Retailers have survived two tumultuous and uncertain years. Now, after a strong holiday season, many are looking at 2022 with a renewed sense of optimism. The National Retail Federation reported that November and December sales increased 14.1% in 2021 over 2020, to a record $886.7 billion. According to Brian Nagel, senior research analyst and managing director at Oppenheimer & Company, “Generally, most retailers and most brands are coming out of the holidays pretty pleased with what they saw.”

Adapting to a new retail environment

Yet, despite the holiday success, many retailers realize 2022 will bring its own challenges. As consumers have adapted to a new world, brands know that their marketing strategies — especially in the digital space — must continue to evolve. What worked a couple of years ago isn’t necessarily a recipe for success today. 

To help you win with digital marketing in 2022, we’re bringing you a blog series to highlight strategies for optimizing your marketing mix in today’s commerce landscape. In this first installment, let’s dive into a significant development in the world of ecommerce — the death of cookies.

In a cookie-less world, relationships rule

When Google announced its plan to block and disable third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, along with Apple’s continuing lockdown on cookies for privacy concerns, marketers knew it was a seismic shift for digital marketing. And as retailers and brands grapple with the demise of third-party cookies, they realize that directly owning their customer relationships is critical. In fact, the focus on customer interactions through owned channels gives brands more control. 

“By making owned channels, such as email and SMS, a key component of your marketing mix, you can offset your reliance on paid media and avoid overspending,” says Karen DiClemente, senior director of strategy for Listrak. “While you can’t control what Google or Facebook may charge you, you have full control over how much you are investing in your own channels. But if you’re not maximizing those investments by converting visitors and collecting information, you’re missing out on a significant revenue opportunity.” 

The danger of disparate partners

One particularly effective way to engage with as many potential buyers as possible is by combining your email and SMS marketing campaigns to reach consumers wherever they go online, from desktops to mobile devices, and understanding that traffic over multiple devices.

However, using disparate vendors can make cross-channel orchestration difficult when speed is the currency. For example, if a customer signs up for an email offer through a pop-up on your website (run by a dedicated SMS provider), they’ll have to wait until the address is routed back to the ESP (email service provider) to trigger the welcome email. This process could take minutes or even hours — a delay that could cost you the sale.

There’s a danger of oversending through both channels or, conversely, missing out on an opportunity because you lack visibility to the recipient’s preferences and how they’re engaging with your messages. A holistic view will show that someone hasn’t opened an email in 90 days, so you can then exclude them from future broadcast emails while focusing on SMS. 

“As a marketer, you have to understand what messages each provider is sending and when to marry them,” DiClemente says. “If you’re using disparate partners, you won’t gain that full profile of the user and how they’re engaging with all their channels.”

Consolidate marketing tools for better engagement

When you consolidate your digital marketing tools — such as email and SMS — into one digital marketing platform, you can deliver the cross-channel cohesion that resonates with consumers. They won’t notice gaps in messaging or delivery, just aligned engagement that seamlessly moves them through their sales journey. 

With Listrak’s single, unified marketing platform, you can combine your channels and marry your messages, producing better engagement and higher revenues. If you’re interested in learning more about Listrak’s single, unified marketing platform, schedule a demo with us. 

And keep an eye out for the next installment in our series, where we’ll cover how you can still compile customer data — even without third-party cookies.