These are exciting times for Retail Marketing. As our profession undergoes some fascinating changes to adapt to consumers’ expectations for a better brand experience across multiple channels—online and in-store—companies need to rethink their retail marketing team’s structure. Co-workers must start having one conversation on how to blend budgets and reach for the same goals.
If you’ve worked in Retail Marketing, you’ve experienced the friction between competing agendas. A brand manager focuses solely on growing the volume and profit of a brand, while a channel manager drives volume through their sales funnels. Then there’s the the online team, which layers in online search optimization, email marketing, content marketing—the list goes on.
The result can be inefficient fragmentation, duplicated work and multiple messages going out to consumers. How do you tie all of these pieces together, to ensure that the consumer experiences consistent messages, offers, and a seamless brand experience?
A siloed retail marketing team structure leads to problematic lack of collaboration across channel teams or across functions. But in 2017, your organization can reorient itself with two purposes. First, put the consumer experience at the center, making it easier to shop seamlessly across channels, and second (but no less importantly) establish a collaborative communication process that unifies functions to deliver integrated campaigns.
Even if a full omnichannel operation remains out of reach, your marketing still needs to behave as such. In today’s retail marketing environment, you need to speak to consumers with one voice and that means bringing together your market presence and strategy across all channels—brand, promotional, store, digital, events marketing and customer analytics.
If your organization does not formally recognize how its reporting structure should adapt, you may need to forge your own path. Get to know those colleagues who can help you craft a coherent multi-channel approach and find ways of working together. You may even need to connect to other functions like buying and planning.
The landscape will continue to change, so you should be ready to do the same. Wherever possible, integrate with digital teams to ensure that as online trends shift, you can respond quickly to remain effective.
Of course, there’s no single perfect org structure for retail marketing—so much depends on your retail strategy, your resources, skillsets and the kinds of partners and agencies with which you work. But to connect with today’s retail consumer, you and your team will have to allocate media across both traditional and digital media channels, and coordinate messages and promotion while optimizing for each. You need both tactical specialists, as well as cross-functional strategic management. And your agency partner really needs to be up for the ride to help you think strategically and establish new working processes.
Like I said, these are exciting times. If you would like to chat with us about what challenges you’re facing, we love to talk retail marketing with a dash of digital! You can drop us line right here.