Eyes on 2022

8 February 2022

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the focus on reaching customers where and how they choose to shop continues to grow, says Mark Mansour.

The rise of digital in 2021 was only the beginning. Customers and brands alike are becoming more digitally native. Historically, businesses may have employed one rare ‘unicorn’ digital person and now we’re seeing full ecommerce and digital teams. 

Traditional trade marketing is being supported with digital, based on the role that it plays in influencing the overall shopping journey and impact that it drives in-store. It’s a true omnichannel shift that we’re seeing from customers and brands alike. 

In the coming year we will see even greater proliferation of digital and the pivotal role it plays in influencing the entire shopping journey. Not solely in-store or online, but together as the customer journey continues on this omnichannel trajectory, enabled by the power of digital and customer understanding.

Customer-led approach for the win

We know that Australians' shopping behaviour has changed. As these behaviours continue to evolve, we need to meet their changing expectations and continue to understand the customer in a way that nobody else can. The new customer has come to expect greater relevance and context. They want an experience that creates a glide path to complete the mission they’re on. To deliver this, it comes as no surprise that a deep understanding of the customer is crucial. 

Customers want to be engaged and inspired throughout their journey. They want relevance and context when they’re browsing online and purchasing in-store. It’s also time to look at the shopping journey and path to purchase holistically. As marketers continue to take a sophisticated approach to audiences with a focus on how they influence at purchase, acquire and retain customers, omnichannel solutions are key to influencing at multiple engagement points across the virtuous journey. 

A rise in innovation through collaboration 

I think we can expect to see audience-led innovation come to the surface to achieve the relevance and context shoppers are seeking from brands. With our clients, we’re collaborating to develop more holistic end-to-end campaign solutions, thinking about how these campaigns translate across the selected channels, store environment and the broader customer journey. 

This tailored audience-first approach can ensure brands show up at key points of the customer journey for maximum impact and campaign success. I see this collaboration becoming more prolific in 2022 and beyond.

Simultaneously, we can expect to see more in insights. FMCGs are some of the most insightful organisations in the world, leveraging data partnerships, understanding effectiveness of media spend and partnering with platforms that are more accountable to drive effective campaigns. This combination of best in-class in-store activation informed by the digital journey of data and data science is where it all comes together seamlessly.

Measurement for success 

Measurement is critical and will also continue to be a focus for us at Cartology. We’re really accountable as we sit at the centre of where customers shop. We need to have a deeper understanding of the changes in customer behaviour, the longitudinal shifts customers make and the impact that we deliver for brands. 

We have an expansive ecosystem, with hundreds of touchpoints to engage customers, from mass awareness all the way down to hyper-targeted communications. 

But ultimately, what brings it all together is our understanding of impact - and for brands it’s sales overnight, and customers over time. We’re always looking to provide greater insight into the outcomes that a brand’s investment delivers. We will continue to enhance our insights and metrics in 2022 to further understand and ultimately inform what we do next, to ensure our clients are where they should be – on the shopping list and in the customer’s cart. 

This article first appeared in Cartology’s Cartifacts February edition.

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