Holidays are coming. Holidays are coming.
Even during quiet periods, frantic briefing and hurried collateral creation is commonplace. So during times where there’s a much higher demand placed on marketing teams and stores, it’s important to have a plan of action.
Understanding the importance of striking a balance between speed, accuracy and the need for creative, persuasive and powerful promotions is a fine art many big retail brands have mastered.
But, that doesn’t mean that things never go wrong. In fact, most retailers face the same challenges time and again. Here, we’ve outlined 5 of the most common pressures that the fast-paced nature of retail places on teams across the globe.
How to overcome 5 key retail challenges
#1 Executing cross-platform promotion
The time, budget and effort it takes to get promotional collateral delivered can be significant if you don’t have the right tools and resources.
Let’s take a typical ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offer.
You may need to promote the offer to your database via an email, print in-store brochures or flyers, create digital signage, website banners, POS, social posts and more. But the promotion only lasts a week and the budget is limited, so how do you ensure that all stores have the correct assets, in the sizes they need, delivered on time? And avoid wastage and duplication of effort?
The answer is having a centralised creation platform where your creative templates are readily available. A single place that’s accessible by teams, to adapt, edit and create the exact marketing materials they need in sizes tailored to their needs. This is called Brand Activation Management (BAM) – you can learn more about the BAM for retail marketing solution here.
When there’s a trend or small window of opportunity to increase sales, time is of the essence. Teams need to be empowered at store level to be reactive and not have to rely on head office or any external agency to make decisions and deliver the assets they need.
By having pre-defined templates and locked-down elements, teams can create what they need in-line with brand guidelines and still have the flexibility they need to customise as they need to.
#3 Pricing errors and PR nightmares
When there’s a rush or mistake made before go-live, this can sometimes result in the wrong information being pulled in. Wording on a promotion may be unclear or open to interpretation, the small print may have been missed or the wrong promotion put in place altogether. There are two things that can be done in order to prevent this.
This first is to put in place digitised approval processes, but this only provides a single layer of protection. In order to give your teams extra confidence in avoiding costly mistakes, you can have your marketing creation software integrate with your PIM and ERP to ensure that all product and pricing data is up-to-date, accurate and updated in real-time. BAM offers both of these solutions in its retail marketing creation platform.
#4 React to trends, competition and season promotions
No matter how much preparation you make or how far ahead you are with your promotions, there will always be a need to be reactive:
Being able to react once again comes down to your team having autonomy and flexibility, but within a specified, agency standard design framework. With no additional skill required, BAM allows individuals and teams to create as many assets as they like with a single license cost. This means that regardless of different budgets for different store sizes, there will be a level playing field at a national level.
#5 Brand consistency
In the haste of getting promotions over the line, it can sometimes be that corners get cut to meet deadlines. On the face of it, the odd promotional poster created in the wrong shade might not seem the end of the world, but if you have 200 stores nationally all rushing to get assets ready, you could soon find yourself with a wildly inconsistent retail brand.
BAM allows you to do many things, but 2 in particular will ensure your brand is never compromised.
Firstly, you get to pre-define locked down elements in all your assets. So whether your teams are given the freedom to create videos, emails, POS, brochures or any other digital or print asset they could need, you define how much flexibility they have. You can pre-select brand colour palettes, logos, imagery and more to ensure that only on-brand, consistent designs appear online and in-store.