MikMak Founder Rachel Tipograph Share 3 Tips for Shifting Marketing Strategies — Now
Jason Fidler | April 21, 2020
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has fundamentally upended all aspects of our society, and most brand manufacturers have realized that any pre-year planning has essentially been rendered irrelevant.
Amidst this crisis, shoppers have also shifted to ecommerce channels at a tremendous rate, accelerating the need for digital transformation. Brand manufacturers must respond to this sudden change, but some hesitate about taking the right steps forward.
Rachel Tipograph Shows How Brands Can Move Forward
Rachel Tipograph is the founder and CEO of enterprise ecommerce marketing platform MikMak, which helps brands create a unified digital storefront across 200-plus online retailers, with clients like Bacardi, Colgate, Hershey, and L'Oreal.
Tipograph is the former global head of digital and social media at Gap, Inc. — one of the youngest executives at the company at the time at 24 years old. Forbes has also listed her as one of the "30 under 30 Who Are Changing The World," Marie Claire honored her as one of "The 50 Most Influential Women in America," and Fast Company highlights her as one of the "Most Creative People in Business."
Tipograph shared her insights on how brand manufacturers can best navigate during these challenging times during a recent Digital Shelf Virtual Summit session. Touching on topics ranging from early indicators in China and the impact of COVID-19 on ecommerce to how brands can quickly pivot to capture new market share, her session highlights some of the most pressing issues facing brand manufacturers today.
1. Brand Manufacturers Must Match the Moment
Brands must first complete an audit of all existing brand materials, messaging, and creative content, Tipograph stressed. Anything that is already created or deployed that doesn't align with the current situation will be seen as callous or tone-deaf and should be shelved immediately.
"If all you did was push out the creative that you had planned, while so many people are suffering, that could be detrimental to your brand," Tipograph said.
Brands must next go back to the drawing board regarding paid media investments. Prioritize products that might not be seeing organic growth right now and — just as important — don't hold back on spending.
Tipograph urged brands to understand the importance of spending during times of crisis. "Every single time there's a financial crisis or an epidemic, brands that spent were the ones that won at the end of the day," she said.
Tipograph recommends that brands have their ecommerce technology optimized to match the demands of rapidly changing consumer behavior. Technology investments must perform effectively to target, retarget, and bring the right shoppers through the sales funnel.
2. Brand Manufacturers Must Diversify Ecommerce Sales Channels
It might be tempting to take budget allocated for events or in-store promotions and reallocate it to one popular digital channel, such as Facebook. But Tipograph stressed that the simplest route might be the least effective.
"If every marketer deployed the same strategy, we'd all get in trouble because the cost per customer acquisition would get so high," Tipograph said. In short: If every brand deploys the same strategy, then everyone would be competing for the same set of eyes.
By testing many channels, brand manufacturers could quickly determine which ones drive more efficient cost per acquisition. Those brands would also have more data around what messaging and content works across audiences and channels, making their ecommerce programs more effective long-term.
3. Brand Manufacturers Must Balance Changing Loyalties
As major retailers like Amazon continue to prioritize essential products and other retailers face inventory-management issues, the primary concern for shoppers is whether a product is in stock. Retailer loyalty has ebbed, creating a massive opportunity for brand manufacturers and raising the fortunes for up-and-coming retailers like Drizly and Boxed.
"Pre-coronavirus, retailer preference really mattered … that has gone out the window right now," Tipograph said.
As shoppers turn toward channels they have never explored before, brand manufacturers must ensure exceptional shopping experiences across retail channels. Product content must be engaging, compelling, and timely, forcing your brand story and identity forward. Most importantly, this product information must be accurate to build trust with your brand.
Those that can do this faster than the competition will gain loyal, long-term customers during this time of commerce disruption.
According to Tipograph, COVID-19 may usher in the end of the "ecommerce marketing" era. From now on, "ecommerce marketing" will become just "marketing" and "commerce."
Watch the full session, "How to Shift Your Marketing Strategies and Teams Right Now," and sign up for upcoming Digital Shelf Virtual Summit sessions.