Five spooktacular stats every retail marketer needs to know this Halloween

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It’s been a spooky year for marketers. The world of retail is evolving at a frightening pace. With the pressures of the last eighteen months still felt in some quarters, some marketers feel a genuinely ominous sense of responsibility.

With almost a third (29%) responsible for CX, CRM, digital marketing, branding, customer acquisition and customer retention, many are stretched thinner the bedsheets used for their Halloween costumes. With new customers emerging from the shadows with higher expectations than ever before, and new channels of communication opening up all across this earthly plane, marketing needs to be providing more than just personalized, curated content.

However, for every trick, there’s a treat. With the tools, time and skills that they need, marketers are capable of making themselves genuinely invaluable to their organization, driving improvements from revenue to reputation and beyond.

So, with Halloween around the corner: which obstacles have the modern marketer quaking in the boots? And what rewards do they want to see in their trick or treat bags?

It’s time to get into the spirit of things with five scary stats that every retail marketer needs to know as the holiday season gets going.

43% of retail marketers don’t feel they understand their customers

The trick: When it comes to delivering the best possible customer experience, driving repeat purchases, and ultimately boosting revenue, nothing is more effective than personalization. If anything has marketers scared stiff, it’s a lack of understanding of their customer.

The treat: Despite widespread recognition of this, marketers are battling a terrifying number of skeletons in the closet. More than two thirds (67%) would like to be able to spend more time improving personalized product recommendations.

The intentions are good here, but personalization takes time, technology, and an eerie understanding of customer data. Trying to do so without these things is akin to digging your own grave.

91% of retail marketers spend more time preparing and segmenting data than any other task

The trick: Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. More than nine in ten marketers dedicated more time to preparing and segmenting data than any other task is a genuinely terrifying statistic. They’re spending so much time navigating tricks that they can’t get to the treat!

The treat: While it may feel like witchcraft, artificial intelligence (AI) can be a hugely effective potion here. 94% of retail marketers recognize AI as an opportunity to automate menial and repetitive tasks, freeing them up for the creative aspects of their work.

20% of retail marketers say their martech stack isn’t fit for purpose

The trick: With that said, when it comes to technology, some marketers are wrestling systems that aren’t moving with the times. Cobwebs aren’t a Halloween prop for these systems; some are just that old.

What’s more, two in five (41%) in-house marketers are losing time hopping between different technologies in order to produce the work they want. No secret passages hidden behind books here – just the (much scarier) frustration of siloed systems.

The treat: The answer, paradoxically, isn’t just to give old systems a proper burial. 28% of marketers actually have too many tools in their marketing stacks, while more than a third (35%) are wasting time on technical and IT tasks as a result of the labyrinth of systems.

Rather, it’s to simplify, consolidate and centralize the systems – and the data – that you already have. If you don’t want your employees working the graveyard shift, they need their technologies as streamlined as possible, and to avoid the horror of siloed customer data.

24% of retail marketers can’t act on existing customer data

The trick: If you’ve ever got that feeling that someone’s watching you, in recent years, it was probably big tech. Third-party data has been at the heart of understanding customers for over a decade.

But the industry is changing. Google, Amazon, Facebook and the other monsters of customer data are now moving towards more stringent privacy models. That’s enough to make the blood of many a marketer run cold, as brands now have to rely on first-party data – the data that they collect and own themselves.

The treat: While for many marketers this could turn your database into a ghost town, it doesn’t have to mean disaster. First-party data is an incredibly valuable resource for guiding tactical execution, informing marketing strategies, and predicting changes in consumer behavior. By creating experiences curated on the basis of individual data, repeat purchases and customer lifetime value can skyrocket.

But with a quarter of retail marketers unable to act on existing customer data, marketers need to avoid the hair-raising consequences of retaining the wrong systems. Access to data is of monumental importance.

57% of retail marketers wish they had more time in the day

The trick: For all that we’ve said on time, technology and technique, more than half of marketers simply want more hours in the day. That’s witchcraft beyond the meagre powers of any marketer, Halloween or not.

Nor is working faster a solution. Marketers can come out of the blocks like a bat out of hell, but they’re still wrestling with tight deadlines and technologies that don’t necessarily suit them. It’s more likely they’ll end up dead on their feet.

The treat: Rather, retailers and marketers need to reassess the systems they use, the datasets that they draw from, and the time invested in tasks that take them away from their creative pursuits.

Dr. Frankenstein needed all the body parts to create the perfect monster, and personalization is no different: you need the tools, the knowledge, and the time to develop a campaign that makes a supernatural impact on your organization’s bottom line.

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