The Four Traits of the Digital Commerce Marketer

May 18, 2016
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Find out why a focus on impact makes a difference when marketers are accountable for business results, not just clicks and traffic.

Toyota segmented and personalized a 25,000 member email list to deliver a 400% ROI lift over its baseline. Whether selling online or not, today’s marketers are expected to deliver business outcomes, not just traffic and clicks. Toyota used data and a customer-centric approach to align marketing to buyer motivation and intent so that the volume of qualified leads, a marketing outcome, clearly drove business outcomes.

“Every marketer is a digital commerce marketer.”

The remit for marketing has changed, noted Jennifer Polk, research director at Gartner for Marketing Leaders during the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference 2016. It’s no longer about just telling the story. It’s now about writing the story and growing the business. This focus on accountability for business impact makes every marketer a digital commerce marketer, regardless of whether or not they own the P&L.

Gartner analyst Jennifer Polk discusses how marketers align with business objectives.
Gartner analyst Jennifer Polk discusses how marketers align with business objectives.

The new mindset of a (digital commerce) marketer has four components:

  1. Customer centric
    Email marketers aren’t just concerned about understanding the product, click through rates and open rates. They need to care about and understand the customer and the audience to whom they sell. Who is buying the product? This knowledge allows marketers to model look-alike audiences to attract more people like their actual buyers.Next, personalize outreach to speak to the audience’s specific needs. Use customer journey analytics to understand where to focus efforts that matter to the customer and to the business.
  2. Data-driven
    One reason all marketers are digital marketers is the need to influence the behavior of shoppers through the use of data. To deliver marketing results, marketers turn to event- and data-based triggers such as contract expiration to send tailored messaging. Use a hierarchical measurement approach to understand data dependencies to avoid reporting impressions and calling it data-driven.The point of data-driven marketing is to use data to show business impact. One key activity to build a data-driven infrastructure is to get access to the needed systems. After all, how can you be data driven if you don’t have access to the data systems? One way to get access to systems and be an effective digital commerce marketer is to collaborate.
  3. Collaborative
     Collaboration can be both internal and external. Marketers collaborate internally through activities such as aligning marketing to the sales process. This involves speaking in the language of business-outcomes since that is marketing’s new mandate.Marketers also align externally through partnership activities. Kraft foods worked with Peapod to allow home cooks to easily order recipe ingredient online directly from the recipe page.
  4. Business-oriented
    When moving from the metrics of activity to the metrics of outcomes, it’s important to set business goals. It’s no longer enough to measure through vanity metrics, commented Ms. Polk. Impression and traffic numbers sound big and bold but don’t actually link to the success of the business. Have a clear line of sight to what the business is trying to achieve and work with your team to connect your activities to those goals.
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