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In this week’s interview, we share the tips and thoughts from Prasad Shringarpure, Head of Online Marketing at leading Australian online retailer THE ICONIC.
“It’s easier than ever before to get lots of traffic at a low cost.”
Accurate measurement continues to be a major challenge. The past decade has seen the emergence of the multi-device world. It’s very common for customers to start their journey on one device and finish on another. As marketers, it’s important for us to offer the best experience across all devices and encourage customers to shop on whatever device they prefer. Although, this makes measurement really difficult.
At THE ICONIC we think a lot about measurement and how we can overcome some of these challenges e.g.: how do we ensure our attribution stays current and considers the behavior of our customers? I think the complexity of measurement will continue to increase over the next few years as we communicate with customers on new emerging devices like smart TVs, speakers and watches. We’re likely to have more tools at our disposal to deal with these challenges but it’s unlikely that we’ll ever have perfect data sets. We’ll have to live with logical assumptions for a while.
I’d say that relevance of your communication is the most important factor in converting shoppers. It’s easier than ever before to get lots of traffic at a low cost. But for your messages to be effective, they need to be relevant to the customer. Marketing messages should be relevant to who the customer is, their interests, preferences and personality. Feed based advertising across social and display channels presents an opportunity to do this quite easily.
“This is not just about sticking post-it notes on a wall but valuing speed and interaction over bureaucracy.”
It wasn’t a complete surprise, but the extent of measurement and content filtering problems for the big tech companies were surprising. The complexity of online advertising has meant that it’s always been somewhat less ‘tangible’ than traditional media. The controversies really highlighted the need for the big ad-tech firms to be more transparent and allow third party audits. It seems like they’re taking some steps in that direction. It’s important for marketers to build their own framework of measurement and brand safety wherever possible and not rely entirely on publishers.
“It’s not enough to have a catchy slogan and beautiful creative.”
There have been very significant changes to marketing over the last decade. While the essence of marketing remains the same, it’s become a very technical field. It’s important for marketers to keep learning new skills to stay relevant, particularly within the areas of tech and data.
Marketers need to be comfortable working with large amounts of data and aim to build proficiency in data visualization tools like Tableau. It’s important to understand data warehousing, SQL and the basics of web programming. These days, it’s easier than ever to learn new skills with tools like Coursera, Udacity, Lynda and others.
We need to be conscious not to hang on to old approaches to brand marketing and creative. Consumers have a much stronger voice and a lot of avenues to express themselves. They have easy access to lots of information about a brand. It’s not enough to have a catchy slogan and beautiful creative. It’s essential to follow through and be true to your customers by providing great product and user experience.
I think there’s a lot to learn from tech about working with an agile mentality. This is not just about sticking post-it notes on a wall, but valuing speed and interaction over bureaucracy. Digital platforms like YouTube and social channels provide a great avenue to quickly test if your campaign or marketing message has some resonance with the market before amplifying it to a greater degree.
“It’s important for marketers to build their own framework of measurement and brand safety wherever possible and not rely entirely on publishers.”
Data Management Platforms are really interesting. I think they can really help make marketing more relevant and efficient. We work with some tools that cover important aspects of DMP functionality. It would be amazing if we could find ways to make DMPs more ‘light-weight.’ I think a lot more people would use them if they were easier to implement and test. I suppose that’s easier said than done.
We think about this topic quite a lot at THE ICONIC. We use a combination of paid and open source tools for different use cases. We try not to use black box solutions and try to build custom solutions wherever possible to suit the unique needs of our business and customers.
We’re lucky to have amazing engineering and analytics teams that allow us to do this. For example, we use an open source tool called Snowplow for our web + app analytics and attribution modelling. It does take a lot of time, energy and tech resources to implement open source solutions and customize them in a way that works for you. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have dedicated engineering resources to back up your plans.
I’m impressed by what Koala Mattress have been doing in Australia. They’ve taken a fairly mundane product like a mattress and made the advertising fun. I really like how they use digital video to showcase the product. They also have a 5-star rating on product review, so it seems like the product measures up to the advertising.
Avinash Kaushik writes a fantastic blog called Occam’s Razor. He’s Google’s digital marketing evangelist, so you’ll get the occasional subtle sales pitch for Google products, but the content is excellent. It’s focused on analytics, but he writes a newsletter called TMAI (The Marketing Analytics Intersect) which I would recommend signing up for. Besides that, I really enjoy watching Gruen on ABC in Australia. The show is great fun and very informative.
I recently discovered a marketing magazine called Magazine-B. It’s a series of small coffee table style books that feature one brand in every issue. Each brand covered is one they consider to be well-balanced. The books have analysis, interviews and really beautiful photography. I’ve picked up a bunch and will try to read them over the next few days.
I love to read so my reading list is quite long. I’ve just started reading “Lumumba – Africa’s Lost Leader” about Patrice Lumumba, who was the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo and a prominent leader among African Independence movements.
I grew up in Bombay, so I really enjoy being in big vibrant cities. I’d rather spend time in a fast-paced city than out in nature. My most memorable holiday was in Egypt. I loved spending time on the bustling streets and markets of Cairo. I also really enjoyed the frantic energy of Rome. I’m really interested in history and both cities are fascinating because they combine a busy modern lifestyle with incredibly rich history.
About THE ICONIC
THE ICONIC is a leading online fashion and sports retailer in Australia and New Zealand. Since launching in 2011, THE ICONIC has focused on channeling the latest technology to provide access to over 700 local and international brands and over 45,000 sports products for men and women. In addition to a large selection of brands, THE ICONIC offers great customer service, fast delivery options such as 3-hour delivery in Sydney and Free Returns for over 200+ daily new products that let customers stay on top of the latest style trends.
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