I recently had the honor to interview Andrea Ricotti, Sales & Marketing Director at H2H, a communication and marketing agency. H2H supports retailers and brands with their communication and marketing efforts, including brand identity, consultancy, and performance marketing where communication and marketing collide. H2H was one of the first agencies in Italy to integrate solid traditional offline communication skills with emerging online and new technologies competencies. This is a clear key success factor in markets, such as retail, fast moving industries and automotive, where the shopping experience has become much more complex to analyze and where the customer needs to be addressed constantly both online and offline.
Measurence: It’s martech planning season, what are the hottest trends retailers should consider?
Andrea: The shopping experience in retail is now a mix of pre-sell (or pre-tail) and post-sell (or post-tail) experiences, meaning the consumer informs themselves before making a purchase, then they buy, and then they review/ ask for services/ do something after making a purchase --all of these can happen in-store and online. Once retailers became aware of this phenomenon, they started to adapt their strategies in a way they can attract visitors and convert leads in both scenarios through mobile-friendly technologies.
More than 60% of purchases are born from the mobile. Therefore, nowadays, technology that empowers retailers with tools to track their potential customers, retarget them, and then engage with them, is huge!
Measurence: How do you use consumers’ data that you collect offline to advertise to them? Do you retarget people online?
Andrea: In most industries, customers spend 90% of their sales cycle in-store, which means during this time, they can do things and behave a certain way. I can only imagine all the retargeting and remarketing strategies I can do in both digital and in-store scenarios if I can collect information of these behaviors. In general, all the information you can get from the length of time they are in a certain area, the area of the store, the time of day in which they visited the store are all very important data that can be used to retarget or send a message via sms. Not only that, if I can also understand their demographics and gender, I can better retarget these potential customers.
However, to be able to collect all of this data, I will need to have the right technology, the right platform that is not too invasive to the customers’ privacy. That is the tricky part of the scenario. In Italy, they’re particularly strict when it comes to the customer’s privacy so retailers and marketing agencies have to be very careful to use the right technology or engage with the consumers in the right way.
Measurence: How has data helped you make decisions in your business? What kind of data has worked best for you? Which kind of project?
Andrea: Most of our customers are retailers or fast-moving goods, so they ask us to propose innovations, campaigns and marketing initiatives that work. To make a proposal or an innovative project, it’s not a matter of being big and flashy, it’s a matter of having data. In this industry, you must start from data. You have to have proof that what you’re going to propose to your client works and is based on solid evidence. All the data that helps to analyze customer’s behaviors in digital and in-store is quite fundamental.
For example, we’re working with some customers to analyze and aggregate all the comments their customers leave on the website or through social media platforms after they visit the stores. Some may leave a bad review if they had a bad experience due to low staff or not being open at a certain hour, or even their preferred product wasn’t there. A summary of these reviews, stores by stores, can help brands understand whether they’re well positioned in the market or if they have to do something to improve the customer’s experience.
Measurence: What is the importance in having location data in martech stacks?
Andrea: Location data is fundamental. When we have information that a location is not working, we need to take the most immediate action. To do this we have to understand why that location is not working the way we expected. In general, location data, if tracked properly, can become the KPI in which you measure your campaigns or activity on the market as it helps you understand the problem and helps you improve the effectiveness of your marketing.
At the moment we’re working on a platform that collects location data from these three main activities that all brands should use with their stores: social engagement, loyalty, and communication of the delivery of marketing materials. When you use these marketing tools and measure with loyalty/ retention programs, you can expect results. These results can help you understand whether something is working or not and then help you act upon improving their effectiveness.
Measurence: How will emerging marketing technology impact the automotive industry?
Andrea: The automotive industry is changing dramatically in both car innovations and sales process. Automotive brands are starting to really look at what’s happening in-stores with their dealers. Now, it’s not enough to have the "best brand;" the most important actions take place in the physical venues, in this case dealer showrooms.
The new trend is to get closer to the consumer’s friends and family to make something more emotional and relatable out of the car. If the automotive brand is able to make the consumer fall in love with that specific car, they will be more eager to buy it when they see it in the showroom.
Measurence: What are you doing for Mercedes Benz and how is Measurence helping you?
Andrea: We started working with Mercedes Benz a few years ago doing just digital. We created their landing pages, seasonal campaigns, as well as measured results and conversions from those campaigns. Last year, though, we started to understand that it’s not enough anymore to just build the “perfect” digital marketing stack to have a higher conversion rate, the final say is in the physical venue, in Mercedes’ case, the showroom, where people need to go to buy the cars. In this process, we began to propose the collection of data from offline human behavior in their showrooms.
This proximity marketing project, which was very new in Italy when we started, was a project where Measurence was chosen as our partner to provide location data and integrate the last puzzle in our dashboard and performance analysis. Through this partnership, Mercedes can now track the effectiveness of their campaigns as well as analyze how their dealers are performing.
Preparing for next year's martech stack? Interested to learn how location data can help your retail?