Marketing in modern retail is no more intuition-based. While the success and profitability of retail business depends largely upon marketing, on the other hand, experts have opined that in today’s evolving and competitive environment, retailers need something extra over mere marketing to enjoy the desired success. The modern mantra of retail success depends largely on threefold lifecycle alignment, namely:
- Customer lifecycle
- Marketing lifecycle
- Product lifecycle
Customers, these days, are expecting totalitarian and intelligent service from their preferred retail stores, quite in the same manner that online e-commerce websites have to offer. Traditional marketing may open up great opportunities for product promotion but true success and profitability is attained only with selecting the appropriate option at the fittest time. Retailers attain the best benefits contributing to their business, provided they connect with right customers, interested about the right event.
Understanding the right event for the right group of customers is simply impossible in a traditional retail store. What is required in this context is behavioral marketing that should be empowered with psychographic segmentation, taking the ultimate output beyond mere promotional targeting based on customer profile creation through demographical data. The alignment between marketing with customer and product lifecycle is the only way to put data mining into correct usage in the post store-automation scenario.
The most critical challenge that retail marketers experience over planning in-store promotional events is correctly aligning these three dimensions. The promotional strategy development should contain perfect balance between these three lifecycles. Giving any component an extra bit of importance will destabilize the entire structure of strategic planning. Marketing lifecycle is an effective instrument when it comes to delivering the necessary insight to strategists about Customer and Product lifecycles.
Marketers’ comprehensive knowledge about Product, Marketing and Customer lifecycle helps him with understanding a situation from a broader dimension. Accordingly, he comes up with the best and most relevant strategic inputs in creating marketing campaigns that are relevant to customer interest. Such knowledge also encourages NPI or new product introduction and associative strategy development in making the NPI more acceptable among customers. Based on customer’s store visiting frequency, store retail analytics will deliver more enriching data that will help marketers’ in aligning marketing and product lifecycles more accurately, In return, they will successfully implement more contextually relevant promotional offers with more attractive pricing, influencing customers’ decision making at the point of purchase.
Marketing in retail has come a long way since the time of intuitive decision making, yet the domain is not yet freed entirely from the earlier habits. Even today, majority of retailers are reluctant about implementing the necessary changes and rely more on the traditional model of marketing. While customers are expecting a more holistic approach in finding the right products and getting addressed in-store, on the other hand, reluctance in delivering the desired may make things extremely difficult for retailers in terms of sustaining the competition against increasing popularity of e-commerce platforms. Let’s not delay anymore and put retail analytics to work. Let’s segment Product, Marketing and Customer lifecycles and initiate behavioral marketing. The desired outcome is not impossible to attain, thanks to technological advancement, and once attained there will be no turning back from guaranteeing retail success and profitability.