In part 1, we looked at how history tells us that companies who actively invest in both marketing and progressive strategies emerge from challenging periods in a much stronger position.
But there is a world of difference between being aggressive and smart.
Sure, a quick look around tells us that brands need to bolster their direct-to-consumer platforms to ensure they can navigate the steep incline in e-commerce, or to handle the waves yet to come.
However, just as cutting off affiliate partners and programmes wouldn’t be wise for the long haul, the current climate represents an opportunity to assess your data infrastructure and integrated sales process.
A common misconception right now is that reacting to the ‘new normal’ means scrapping core marketing practices and starting afresh.
The opposite is true.
Being progressive doesn’t involve disregarding the fundamentals of marketing – it means getting smarter about the ways you apply them.
Sales as one part of the equation
Some things never change. To drive sales, you need to know your audience.
To build great customer lists, you need reliable data partnerships.
How you go about linking all of the above is where the ‘intelligent’ part comes in.
This isn’t about rewriting the marketing framework, it’s about acquiring high quality data on your prime customers to create an integrated e-commerce funnel.
Whether it’s during the pandemic or beyond, that total control over your digital process is priceless.
How does it all fit together?
As discussed in part 1, the stronger margins that come from selling direct mean there is room in the pot to be creative with how you structure your programmes and work with partners.
So, the focus should be on driving your e-commerce from multiple directions and with one eye on the future.
Instead of simply running a discount programme with the aim of going above your sales targets and driving traffic to your platforms, that could be just one of many arrows in your quiver.
One option is to scale up a data programme that connects to your existing discount programme. That way, you have an optimal list of potential customers to whom you can keep selling, even in periods of rapid change.
If your company has multiple sub-brands, another avenue is to establish data for all of those different product lines, each with unique interests or characteristics.
The best part, those databases will be completely yours and you get to decide how you want to market your company and brand to those people.
Marketing in your hands
The benefits of owning your own customer database are the sheer opportunities it provides to measure trends and make your marketing better.
For example, you could run a closed discount code to measure loyalty data and see where precisely the sales spikes are being generated.
Then you could match up these stats with those from your affiliate programmes and bring everything together into a single e-commerce funnel.
To prepare for changing societal factors, there’s no doubt companies need to continue working on everything from managing their logistics to the resiliency of their digital platforms.
But, they shouldn’t forget that in the right hands and with a sensible, connected approach, data remains one of the most valuable tools around.