The Retail industry has faced huge challenges across the globe in the last 12 months. Even before the pandemic and the associated economic crisis, bricks and mortar retail operations were engaged in a ferocious war with online competitors. And that war is not over anytime soon. One of the biggest problems facing marketers in big Retail Groups is not having enough time to handle the volume of process driven marketing challenges they face. As we continue to move into this highly competitive landscape – Retailers need to be smarter about how they get into market and claw back the time they’re currently spending on their mechanical marketing processes.

As eTail observed recently, there has been;

1. An exponential increase in the number of retailers in recent years together with similar

2. Growth in the volume of information being aimed at customers.

3. This information is being conveyed across an ever-expanding series of channels, including SMS, email and social media.

Harnessing the message and sharing it with precision is paramount.

“If all the moving parts of a marketing department are not communicating efficiently and working together, customers can become overwhelmed with conflicting or repeat messages. The right technology and communication procedures can ensure all arms of a marketing team are on the same page. Having a clear strategy will ensure all channels are working together instead of against one another – saving time and money.”

Andrew Baker, MyAdbox CEO concurs with this analysis, “More than ever before, retail businesses need to engage with their customers across more channels to compete. Consistency of branding is particularly important during difficult times because it lies at the core of their engagement with their customer base. One of the biggest problems is how long the marketing process takes and we’re finding this is one of the big pain points. This is where Brand Management Software plays an increasingly important role in getting that time back so they can spend it on other, bigger picture marketing tasks. The research shows the gains Brand Management Software can achieve for Retail networks, including massive time savings,  speed to market and bottom-line costs.”

Associated Retailers Limited (ARL) and Leading Edge Group (LEG) – showcase the use case of Brand Management Software for retailers with multiple brands.

ARL’s suite of high-profile brands, which includes SportsPower, Toyworld, Camping World, Compleat Angler, Mensland and ShoeX are structured around a nationwide network of stores with a myriad of communications needs. To satisfy these needs, ARL has an Internal Design Team that generates content for all these brands and their store networks – but this kind of internal arrangement is often plagued with inefficiencies. “It’s not an uncommon issue,” says Baker.

“The challenge for Internal Design Teams is the weight of minor changes needed for commonly created pieces, chewing up time and eroding their ability to work on bigger communication projects.”  

Baker also points to the huge volume of time wasted in asset hunting for stores in demand for product shots together with the seemingly endless back and forth of the approvals process, with multiple rounds of changes frustrating everyone. “It’s not necessarily the fault of the network or the Internal Design Team – but Brand Management Software streamlines the process and gets everyone working in sync.”

Before using the MyAdbox platform, ARL’s Internal Design Team was overwhelmed with a huge volume of inconsistent briefs to create highly specific content for each store across their brands. With little transparency around the number and structure of ad-hoc briefs received by the team, it’s understandable that it amounted to a long email trail to ascertain more information to create content. Poor communication in these instances also amounts to multiple ‘author’s corrections’ which is frustrating for everyone. “It also holds up the delivery of the message into market, meaning these stores are falling behind their competitors,” Baker says.

For ARL, the combination of a powerful Digital Asset Management (DAM)  and branded content templates has meant the stores across their brands can quickly create pre-approved items like coupon flyers, in-store labels, shelf tickets and dispatch to a local print supplier for delivery within hours.

“The fact that end-users in the network can do it themselves alleviates the workload on the Internal Design Team, eliminates internal conflict and gets the stores into market fast.”

Leading Edge Group’s (LEG) Internal Design team faced similar issues, having to create multi-paged catalogues, switching out product elements to suit individual stores across a network of brands in industries from Jewelry, Electronics, Computers to Books. “LEG’s designers faced heavy workloads involving minor changes to content that saw long email chains of inconsistent briefs and multiple rounds of corrections. It was a poor use of their Internal Design Team, who needed to be focused on developing new marketing material to build their brands,” Baker says. “Once again, our DAM and branded content templates immediately changed their world, empowering users, freeing up the Internal Design Team and getting more messages into the market faster.”

LEG’s brands had copy heavy monthly newsletters featuring common elements across their brands and had a need to provide category users with personalised social media content. The branded content templates gives each brand and each store in the network the capacity to log in and modify pre-approved templates quickly and efficiently. And the ability to merge .csv files into templates allows them to create material on bulk in minutes., recently observed that marketing technology utilisation is taking on new urgency. For retail groups with multiple brands, the competitive challenges will only increase from here. The pandemic has forced customers online and they have become accustomed to the ease of this experience.

“CEOs are putting more pressure on their CMOs to extract more out of their teams to get to market efficiently,” Baker says. “And Brand Management Software is the first step to help them do exactly that.”

Learn more about Digital Asset Management and Branded Template Creative.

Image credit:  Jon Cellier