Why The “Hard Sell” Will Be ‘Bricks & Mortar’s’ Deathknell

Why The “Hard Sell” Will Be ‘Bricks & Mortar’s’ Deathknell
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, John Andrews the CMO at brand marketing firm GoodXChange, says retailers who forgo brand building for just selling stuff will fast find themselves in a difficult place indeed…

(Please note John’s comments are written in the context of the US market.)

Guess what? Target is having a sale on summer items! Crazy. So is Kohl’s, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Rue-la-la blah, blah, blah. I know this because practically every single communication from every single touchpoint I could possibly have with these brands tells me so.

Not that I’m paying attention because, like you, I filter, block and generally ignore these messages that are begging and pleading me to pay attention to the latest sale, deal and discount. What happened to brand building and creating relevance to why I should care? In a post-physical retail world, this behaviour can be very dangerous as price-based-only competition is a negative-margin game that will end in bankruptcy.

It’s an especially bad time to be losing relevancy. The primary way that consumers built relationships with brands for the past century was by in-store shopping — which is in the greatest period of disruption ever. Stores were where consumers discovered, experienced and ultimately purchased brands that they learned about through incessant mass advertising. As consumers avoid, block and generally ignore brand messaging, brands without great relationships will find it harder to reach them.

Simply put, the consumer decision hierarchy has flipped from where to get things to getting things they want wherever they are.

The physical channel will fade into irrelevancy and accelerate as the supply chain extends from the manufacturer to the consumer as the marginal cost of distribution goes to zero. From self-driving cars and drones to the gig-economy, getting stuff you want is less about a shelf and more about a need. Physical store traffic is off across the board, with a couple of exceptions — including retailers that aggregate unsold merchandise from other retailers and folks with germane shopping experiences like Starbucks and Home Depot.

Marketing response has been to rip and reapply old tactics to new channels. Blanketing digital channels with transactional messaging and content has become the go-to tactic for many marketers. There is so much focus on selling something and transaction counting — from reach to clicks to conversions — that good old fashioned brand building is being forgotten. Worse still is that every communication is becoming a pitch to buy something.

Every. Single. One.

Predictably, brands are losing meaning for consumers. Transactional messaging is being driven to astonishing levels using massive digital data and retargeting. Digital marketers are practicing yield demand at the expense of brand warmth and loyalty. When brand relationships are reduced to “buy my stuff”, the simplicity of transaction is likely to be the order winner. The reason that Amazon increasingly gets more of my share of wallet is that I don’t have to think about buying things like toothpaste or cat litter, which get crowded out in a increasingly competitive attention marketplace.

Retail relevancy will continue to challenge traditional retailing models as we know them. There is a tonne of inefficiency built into most physical retailing, which creates incentives not only for manufacturers to build stronger relationships but also for consumers to seek more ingrained connections to their retailing outlets. Amazon and Google are building complete shopping experiences inside consumers’ homes though the Echo and Nest ecosystems and others are seeking a piece of this growing channel including Apple, AT&T any many others with deeply established digital channel pathways into consumers’ lives. All of this will continue to make transactional retail less efficient despite better and better consumer targeting data (counter-intuitive to how many marketers are using digital channels today).

The “retail recession” will likely turn into a retail depression as traffic continues to slide, brands and retailers that built strong brand relationships through simplicity of shopping, relevancy and real connections with consumers will thrive, those that haven’t will promote themselves into oblivion.

This article originally appeared on B&T’s sister business site www.which-50.com

Please login with linkedin to comment

Designworks

Latest News

me&u Appoints Clementine Churchill To Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

me&u Appoints Clementine Churchill To Head Of Marketing

me&u, Australia’s first and leading mobile ordering and payment platform, has appointed Clementine Churchill as Head of Marketing as they continue to drive rapid growth and expansion in Australia and new international markets. A highly experienced marketing leader and recognised industry thought leader, Churchill joins me&u from My Muscle Chef, one of Australia’s top rated […]

MILO Asks Fans To Compete To Win #TheMILOCup In New Campaign Via Ogilvy
  • Marketing

