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3 Tips for Retail Advertisers During and After COVID-19

Sprinklr Team

April 30, 2020  •  4 min read

As modern channels have quickly become one of the only ways to interact with consumers, brands are having to quickly rethink the role of customer experience during the outbreak of COVID-19. The impact of social distancing has accelerated trends in digital transformation and will ultimately mean a major step-change for many traditional retailers. Those experiencing immediate downturns in sales will have to think differently about longer-term value propositions as footfall drops and new spending habits are being formed.

This is a time to bring consumers new value, alternatives, focussing on direct to client relationships or even new and better approaches to customer experience. Sprinklr is purpose-built for brands to manage customer experience across the emerging core touchpoints, enabling teams to better understand market conditions and proactively maintain relationships with the consumer during this time. Things are changing at lightning speed and a message that is good today might need to be tweaked tomorrow. Now is a good time to focus on content development, tech stack, areas for automation but ultimately; there is no better time to be real, authentic, and human as a brand.

But how?

1. Reduce Loss Through Retention Marketing

Using Modern Research we can see purchase intent on discretionary products has dropped in comparison to the same time last year with the vast majority of conversation centered around essential goods and entertainment. Quick pivots in media KPIs toward brand awareness/ community building via high traffic channels will ensure your brand will help build warm audiences to retarget when people are ready to buy again. Additionally, lower CPMs as a result of increased social media consumption are helping to offset some of the damage.

Understanding what consumers are talking about is critical to ensure messaging and tone is being reflected in your brand’s content strategy. At a macro level, we can see a shift in overall tone across the sector to more factual and gratitudinal based messaging in comparison to this time last year:

Measuring the effectiveness of this can be validated through an analysis of the response to changes in messaging via Sprinklr’s Ad Comment Analysis dashboards. This is an important step in understanding how your brand is being perceived in times of crisis. Ad Comment Analysis Dashboard allows you to uncover content themes, sentiment, and audience details on the comments on your ads, helping you make informed creative and campaign decisions.

2. Win the Recovery Through Constructive Communication

Messaging today should focus on community-building efforts and addressing consumers’ changing needs and concerns. Identify these and provide meaningful updates about business services/ continuity during the crisis – when consumers are ready to start spending again they are going to spend with you.

Ensure all available data being captured on existing and prospective customers is being used to shape revised customer decision journeys. Pivot Investments to drive loyalty, building brand advocates using Sprinklr’s Smart Audience Engine.

3. Shape the ‘New Normal’ by Pivoting to Conversational Commerce

With over 60 billion messages being sent daily on Whatsapp alone, a rapidly growing amount of consumers’ activity online takes place in private chats with friends and family. Consider the role of a direct-to-message advertising strategy as a way to maintain and build one-to-one customer relationships during and after the pandemic.

In the short term; Customer Care interactions on modern channels can provide an enormous wealth of data for digital marketers to better understand what is important for customers and ultimately how a brand can provide value. Leverage this insight to create enriched exclusion audience segments and concurrent messaging depending on the consumer’s current or prospective relationship with your brand.

Key Takeaways

Immediate:

  • Consider shifting from commercial ROI to long term social ROI, focusing on retention marketing for when consumers are ready to purchase again.

  • Justify the role of advertising during cuts by evaluating performance across paid, owned, and earned. Reset KPIs based on updated demand signals.

  • Embrace the nuance and context of conversational data to anticipate changes in consumer behaviour – all conversations related to your brand, your competitors and your industry at large should be acknowledged with key themes, language, tones + sentiment identified and reflected in your messaging to increase relevance.

Long Term:

  • Leverage Modern Research to identify new opportunities and value propositions for consumers based on trends across key categories of interest (luxury eCommerce, in-store live streaming

  • Grow customer footprint and LTV across emerging core touchpoints by developing a conversational commerce strategy

To learn more about how you can bring these strategies to life, request a demo of the Sprinklr Modern Advertising solution.

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