SINGAPORE, Singapore — Part of the longstanding marketing efforts of Travelshopa has been an annual Retail Marketing Barometer Survey. In its third year, this year the survey will be held among local designers and retailers in more than 9 cities in Asia, and the results will be shared in May 2016.
The questionnaire always asks about the top priorities of local designers and retailers, and the results have been tested at our series of Travelshopa Talks (networking meetings for local brands). In these intimate sessions, we encourage business owners to openly discuss and expand on their priorities, and how they are tackling them.
Looking back, the top priorities of local brands have not changed over the years and have foreshadowed the developments of Travelshopa, as we have become known as a platform to discover a curation of local designers and retailers – be it launching a new local brand and developing the reach of an existing local brand.
The biggest takeaway is that increasing brand awareness is the key priority for local brands, followed by closer alignment with sales and finding new customers. I tend to refer to these as reach, convert and engage. Here is a very high level overview of each, which we will delve into in the future.
Increase Brand Awareness = Reach
Anyone with a successful brand will know, building a brand takes time. A long time. It takes time because it is not something you can simply buy. You will be surprised at the age of some businesses what are on your radar today as “new”. They have actually been around for many years and their brand recognition is a result of years of brand building.
In today’s digital fast-paced world, the key questions one must ask oneself when embarking on brand building exercises are (i) where/with whom would you like to build awareness (ii) how would you like to do that (iii) when would you like to do it. From there you can start to look at the various activities (off- and online) that will help reach your target audience and set realistic metrics.
Closer Alignment to Sales = Covert
Almost everyone expects any activity to translate to sales – right or wrong. However, some marketing activities are build to increase brand awareness while others are designed to increase leads, and ultimately sales. And therefore you need to be aware of the difference between initiatives when attaching sales targets to marketing activities.
Understanding your product, price and place before designing the activity will ultimately help achieve more successful sales outcomes (yes, back to the basics of the 4Ps). At this stage of your marketing maturity your website, sales channels and events – your omnichannel customer experience – should be under the microscope.
Find New Customers = Engage
Once a brand and an audience have been established, it is important to nurture them to promote steady growth. Understanding the cost of acquisition for each customer (no mater the size of your business) is crucial as it will determine whether engagement to encourage repeat purchases is required and/or new customer acquisition is in order. The former activity is typically much cheaper (faster and easier) then the latter, although it is often overlooked. At this stage, the power of advertising, social media and PR will really come into play.