Most people working in eCommerce, advertising, and retail in 2023 could be forgiven for believing that in life, nothing is permanent except change.
Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and we have more data available than ever before, but for many brands this can feel overwhelming. Often, sales and marketing teams are working from separate sources of data and toward entirely different goals.
To find out how to bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams, we partnered with the eCommerce software platform provider Pacvue to host a live broadcast webinar on the topic, featuring Heather Dawson, Senior Vice President of Global Solutions at Reprise Commerce, Ettore Boni, Account Director, Retail Media and Commerce and Zachery Zaerr, Account Director, Retail Media – both at Pacvue.
Here are some key takeaways from the event:
1. Revenue growth is a great goal, but it must be broken down
Zachary Zaerr began the webinar by reflecting on the current economic climate. In tough economic conditions, revenue growth is still a critical goal, but a gap exists between ad tech and retail. So, how can sales and marketing teams ensure they are properly aligned?
For Heather Dawson, revenue growth is an important thing to get behind, but it needs to be broken down into short-term revenue growth and long-term brand growth. By breaking down these terms, teams can agree on a collective goal such as: how many units are we going to move and by when?
Ensuring that both sales and marketing have on-demand access to data is crucial, as is the company org structure. Teams need to be set up with knowledge transfers in mind and company leaders must focus on fostering a culture of cooperation between departments.
2. A single source of truth is key
To cope with the sheer volume of data produced in today’s retail and advertising landscapes, it’s important to have partners that help to merge sets of data and allow multiple teams to look at one ‘source of truth’. Amazon’s Vendor Central doesn’t give access to ad data, and vice versa, as the staff who work on campaigns don’t have 90-day stock levels or other important KPIs.
Having the right tools and partners in place can help brands to distill the information they need down to an easy-to-read report or dashboard. Staff shouldn’t feel an expectation to look at every data point – some things should be checked every week, but others can be once a month or once a quarter. Everyone should feel comfortable that they know what’s hot, what the checkpoints are and how often they need to be looked at.
It’s also the responsibility of an agency to let clients know when things change. A lot of clients are willing and ready to be informed but there is always an implication to change. The eCommerce landscape is moving quickly with new ads to buy and innovative technologies to embrace, and clients aren’t always equipped to change in lockstep with the environment.
3. The ad-spend cap still applies in the era of Retail Media
Retail Media has become a buzzword that is dominating industry headlines and conversations. Experts are predicting massive growth versus any other ad spend in the coming years, due in part to the ability to join up advertising and shopping dollars.
On this note, Heather Dawson sounds a note of caution, suggesting the ad-spend cap is a more responsible business model for brands to adopt, rather than simply buying all the ads that are available.
“If we spend more, we need to do this to achieve sales or profits or both when possible.” agrees Ettore Boni.
4. Attribution is still tenuous
Attribution is still an elusive concept. Agencies must be able to interrogate each ad in each ad platform and understand if it is doing what is needed. In one platform you may be able to drive accurate SKU-level results, but in other platforms, you may not have the same control and dexterity.
“There’s a lot of misinformation about what success even looks like in this area,” says Heather Dawson, “we’re a long way away from uniform attribution and that means using analysts to support teams and market-leading tech to support the analysts.”
5. Start SMART
Heather Dawson recommends that every client tries to brief with a hard, SMART objective so everyone can communicate clearly what it’s going to take to hit that target.
Brands are still entering the world of eCommerce talking about things they are comfortable briefing, like brand visibility, which is great, but it doesn’t have a hard target behind it. Bring sales into the room, look at the data, and try to find the snag points that might be damaging customer flow.
Ettore Boni suggests that it’s important to consider the long-term strategy whether you’re working on retail or advertising. If you’re setting objectives, are you making sure the teams you work with are being productive and sharing the same view on how they work?
You can read the Pacvue roundup and watch the full webinar on-demand here.
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