Five Rules for more efficient Retail Marketing | Guide

Marketing is creative, strategic, innovative – but it should also be efficient in order to achieve a return on investment for the company. Especially in wholesale and retail, speed and accuracy are in demand.

To be able to manage the partly dynamic content of a multitude of products online,for print advertising, e-commerce and other points of sale, a central system is required. This should always be an up-to-date database for communicating offers in regional and national advertising or online media. This is the only way to control these complex structures and processes. As a result of numerous successful projects in retail marketing, MSP AG has developed five rules that help to set the right priorities.

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1 | Manage content and data with a structured approach

Product data and content are part of the basis of your work. Images, texts, videos, graphics, figures – all this is needed to present your range of products and interact with the customer. Make sure that your content is managed in a structured way and stored centrally. It should also be available and adaptable for different user groups and regions.

The best foundation for this is a combination of Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital
Assets Management (DAM).

This should be the single source of truth, i.e. the central data pool for product texts, images and attributes that are only available once and in the current version.

Data from other systems can be consolidated here, enriched with further information, and thus made usable for all channels.

  • Link content in a logical and meaningful way within a structure that makes it easy to find.

  • Various versions of a document should be easy to track and differentiate without requiring the designations “V2”, “final” or “final_2”.

  • Avoid long coordination loops, redundancies and mistakes when transferring content. Content updates should be automatically implemented in all places where that same content appears.

  • Store and manage your content in your system and use it to integrate agencies, translators and other service providers (see rule no. 4).

2 | Centrally coordinate all channels of communication

In the age of digitalization, the number of communication channels has literally exploded. Content is published in shorter cycles and is constantly changing.

For example, the regional publication of offers must be controlled centrally and reliably - both in offline media (e.g., for flyer and online (e.g.; on the website).

Use the communication channels that are relevant for you via a central system to which print production, e-commerce, CRM, and social media can be linked. Such a content hub represents the consistent communication of offers and brand messages. This involves more than just product information. Digital assets also include videos, customer recommendations, editorial content, user-generated social media content and much
more. Online usage along the customer journey is on the rise. So make sure you have a comprehensive and always up-todate overview of all data.

  • Save, process, and manage assets and information centrally, making them available consistently for print, online and shop systems.

  • Use individual content components in campaigns
    or finished pieces across a variety of output channels. This is not only more efficient but also ensures a consistent brand identity.

  • Create recurring layout elements and forms from variable templates.

  • All publications should conform to corporate identity standards. You can ensure this, for instance, by establishing a marketing platform for employees and partners.

  • Bundle all channels of communication and centrally manage the respective publication to each. This makes it easier to maintain control and oversight, and facilitate planning.

3 | Minimize the number of systems

There’s a tool for everything these days. But it’s easy to lose track when too many of them are in use. This often results in separate data silos and content that cannot be linked, varying formats and media disruptions.

We therefore suggest that you adopt systems that can be integrated in your existing structures, that offer interfaces and cover as many functions as possible.

A lean system landscape helps you communicate content consistently despite decentralized structures. For example, stores, retailers and other sales partners can access a central content pool for the production of advertising materials.

  • Thoroughly analyze existing processes before introducing a new system.

  • Seek advice from experts and carry out the system introduction with an experienced partner.

  • Research and compare the various systems. In many cases, a balanced score card analysis can be helpful.

  • Consider the possibility of creating interfaces with your existing systems. In most cases, synergies between the data in your business, CRM and content management software can be exploited, allowing you to use these systems with greater efficiency (see rule no.5).

4 | Collaborate across departments and countries

The larger the company, the more difficult it is to manage campaigns and publications across departmental boundaries and national borders. Agencies, translators and other service providers support you in your daily work.

A structured rights management approach allows everyone involved in the communication process to access the relevant content.

The integration of individual contents and translations can be optimized and automated. The topic of collaboration is becoming increasingly important, especially with increasing internationalization. Different national companies should be able to access the same content and use it individually or globally.

  • Create a central database for regional, national and international communication. The database can be managed as needed to ensure a consistent brand image.

  • Integrate an intelligent translation management system that covers all language variants needed forcommunication. Recurring segments that have already been translated can be saved so that they do not have to be translated again.

  • Standardize and automate transactional communications processes (e.g. versioning, localization, adaption). Enable reuse in media production.

  • Ensure transparency when working with partners. Images, texts and layouts should remain physically in your system. This way, you remain more flexible and achieve faster response times.

5 | Automate and analyze processes and campaigns

Marketing automation is today's big trend – for good reason. Automated marketing processes enable you to outsource recurring and predictable tasks, allowing you to invest more time in targeting customers.

In order to personalize communication, you need analytics and targeting solutions.

Ideally, the results of these analyses should be directly linked to products, layouts and campaigns. In this way, successes can be repeated and less effective measures can be excluded. Stringent processes also ensure that individual workflow steps can be better planned.

  • Use an integrated software solution to reach your customers, send newsletters or brochures and manage campaigns.

  • Tailor content to the respective target groups and address them in the most personalized manner possible.

  • Centrally maintain your data files and synchronize the associated workflows – for instance, in coordination with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

  • Measure the success of your marketing messages and use them for further campaigns.

  • Integrate insights from business intelligence tools for your content management.

  • Use empirical values and analyze results to plan processes more easily and effectively.

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