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Interview with RSR: Retail marketing today (and its rocky relationship with merchandising)


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Retail marketers are struggling with digital marketing, knowing which tactics work best in which channels and measuring the effectiveness of different marketing tactics.

At the same time relations with merchandising are at an all time low. In a recent RSR survey 50% more respondents cited ‘getting marketing in line to support merchandising plans’ as a top three operational challenge than in the previous year.

I recently interviewed the experts at RSR Research about these and other topics that retailers are wrestling with. Here’s a glimpse of what was said.

On using customer data in merchandising – It appears the industry has been stuck on the problem of adding a fourth dimension to the planning cube. “…many retailers have just given up”.

On the marketing/merchandising divide – “We’re hearing that there’s a recognition that if merchandising can’t deliver on the brand promise marketing makes, the whole enterprise will suffer.”

On tracking consumer journeys – “…tracking customers as they ‘hop across channels’ is so far almost impossible.” Consumers just don’t take their tracking cookies with them into the store!!

On the ROI of digital marketing – “…retailers don’t really understand just how much digital marketing activities influence secondary behaviors…”

On outsourcing customer analysis – “It’s worth noting that these projects (particularly customer data analysis) are okay to outsource until a retailer actually wants to use that data as an input to another process.”

These are just a few of the enlightening points made in the interview. Read the whole conversation and you’ll find many more nuggets of valuable information. Download it now.

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