Increasing Customer Engagement with Digital Marketing

Tamara Pattison, Chief Marketing and Information Officer, BevMo
Tamara Pattison, Chief Marketing and Information Officer, BevMo

Tamara Pattison, Chief Marketing and Information Officer, BevMo

Tamara Pattison supervises planning, development, and execution of marketing and advertising strategies for BevMo. She has been specializing in customer engagement and generating revenue with increasing sales by leveraging cutting-edge technologies. In an interview with CIO Review, Tamara mentions the significance of a customer-centric approach through personalized content and vocalizes on the importance of digital marketing in the retail landscape for business growth.

1. What are some of the technological trends in the digital marketing landscape?

A prominent trend, especially in the retail space, is the adoption of a customer-driven approach by organizations. Digital technologies have empowered retail industry to deliver personalized services, assisting industry leaders in increasing user engagement. Companies can utilize digital techniques such as email, push notifications, and more to bring shoppers on their website for a personalized experience. Owing to digital technologies, retail organizations are able to analyze customer preferences and introduce new products, thereby improving user engagement. Further, the retailers have opportunities to strengthen the engagement with consumers through social media content such as stories and videos. This enhances the brand value and significantly increases the chance of sale conversations, whether in-store or online.

2. What are the challenges in the retail space pertaining to digital marketing and how can they overcome it?

In order to have a positive digital marketing return on investment, companies should have a broad audience base, and vice versa. This chicken and egg situation is the biggest problem in the retail space with regards to digital marketing. A colossal user base is paramount for retail organizations as it increases the chance of engagement through digital content. However, these companies must consistently provide relevant content or should be ready for a decreasing customer base. Therefore, these firms need a powerful engine in the background that can create digital content and keeps it relevant to consumers.

3. Can you emphasize some of the prerequisites to be considered before starting digital marketing?

Companies have to analyze their customers’ behavior and choose a relevant digital channel to build a relationship with them. As every user is unique, firms should understand shopper demographics and their interests to invest in digital promotion on platforms they frequently use. Beyond this, organizations can implement the test and learn practice to assess their hypothesis on how impactful they have been. However, while advancing toward digital marketing, retailers exchange view with their employees, and based on the collective opinion, firms develop a perspective on the most effective channel for shopper engagement. In fact, companies must focus on how customers want to engage with their brands and devise digital strategies around it. Organizations should further keep an eye on strategies and case study of other retailers who share a similar user base to learn and make informed decisions while devising their planning in digital marketing.

4. What approach do you take while personalizing customer engagement?

BevMo have a robust digital program, where we make use of a club card that helps us in segregating customers and providing content based on their purchase history. This brings a high degree of confidence about the relevancy of the content. Our team also ensures that shoppers are targeted with adequate content to make them aware of full range of products we have.

5. What should be the strategy while looking for a digital solution partner?

Organizations must scrutinize their existing technology, platform, and infrastructure to exhume missing supplements. Before directly scouting for a solution provider, companies should test and learn to analyze the effectiveness of different digital marketing campaigns. Such a procedure also helps in choosing the right technology to integrate with existing infrastructure. Rather than trying to bake the perfect cake, firms should apply the try and learn method in several small scale situations to improve their decision making.

6. How do you see the industry going forward and what should be the strategy to leverage newer trends?

Today, mobile is the driving force for digital marketing as people are spending more time on their devices than ever. Thus, organizations should ensure that they adopt a mobile-first approach to deliver their services. Customers, who are connected through mobile, spend ample amount of time researching and investigating a brand, thereby ultimately building a relationship with companies and bringing more profitability to those brands.

Due to the dynamic nature of technologies, development takes place at a rapid pace. Often, new and emerging opportunities become a trend and ultimately an additional element of the landscape in a few months. Thus, such frequent developments should be studied and evaluated as they become widespread within a few months.

 Due to rapid change in technology, often a new and emerging opportunity becomes a trend and ultimately a new portion of the landscape in a few months  

7. Tell us about your journey and success in the retail industry.

The influence of technology and now the reliance on it has helped us in remaining on top of the mind of our customers. Notably, the test and learn methodology, when implemented in small scale, helps in figuring out every aspect of digital projects for user engagement. Quickly learning such methods is the key to success in any initiative.

8. Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs and startups in the retail industry?

Becoming a student and continuously learning is essential for senior management and startups to devise a digital marketing strategy. They should not commit to a preconceived notion of success. Instead, they must try to understand how innovation can be adopted in their digital marketing strategies to engage customers effectively.

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