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The New Era of Contemporary Commerce


Sophie Daranyi, CEO Omnicom Commerce Group discusses how to get a better, clearer discussion about performance

The New Era of Contemporary Commerce

Sophie Daranyi is CEO of Omnicom Commerce Group. She is a UK council member of Effie Worldwide – a non-profit organisation championing marketing effectiveness through awards and educational programmes. 

In our Covid-19 defined times, a laser focus on transactional success has never been more important as scrutiny on investment, effectiveness and return continue to intensify. As commerce and shopper marketing evolves, it’s worth considering how we can have a better, clearer discussion about performance, value and impact. 

Until recently ‘shopper marketing’ was often perceived to be at the tactical end of the marketing axis. But in reality, it’s a multi-channel industry accelerated by perpetual consumer and technological transformation. As a result of these changes, shopper and commerce now need to move up the strategic ladder.  What are some of the key aspects that need to come together to best impact commerce effectiveness? 

Omnichannel Strategy – everyone in marketing presents themselves as an omnichannel expert these days but structural siloes often hamstring our ability to truly map and plan around consumer purchase behaviour.   Successful commerce strategy is based on data fuelled intelligence on shopper need-states, triggers, and the selection/deselection process – research, shortlisting and, ultimately, purchase and repurchase. Analysing and mapping moments of potential and actual conversion across this non-linear journey through physical, digital and social touchpoints, integrating paid, owned and earned content, is essential to drive the buy. Achieving this requires new ways of working – embracing innovative structures, coordinated and results-based incentives, new, broader and shared KPIs and investments in data, analytics and automation.

Commerce Creative – as the moment between awareness and purchase collapses, creative content has to evolve more effectively to both engage and sell. Applying a ‘shelf back’ approach is still relevant - has the creative platform the potential to drive shopper conversion through a combination of engagement, relevance and simplicity?  And once at shelf, differentiation has never been more important to brand choice, whether in store or online. Importantly, tagging a ‘buy’ button onto content doesn’t reflect the sophistication needed to drive the buy – better aligning creative excellence and dynamic content with commercial outcome will continue to be high on all our agendas.

Data Transparency – granular targeting and measurable effectiveness rely on data transparency and connectivity. In particular, first party transaction/purchase data is part of the ‘holy grail’ of marketing effectiveness and attribution modelling. Much of this data exists in walled gardens today guarded by the retailers themselves, but client confidentiality combined with siloes between marketing and sales are also common obstacles to sharing essential investment and sales uplift numbers. These gardens, closed loops and siloes impede clear measurement and attribution and as an industry we need to find new solutions. Specifically, it’s essential that we all invest in data sources and technology to build clear measurement of both sales performance and investment levels, but also to drive deeper understanding of shopper behaviour.

Experience & Engagement – we live in an era where consumers no longer expect a trade-off between experience and convenience.  Shoppers at minimum expect a seamless, friction-free customer experience from brands and retailers as they weave across physical, digital and social.  Customer experience and service remain pivotal drivers of consumer satisfaction and repurchase intent. As highstreets around the world face the challenges of footfall and relevance, engagement, inspiration, education, human interaction, entertainment, community and innovation will be more important than ever. 

The New Values – product cost and the price/value equation will always be a leading factor of purchase decision-making. But the role of ethical values is becoming a key driver not only of consideration but also ultimate choice. Some 70% of consumers claim that brand and retailer credentials in corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability and ethical business practices influence their brand choice. A priority will be finding ways to more effectively aligning purpose to purchase and changing intent to action and finding ways to better reinforce values at point of purchase whether via messaging, optimising consumer or media content, packaging and promotions.  

Commerce Investment - retailers are increasingly looking to drive revenue through becoming media owners – positioning themselves not only to drive sales but also awareness and other, traditionally ‘upper funnel’ marketing outcomes. Agencies providing an opportunity for marketing agencies to advise and consult on holistic retailer investment. 

Many of us are pioneering tools and process to better assess the impact and then inform spend across awareness, consumer promotions and media to drive strong customer relationships, support buying negotiations and ultimately drive most effective ROI. 

The world of commerce is a challenging but a wonderful place to be – thinking of ways to better deliver effectiveness will only help further fuel the pace of change and opportunity.

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Persuasion, Wed, 13 Jan 2021 10:07:10 GMT