Rethinking & Realigning Your Retail Marketing

They’re all changing at once, faster than ever before – and the need for that change is accelerating

The question is – how do you get ahead of it? From strategic to tactical, the challenges and opportunities listed below provide specific tools that retailers will be leveraging through their recovery and re-opening.

At a high level, the overall Marketing environment has changed. Priorities have changed as revenues have dropped. Messages, tools and channels have changed in adapting to our new reality. Investment has changed with them. The move to authentic, empathetic digital marketing was already in process before the current pandemic - but it’s no longer optional and it’s needed now. Developing solid connections to customers is vital, and requires unique creative abilities.

Developing those connections requires Marketing professionals who can deal with significant changes in company and consumer behaviour. A recent NewsCred study showed that 78% of companies were expecting to increase virtual events with 72% increasing web content. Other studies have shown consumer social media use and engagement has increased as much as 61%, while Nielsen data showed TV consumption is up 60% over pre-pandemic volumes. Superheroes no longer wear capes – they’re nurses, doctors, first responders, grocery store clerks and sometimes our neighbors. People recognize that while we truly are all in this together, we’re all being affected differently. And the absolute key to success is reassuring your team and your customers that their safety is the most important thing to you

Specific marketing initiatives designed to deal with those changes include :

Leveraging connections to customers ...

- Leveraging the personal data captured in POS systems and web sites to target promotions and personalize customer experiences (remembering their names, mentioning past purchases, etc.)

- Implementing advanced techniques like revenue management (adjusting marketing spend and product/service pricing based on demand) and loyalty programs

Expanding communication channels ...

- Moving into new social media channels like TikTok, while remaining active in standard channels like Instagram

- Using paid ads to promote specials or pick-up/delivery options

Enhancing offerings ...

- Using big data and advanced analytical tools to manage inventory, including targeted markdowns, stock redistribution, etc.

- Expanding the on-line availability of products or promotions directly related to the current environment (health and wellness, face masks, virtual gift cards, etc.)

- Sponsoring social media challenges or contests promoting your operation and benefiting local causes

- Ensuring there’s a seamless customer experience moving from ecommerce to physical channels, including delivery, click-and-collect, curbside pickup, returns, etc., with ecommerce fulfillment capabilities designed to optimize inventory and meet online demand

Improving messages ...

- Ensuring messages focus on immediate revenue opportunities (changes in opening hours, automated alerts of newly available products, etc.) while still addressing popular concerns like sustainability – and of course, safety

- Hosting live videos that allow for direct social interaction with team members as they would in-store, perhaps including contact with front line staff or even customers taking people behind the scenes in the operation, telling personal stories, the history of the operation or the journey to re-opening

Understanding the interaction of all of these factors, and connecting them with underlying business objectives requires the extensive use of advanced analytics. Managing all of these shifts requires proven marketing operational skills. Building on everything to deliver the right message to the right person the right way requires top tier Marketing talent.

Recognizing that urgent and critical need, the JRoss team has proactively connected with hundreds of highly experienced Marketing professionals from Canada’s largest service sectors – Retail and Hospitality - to gain a sense of the talent profile available.

To share some of what they found, the candidate profiles below will give you an idea of the types of Marketing skills and experience that retailers will be looking for.

Director of Marketing – Toronto

This passionate marketer loves all things retail! They bring their enthusiastic, creative and collaborative style to the table every time. They design strategic and innovative marketing campaigns across traditional and digital formats to enhance customer experience and engagement, and to grow market share. They foster lasting partnerships with vendors, agencies and internal teams. Their combined experience in fashion, cannabis and retail marketing, sales, CRM, branding, ISM, loyalty, planning and analytics makes them able to design an immersive retail brand experience. In their last role, they built a retail marketing team from the ground up in a start-up environment. As part of that project they built processes and applied best in class practices and tools to bring this retail brand to life. Working in a highly regulated environments, they have found creative marketing solutions to drive traffic and increase conversion for both bricks & mortar and ecommerce channels.

Creative Director - Montreal

This highly creative professional has channeled their creative capacities in the worlds of fashion, design and branding in both Paris and Montreal. In their last role, they added a dash of glamour and style while preserving the inherent identity of two well established Canadian fashion brands. Comfortable with image creation and rebranding through traditional and virtual media, this candidate is proficient in advertising, copywriting in English and French, photo styling and web content. They have led large blended teams including marketing managers, graphic artists, copywriters, photographers and stylists. With an education in Fashion Design and a Masters degree in Communications, this candidate’s fantastic creativity and ability to create comprehensive fashion business lines with great depth and compelling stories make them a standout. They excel in their ability to reimagine brand image for both stores and online retail in the fashion and luxury goods sectors.

Ecommerce Marketing & Digital Strategist - Toronto

This leading edge candidate is part of that innovative generation of digital commerce experts with an unmatched background and education in supply chain, marketing and now the digital commerce space. That makes them one of the most flexible and knowledgeable leaders we know when it comes to bridging the gap between online and in-store marketing. Today they’re one of the bright Toronto-based digital commerce and startup experts who consult with retailers and other companies to develop their ecommerce platforms, using tools such as 3-D optimization to maximize visuals and allow for a fully customized client experience. They have sourced and led large teams of freelance developers and designers, built ecommerce platforms from the ground up, and created and executed successful social media strategies. Adept at crowdsourcing and online events, they know how to connect the brand to the community and their work has been featured in numerous publications. They combine expertise honed in business incubators together with proven methodologies for background research, idea creation, creative design and concept development to develop meaningful stories that create an emotional connection to a brand.

Chief Marketing Officer – Vancouver

This candidate personifies the definition of a “modern CMO”. Their work in vendor, agency and in-store roles gives them a unique perspective in acting as an enterprise-wide revenue driver who can tap into the hearts and minds of customers across all channels. Currently self-employed, they provide Customer Experience (CX) consulting, helping retailers build and connect digital and physical consumer touchpoints. Their clients include Canadian and US-based retailers seeking a scientific and empathetic approach toward Customer Experience. Their key value stems from their rich 20+ years in digital, retail, and retail technology, working for innovative retail, grocery and food service startups along with established, national big-box retailers. Their entrepreneurial spirit and courage to push boundaries, innovate, take calculated risks and recalibrate is enabled by both a data driven mindset and a creative spark.