Skyline, and Valvoline. Allison’s focus is in consumer durable goods, food, education, and finance.