Technology is moving at an unprecedented pace - and fashion is playing catch-up.
But what challenges does this present for a fashion marketer in 2019? And how can they be overcome?
The Evolution of ‘Marketing’…
It might seem like a stupid question to ask, but what is marketing? Historically the majority of marketers were involved in trade marketing (B2B marketing). However, this has been turned on its head and today digital marketing at the consumer level is where brands are focusing the majority of their attention.
We are in a digital age, which presents us with multiple opportunities - but also challenges.
Challenge One: Communication Overload
We are bombarded on a daily basis, through a variety of platforms, with advertisements trying to sell us the latest trend or exclusive luxury accessory. Consumers have become so suspicious and sceptical that millennials are shunning traditional stores and ‘sales’ assistants, for the advice of influencers on social media.
So how do you make an impact and engage your customer in such a competitive market?
Solution: Brand Integrity
Some brands rely on discounting as a short-term strategy to increase sales. However, this discount trap can undermine the value of the brand, and lead the customer to expect lower priced items, meaning you might struggle to sell stock at full price.
So how else can you catch the consumer’s eye? Rather than trying to pander to every whim of the market, successful brands are those who have faith in their DNA and can articulately communicate their unique identity to others. Brands might do this in a number of different ways e.g. collaborating with celebrities who are associated with a particular moment or target demographic.
Exclusivity and individualism are also big marketing winners, attracting consumers who want something ‘different’ or personalised.
Challenge Two: Multi-Channel
At worst, a multi-channel marketing strategy can be disjointed and dilute what the brand is trying to communicate. At best however, the right omni-channel strategy can elevate the brand to the consumer’s consciousness. But the messages must compliment one another, regardless of channel.
While most brands would claim to have embraced digital marketing, historical org charts and reporting structures haven’t always evolved to reflect this. This means that digital is still often seen as a specialist ‘add on’, rather than part of a seismic omni-channel strategic shift at senior management level.
You would be surprised how often we meet digital or eCommerce experts who report into someone who is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to trade marketing, but knows nothing about the new digital landscape, and is therefore unable to challenge existing working practices and silos.
Challenge Three: Analysing 'Data'
Data rules. And Marketers have access to increasing amounts of data. But knowing how to use it effectively to inform marketing strategy is still not straightforward. In the fight for consumers, insight into their behaviour is the key to differentiation marketing.
Solution: Strategic Customer Insights
As Senior Measurement Strategist and Digital Marketer John LaPierre has commented:
"From a measurement/data/analytics perspective, fashion brands are looking to improve their visibility... through a cogent identity resolution strategy. This cross device approach takes time, but can provide critical insight into both short-term campaign ROAS and attribution as well as longer-term customer life cycle management efforts. The key for these brands is to clearly understand your customers and use cases that will dictate your plans in this area."
How are you tackling your marketing challenges? Do you think trade marketing still has a role to play? We’d love to hear from you.
Email us your thoughts.