These days marketers are really under pressure. We demand that they create a brand that is top-of-mind continually within the right target group(s) and at the same time we expect them to create numerous leads with their actions and campaigns for their sales colleagues. Even more, we will also assume that they perfectly know what channel for each campaign will yield the best results. Offline, online, you name it! And if that's not enough, meanwhile the following priority already awaits around the corner: digital commerce.
Digital marketing became mainstreamInternational Gartner research shows that the vast majority of marketers no longer makes the distinction between offline and online channels. Digital marketing is no longer the distant cousin of classic offline marketing. The significant percentage (which by the way is still rising) of online marketing expenses relative to the total marketing budget makes clear that indeed something has changed.
You could argue that we have reached the point where such things as ‘traditional’ or ‘digital’ marketing no longer exist. What we truly are talking about today is ‘marketing in a digital world’. And that turnaround not only happened thanks to the marketers themselves. They were sent there resolutely by their customers that expect to be blown away by flawless digital experiences. At the same time, however, marketers deserve all the credit for the transition, because, let’s be honest, this shift was made flawlessly and it even didn't take them a whole lot of time, did it?
The thin line between sales & marketingBesides the disappearance of the walls between offline and online marketing, the boundary between sales and marketing seems increasingly blurred as well. A great evolution and one that was very much necessary. In quite a few firms marketing and e-commerce are two separate entities. Often with their own budget and own agendas that do not necessarily coincide and subsequently are often counter-productive in relation to achieve the sales objectives.
Today we find that organizations are organized differently. Marketing and e-commerce are now working with a common vision and purpose, resulting in the fact that the top marketers use and develop their sales skills and vice versa. This evolution is mainly taking place because marketers are more and more expected to prove the results of their marketing efforts. The number of eyeballs that a campaign has generated is no longer the most important objective, we’re talking about actual turnover nowadays. And all those elements put together ensure that marketers have gained a new priority: digital commerce.
Digital commerce is the new e-commerce
This approach ensures that the term e-commerce is no longer the correct flag to cover the load here. Somewhat bluntly one could say that e-commerce is about providing a webshop for your business. Digital commerce refers to the process and the journey that a (potential) customer travels along before the final online purchase and then some. An advice for all marketers out there: forget about the moment and focus on the customer journey and user experience.
By now, you must be asking yourself: do we actually still need to put the word ‘digital’ in front of commerce? The answer is: yes and no. No, because in the larger omni-channel reality, digital commerce initiatives not only have to result in more online purchases. These same purchases can happen in a brick-and-mortar store as well. So we are talking about selling. Linked systems (one of the conditions for a successful omni-channel approach) ensure, in turn, that the 360-degree view is not lost and that there can be reported correctly in terms of ROI. The answer is yes if we use digital commerce as a collective name for all digital initiatives to guide (potential) customers in their search, in evaluating various options, purchase, after-sales service and preferably with their repeated purchases. And that is where a really beautiful challenge, especially in retail, is waiting.
Can we help you with your digital commerce? Come and have a cup of coffee or invite us over: we will gladly provide you with more help, free of obligation.
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