Hybrid e-commerce marketing: the new trend for success in 2022
Hybrid approaches and adapting to ever-changing data developments are bound to continue impacting the e-commerce industry this year. Combining the best of brand and demand generation through a multi-pronged marketing strategy will give brands the best growth potential.
Utilizing both hard and soft data will help marketers create a more financially viable approach, one that is intentional and tar
That’s according to Mathias Eriksson, brand and marketing director at Juni, who explored the differences and effectiveness of branding and demand generation at The Drum’s Predictions 2022 Festival, providing solutions and musings for marketers to mull over.
Understanding consumers and their behaviors through data collection tools and technologies will be a priority for most marketers – but doing this successfully has proved tricky time and again. As a financial companion for e-commerce, Juni knows how complicated mining data can seem, but its actionable guide allows marketers to “thrive, survive and win” with e-commerce.
“The business of transforming decision makers into potential customers requires an artistic and careful evaluation of their decisions and actions,” says Eriksson. “It’s crucial to understand what actually motivates people to make these decisions.”
Purpose in performance marketing
The industry is currently focused on implementing data-driven marketing strategies and technologies but marketers need to get clear on where brand and demand generation overlaps – and they needn’t treat them as isolated strategies.
Eriksson says: “When it comes to brand-building conversations, people tend to lean either towards being a brand person or a demand gen person” but a more joined-up approach is required if consumer needs and demands are to be considered.
All marketers seek to gain long term brand lift and growth – which requires applying a short- and long-term strategy simultaneously; “You cannot have the brand driving growth long term, unless you have a short-term effect in some kind of activation.”
Eriksson cites the biggest difference between brand believers and demand gens is that the branders think performance marketing alone will drive growth while the demanders want to use performance marketing as a way to source customers. He says: “You need both brand and demand; you need performance marketing to deliver branded messages and fill people with purpose, but also demand to activate them.”
Performance marketing in practice
The only way to successfully build a brand and activate customers at the same time is through effectively using data.
“2022 is the year where this will finally happen,” says Eriksson. He cites the rise in unifying soft and hard data as making this possible, through the proliferation of deep learning tools and Account-based marketing for B2B – used to enrich consumer data. Marketers need to optimize and separate hard from soft data but it’s something they are still grappling with.
“E-commerce marketing will help unify soft data, brand data and hard data like performance marketing, classic performance marketing data and financial data,” says Eriksson.
Soft data – such as click through rates with detailed consumer behavior – can be paired with hard data to get a more realistic and accurate swoop of brand activity. Recording estimates and measuring soft data with the best available tools combined with measuring classic hard data will provide a more accurate lens of what worked in winning people over as well as an estimate of the market share.
Utilizing both hard and soft data will help marketers create a more financially viable approach, one that is intentional and targeted. It’s about building lasting value through transactional excellence and well-executed performance marketing so that the right product is served to the right person at the right time to regain consumer trust.
“The magic happens when you embrace this hybrid approach and make all the data come together in one place – into one database so you can fully and objectively review it,” says Eriksson. “It’s a good indication of potential growth.”
2022: Looking ahead and beyond
2022 might be the year to unify soft and hard data, but it’s important to optimize demand and brand approaches to gain a full and realistic view of market share and activity.
“The future of e-commerce marketing will require a more future-looking hybrid approach,” says Eriksson. “The hybrid of objectives can be used to help marketers understand that they need to merge branding and activation through purposeful sales and community building.”
Whereas extracting performance marketing data will require a hard look and understanding of the customer community to ensure that marketers are providing them with value that they actually want.
The hybrid world is inevitable – especially given evolutions caused by the pandemic – so brands will require a useful tool for optimizing and automating practice in “one place where all the relevant data you need can be presented and easily read” to create seamless measurement strategies.
Eriksson concludes: “My best advice in 2022 is to stop trying to achieve balance and instead go fully hybrid. Build your brand, by activating customers. Make campaigns that get your customers to take action, by signing up or buying something, as a first step on their journey towards becoming one of your fans. Make that action carry a deeper meaning of identity or culture for them. Make brand and demand an amalgamated beautiful entity, make it not art or science, make it both. Hybridization is the future of e-commerce marketing.”
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