In the B2B technology word we’ve seen a lot of headlines recently about how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes that were already happening. Years of digital transformation have occurred in months. This pandemic has changed almost every business and industry. Maybe the most visible has been in the world of retail.
We’ve seen stores closing. We’ve seen high-profile brands have to scale way back or disappear altogether. Jen Augustyn with The Dealey Group, a marketing agency that specializes, at least in part, in helping retail shopping centers, gave us a few minutes recently and talked about the changes she’s seen in physical retail and where she thinks things are headed for retailers and retail tech marketing. She said something in our discussion that resonated with me.
She said the retailers that will come out of the pandemic in better shape are the ones that are able to adapt to changing shopper expectations—particularly around providing more than a product but, instead, providing an experience.
I wonder how many people outside of the retail space are thinking about that. From my experience, too many people think of marketing as transactional. Everything is a step toward the sale. It’s a download. Then an email, and then another email, and then another. Enough event triggers and that person becomes an MQL and goes on some salesperson’s call list. But really, in our hypothetical, that’s also four opportunities to provide someone with something more than just another message or piece of collateral. It's an opportunity to engage them in an experience. And when our inboxes are already flooded with some kind of marketing email and every site you visit is offering some kind of downloadable, an experience is critical to being memorable, to building brand affinity and brand fans, and that really should be everyone’s goal.
There’s more to our conversation with Jen, and I think it’s all valuable. So, check it out. And, as always, leave any questions you have in the comments.