Why do we buy products?
The two simple reasons are products that fulfill a basic need (something like a toothbrush) and products that make your life easier (something like a phone). Then you have products like makeup, jewelry, fancy shoes which at first don’t fulfill a need or convenience, but what if the consumer believed they did fulfill one of those reasons? Psychologically if the consumer believes that about a particular product, all that’s left is to convince them why yours is better than other similar products on the market.
This is where marketing comes in. The basic definition of marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services. If you have a brand and you hire a marketing agency like us, you are simply looking for them to promote and sell your products. The marketing agencies job from there is to find people (your target customer) and convince them that your product will either fulfill a basic need for them or make their life easier.
This basic principle isn’t just for physical products. You’re here on this website for the sole purpose that we can convince you that marketing is a need for your eCommerce company and that you should hire Relay PM to market your product.
What is ecommerce?
The meaning of eCommerce is simple. It is a commercial transaction conducted electronically on the internet. As the internet has evolved and the purchase cycle has developed, the word eCommerce has taken on an expanded meaning. It typically refers to a product purchased online, but we also work with a lot of clients that sell in brick and mortar storefronts as wel. The lines become blurred with eCommerce because we might be targeting a customer that learns about our product through marketing online and they have the option to make a transaction through our clients’ website, but choose to go to the store and purchase directly or purchase online through another retailer. This adds an ever increasing layer of complexity to online advertising and the increasingly complex word attribution.
While tracking some movements online has improved throughout the years, tracking the customer from ad interaction to sale has only gotten more complex. A few years ago the typical customer journey might look like this (see image A): the customer would start with something like a Google search, click to visit the website and complete a purchase. Maybe they would have another interaction that was either a display remarketing ad. This would all be done from one device too. Pretty simple? Each touch point had a trackable click (worst case a view on the display ad, but still trackable) and because the customer stayed on one device we (our analytics tool) never lost sight of them.
Fast forward to 2019 and here’s what your average customer purchase cycle looks like (see image B). A mess. In 2014 the average touch points a brand had with their customer was one and in 2017 was averaging 3-4 only to increase from there. In this particular case your customer viewed a Facebook ad and clicked a Google ad (in no particular order). Both ending up at your desktop site. Then they were retargeted on their mobile device and visited your website. Great news! In the end they did purchase, but they purchased at your brick and mortar store. Good luck connecting all those cookies and piecing that journey together. Even if you did, how much weight do you give each channel for that conversion. With all the advancements in tracking and marketing technology it’s still nearly impossible. This particular example doesn’t even factor in the possibility that your customer read your product reviews on Amazon and then saw a retargeting video on their Connected TV.
Where does relay pm come in?
You own or work with an eCommerce website and you want to grow your sales. Agencies are developing with the changes in the marketplace. There are buzz words going around like automation, artificial intelligence, and attribution. There are companies out there selling a 100% automated artificial intelligence marketing solution (maybe with the exception of creative). Essentially you integrate all your platforms into the software, load in your creative and let it run. Do you even need an agency anymore?
For a brief moment every time an agency hears about one of these we panic as we understand how much they can do. Then we realize how much they can’t do. Take another look at image B and you will understand. If the customer journey still looked like image A where artificial intelligence is in 2019 we might be having a different conversation. As automation improves, the customer journey gets more complex.
What’s the ideal solution? We take advantage of the strides that have been made with automation and we use it to our advantage. When we combine it with 15 years running marketing for eCommerce brands you get the best of both worlds. What does it equate to? Growth no matter where you stand in the market currently. Customized solutions for each individual client. We may have a completely different marketing plan if you have been selling online for 10 years than if you have been selling online for 10 days.
Experience wins the long game. Even 1-2 years ago we manage clients’ eCommerce marketing completely differently now. We are direct response performance driven at our core. Two years ago if we couldn’t track it, we wouldn’t run it. Branding was for branding agencies and sales were for performance agencies like us. Now those lines are getting blurred. Some of what we used to call branding is now being used in direct response marketing campaigns. Sometimes we can’t track every touch point of the customer journey anymore. That doesn’t mean those channels have no value.
Call, text, message us any time to discuss your particular eCommerce case and we’ll develop a customize plan specifically for your needs. Then we execute.