While large traditional retail chains cope with eroding in-store sales because of online competition, Amazon and a host of other major online retailers are now opening up pop-up boutiques and retail storefronts. This is turning into one of the hottest trends in digital retailing these days – opening up an old-fashioned “bricks and mortar” store.
According to Doug Stephens, founder of Toronto-based advisory firm Retail Prophet, “a new form of retail is being born” where online, in-store and mobile are being integrated to leverage a brand’s relationship with its customers. Even online retailers are realizing that there is tremendous benefit in connecting with customers at a physical level where these customers can see, feel and touch a brand.
It’s about time. Marketing is about leveraging various channels to reach customers and provide a unique brand experience. It’s becoming more apparent that single channel marketing doesn’t cut it over the long-term. I remember when everyone was saying that trade shows were “dead” because of online marketing. Well, guess what – face-to-face marketing is still very much alive and well and while the trade show industry is constantly evolving, it continues to flourish.
So, what’s the lesson here? The first big take-away is that smart marketing is about leveraging multiple channels to reach customers and provide a unique brand experience. The second point is that trade events, sponsorship and other audience touch point channels are an important element of any marketing mix because they bring any organization’s brand to life. In other words, they give a brand a personality.
As organizations looking to generate revenue from corporations, you need to focus on your unique value proposition which is your ability mobilize multiple channels to reach customers and help companies connect with customers cost-effectively in “bricks and mortar” ways.
So, the next time a company says “we’re putting all of our efforts into online marketing” (or any other single marketing channel for that matter) you can ask them why they think companies like Amazon and Apple have storefront operations to support their massive online presence and show them how a multifaceted strategy can help them reach customers and build brand preference and loyalty more effectively.