Good marketing, in part, is about creating and establishing the habits that allow your organization to take advantage of technology, market opportunities, and industry direction as they evolve. Sometimes, this means creating process and doing things that, in the near term don’t seem to produce a lot of tangible benefits. We have entered another period where creating new habits in marketing has become key to leveraging what technology is exposing.
Weather it is Google Wallet or some other payment platform, the combination of marketing and payment technologies is inevitable. Today, the deepest that payment and marketing are entwined are mail stuffers (snail mail and email) into Visa / MC communications, or being part of their rewards programs. But, as Google is exploring the integration of promotion and payment, it becomes more evident that the direction has been set.
Maybe, but our company is not Part of the Google test.
This is where creating the new habits comes into play; integrating promotions into these tools, and leveraging the technology behind these tools, will require a new way of looking at promotions. It is no longer about mass- promotions (market or national), but localized, individual and timely promotions. As you consider this, think about:
1. What day of the week, week of the month do we need to boost store traffic?
2. How does the traffic differ from store to store in the same market?
3. How do we manage inventory churn at locations?
4. How much do we know about our consumers?
As you read the list, you probably thought at least two things: 1) I already think about these things, and 2) there are a lot of other things that should be on that list.
But the difference now is that you need to think about these things from the perspective of how you leverage the answers. For the majority of companies, when marketers thought about these questions, that is all they did, think about them. The reality has been that leveraging the answers was technologically out of reach.
That is changing. The combination of promotion and payment is, in and of itself, only one application of the technology that will allow us to substantively address the answers to many questions that we historically did not pursue. You will see, on an individual level, what people respond to in marketing; be able to send real time, promotions for a day, or even an hour (lunch time shopping); know what is in the shopping basket of those who take advantage of the promotion. In short, for the first time, the technology behind combining payment and promotion will allow marketers to see AND leverage actionable information in near real time.
So the question is, what habits are you setting for your organization today in order to leverage what this technology will (en mass) offer tomorrow?