Leading Brands Are Learning from Big Digital Marketplaces 

New 4P model of marketing is based on precision, personalization, persuasion and perfection
by Mike Hunter

Large, global eCommerce communities like eBay, Amazon and Alibaba are disrupting the retail marketplace by bringing together vast numbers of buyers and sellers in frictionless transactional environments. Inspired by their success, brand marketers are rethinking go-to-market strategies to better integrate digital advertising with personalized shopper engagement and more effective conversion programs.

“Ingenuity in the Global eCommerce Community,” new research by the Chief Marketing Officer Council in collaboration with eBay, explores the disruptive and transformative nature of global eCommerce communitieshow the massive scale, data quality and customization capability of online marketplaces are bringing new levels of customer insight, enriched experiences and added value to brands. Digital commerce accounts for about 10 percent of the $5 trillion in total annual sales across all retail channels.

According to the survey of nearly 200 global brands and their physical and digital retail partner, well over 50 percent believe large eCommerce communities are revolutionizing and reinventing the global retail marketplace and forcing them to rethink every aspect of how they go to market. In a telling self-assessment, 60 percent report that they need to embrace a more cohesive, integrated, multi-channel digital retail strategy to improve their own eCommerce business.

The study asked respondents to name their top five ways in which big eCommerce channels were impacting the go-to-market planning and strategies of major product marketers. According to the marketers surveyed, these included putting pressure on them to lower pricing; rethinking monetization and customer revenue models; forcing them to seek greater brand differentiation; recalibrating and allocating digital marketing spend; and shifting toward an agile, real-time marketing mode.

“The millennial-driven shift to digital retail shopping is prompting the evolution of the old 4P model of marketing; now, more notably, we need precision, personalization, persuasion and perfection of execution to multiply purchases,” notes Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “Exemplifying this are innovations in customer attraction, convenience, conversion and consistency of experience that are behind the success of eBay, Amazon and other digital commerce communities.”

For its part, eBay is using advances in technology, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve search relevancy and make buying and selling on eBay much more gratifying.

“eBay has made it even easier to shop and sell on the platform by leveraging new technology to redefine what online shopping means today,” notes Bridget Davies, eBay’s vice president of Advertising and Marketing Activation. “We use AI and big data to learn how people move at a granular scale to better connect with consumers, brands and businesses.”

Davies points to eBay’s AI-powered, personalized homepage and more than 1.1 billion listings using structured data. “More than 80 percent of eBay users are logged in when they access our platform, allowing us to deterministically identify users across channels, browsers and devices rather than relying on cookie-based probability models,” she adds.

The CMO Council report notes that marketers today are challenged to evidence how they are using data and real-time insights to “gain greater satisfaction from every customer interaction” and determine whether they have the ability to “scale the way they track the digital buying trail.”

How do you view the disruptive and transformative nature of global eCommerce communities like Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and others?

Revolutionizing and reinventing the global retail marketplace 56%
Forcing us to rethink every aspect of how we go to market 46%
Challenging brands to evolve across all channels and markets 43%
Empowering the connected consumer with more choice and options 36%
Commoditizing categories of products (and services) 27%
Heightened need for insights into behavior, trends and patterns across the entire buyer journey 25%
Uplifting customer experience and expectations 18%
Complicating our relationships with traditional retail partners 14%
Bringing scale and new dimensions to personalized customer engagement 13%
Other 2%

 

In what way are these shopping, advertising, trading and auctioning channels impacting your go-to-market strategy?

Easy to search and find products 65%
24/7 convenience 59%
Lower prices and pricing transparency 51%
Better selection and availability 35%
Quick and assured delivery 35%
Good deals, discounts and offers 34%
Third-party reviews and ratings 33%
Mobile device accessibility 26%
Secure and easy transaction 24%
Predictable experience 22%
Leveraging new technology to redefine online shopping (AI, structured data, etc.) 13%
Access to new ideas, products and options 10%
Richer, more relevant content 10%
Personalized interface 9%
Member benefits 7%
Social media integration 6%
Multiple payment options 5%
Guaranteed satisfaction 5%
Digital assistant support 3%
Other 2%


What makes these online marketplaces compelling and attractive to consumers?

Easy to search and find products 65%
24/7 convenience 59%
Lower prices and pricing transparency 51%
Better selection and availability 35%
Quick and assured delivery 35%
Good deals, discounts and offers 34%
Third-party reviews and ratings 33%
Mobile device accessibility 26%
Secure and easy transaction 24%
Predictable experience 22%
Leveraging new technology to redefine online shopping (AI, structured data, etc.) 13%
Access to new ideas, products and options 10%
Richer, more relevant content 10%
Personalized interface 9%
Member benefits 7%
Social media integration 6%
Multiple payment options 5%
Guaranteed satisfaction 5%
Digital assistant support 3%
Other 2%

 

In what way are these shopping, advertising, trading and auctioning channels impacting your go-to-market strategy?

Forcing us to seek greater brand differentiation 31%
Putting pressure on us to lower pricing 27%
Rethinking our monetization and customer revenue models 27%
Recalibrating and allocating our digital marketing spend 27%
Making our products easier to find, evaluate and transact 25%
Shifting us into an agile, real-time marketing mode 23%
Enabling us to compete more effectively in connected commerce 21%
Accelerating our digital transformation programs 19%
Helping us scale and do business both globally and locally 16%
Introducing us to new ideas and approaches to digital branding 16%
Providing richer intelligence and tools for one-to-one engagement 14%
Giving us new ways to partner, co-merchandize and cross-promote 12%
Growing our number of direct customer relations 9%
Uncovering untapped revenue and business opportunities 6%
Helping us proliferate digital strorefronts serving multiplying markets 5%
Bringing better performance and accountability to digital advertising spend 4%
Adding robust product innovation ideas thanks to community interaction and behavior 3%
Other 2%

Source: CMO Council’s “Ingenuity in the Global eCommerce Community” study 

The CMO Council’s new thought leadership initiative gathered insights from nearly 200 global brands and their physical and digital retail partners. This included category leaders like Lenovo, LEGO, Puma, Casio, Serta, Bosch, Brooks, PERRIN PARIS and Fruit of the Loom/Spalding. The resulting best-practice report accents how brands are using proprietary data and insights to execute smarter customer acquisition campaigns that key off of seasonal, event-related, price-based and more personalized offers and promotions.

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