MILO Asks Fans To Compete To Win #TheMILOCup In New Campaign Via Ogilvy

MILO is on the search for Australia’s best made MILO, calling on fans to share their creations for the chance to win #TheMILOCup, via Ogilvy Sydney. This integrated campaign follows on from the success of last year’s ‘Hot v Cold’ campaign, which encouraged Aussies to settle the debate on whether MILO is best enjoyed hot […]

New ANZ Research Shows That LGBTQ+ Visual Representation Relies On Stereotypes
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

New ANZ Research Shows That LGBTQ+ Visual Representation Relies On Stereotypes

New research from Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, has found that LGBTQ+ representation in ANZ remains low and stereotypical. It’s 2021 – this needs to change – especially in marketing and advertising. In partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media advocacy organisation, Getty Images has launched a full-spectrum Guidebook in direct response to […]

Dir David Attenborough’s Life Stories Launches On LiSTNR
  • Media

Dir David Attenborough’s Life Stories Launches On LiSTNR

Natural historian Sir David Attenborough is one of the most commanding and respected storytellers in the world and now the iconic series, David Attenborough Life Stories, is available on LiSTNR as part of SCA’s recently announced partnership with the BBC. David Attenborough Life Stories is a series of talks on the natural histories of creatures and […]

Menulog Makes Key Marketing Promotions
  • Media

Menulog Makes Key Marketing Promotions

Menulog has doubled down on its marketing support for restaurant partners, with the promotion of Senior Marketing Manager, Rami Tamer, to a newly created role of ‘Head of Partner Marketing’, as well as the promotion of former-Blue 449 Performance Manager, Jaryd Buggins. In the new Head of Partner Marketing role, Rami will lead a team […]

Barry Drinkwater Leaves ARN Brisbane After 28 Years, Will Hand Over Reins To Alisson Longhurst
  • Media

Barry Drinkwater Leaves ARN Brisbane After 28 Years, Will Hand Over Reins To Alisson Longhurst

ARN has announced Barry Drinkwater will be handing over his content director reins at 97.3FM and 4KQ to respected radio executive, Alisson Longhurst. Drinkwater has had a stellar career in radio spanning more than four decades, and was acknowledged as one of Australia’s Top 20 Content Directors by Radio Today in 2020. He began his radio career […]

Australian Radio Industry Joins Global Working Group On Android Automotive
  • Media

Australian Radio Industry Joins Global Working Group On Android Automotive

The Australian commercial radio industry has joined a global working group of broadcasters, carmakers and tech experts collaborating on the innovation of radio in Android Automotive. Android Automotive is Google’s infotainment operating system which is being built into new connected cars. Industry body Commercial Radio Australia is part of the working group, led by the […]

Triple M’s No Talk Day Returns To Inspire Conversation Around Men’s Mental Health
  • Media

Triple M’s No Talk Day Returns To Inspire Conversation Around Men’s Mental Health

For the third consecutive year, Triple M’s No Talk Day will return on Thursday July 1 to raise awareness around men’s mental health and encourage courageous conversations on Triple M’s 45 stations across the country with support from partner Beyond Blue.  From 6:00am – 6:00pm on July 1, Triple M is encouraging listeners to clear […]

Businessman using tablet payments online shopping with speed icons customer and data network connection on virtual screen.
  • Marketing

62% Of Shoppers Doing Most Of Their Purchases Online: BigCommerce And PayPal Report

Consumer shifts in how and where people buy products evolved significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for retailers to use new channels, fulfilment strategies and payment options, according to the results of a new survey out today from BigCommerce and PayPal. While a majority of the 3,000 consumers surveyed from the United States, United Kingdom […]

New Talent Agency, Liquorice Plants Roots In NZ
  • Marketing
  • Media

New Talent Agency, Liquorice Plants Roots In NZ

The brainchild of co-founders Gina Williams-Folau (main photo) and Greer Bland, the talent agency Liquorice was born out of a desire to make things easier for brand managers. Liquorice offers social talent for brands wanting to hit the sweet spot with Kiwi audiences. Launching with a roster of big names on board including Millie Elder-Holmes, Athena […]