Cashrewards CEO Bernard Wilson Shares Tips For How Marketers Can Adapt To Change

Cashrewards CEO Bernard Wilson Shares Tips For How Marketers Can Adapt To Change
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Cashrewards CEO, Bernard Wilson recently spoke at the 2022 Retail Leaders Forum in Melbourne about adapting to a fast-changing retail environment with confidence, with key topics including the growth upon growth in e-commerce, the challenges facing marketers and the ever-increasing importance of customer loyalty.

Wilson’s (featured image, left) first tip was that the term “Step-change” could not be overused, because people will keep talking about it, given e-commerce growth hasn’t yet normalised.

“At Cashrewards, we are seeing many of our brands still growing 100 per cent year-on-year. The challenge in retail is to make all of the moving parts fit together to meet that demand,” said Wilson.

“If you’re not growing fast enough, you’re losing.”

With the continued significant growth, retailers can’t rest on their laurels. Looking at great year-on-year sales growth in a vacuum is dangerous because there is a risk that the market and your competitors are growing faster. The rising tide is lifting all boats.

“Retailers we talk to effectively brought forward three years of digital investment to manage in response to COVID, and that continues. Increasingly Horizon 3 from a strategy and investment point of view is becoming Horizon 1,” said Wilson.

For those that are resilient and agile enough to adapt to this, it’s an enormous opportunity.

Wilson said commented that Cashrewards were seeing many of their  biggest brands still growing 100 per cent year-on-year.

“The challenge in retail is to make all the moving parts fit together to meet that demand,” he added.

Wilson also stressed the importance of trusting and empowering marketers.

This is especially true given that the acceleration of online shopping has been wonderful for customers, but has also increased the stakes for marketing. A brand can’t be everywhere at once, but it needs to be where its customers are.

“Retail marketing is just increasingly hard. There are a bunch of reasons why. With the move to digital, the shopping journey is no longer linear, and there’s no place to hide. Your brand, your products and your prices are there for everyone to see,” said Wilson.

“As an example, our data shows that 80 per cent of millennials compare to get the best value and 73 per cent go out of their way in search of a bargain.”

Furthermore, the broader media landscape is facing multiple changes and challenges. Digital advertising spend has overtaken traditional advertising spend, with data used by marketers to track customers across web interfaces or attribute performance becoming obsolete.

As such, Wilson encouraged marketers to continuously innovate, but only if the organisations they work for continue to support and empower them.

“What worked yesterday won’t work tomorrow. It is an environment where innovation needs to continue,” he added.

Lastly, Wilson spoke on the importance of loyalty.

It’s no secret customer retention has always been cheaper and easier than acquisition. That said, customer expectations are continuing to increase.

Companies now have more data than ever before and it is critical that they continue to build that first-party data asset and leverage that data to deliver better customer experiences that build loyalty.

“When we talk about loyalty, it’s not about a program; it’s about loyalty as an outcome versus an input,” said Wilson.

“That’s simply because customers expect more from a brand. They expect value in many forms: simplicity, ease and convenience. So, brands, whether they have a program or not, need to focus on retention by trying to meet and exceed customer needs.”

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