A Mother Knows… About Retail Marketing
M means check for Markdowns, that she taught me
O is for the time she shopped Online
T is for her brand Tweets which distraught me
H is for her Hashtags; not so fine
E is for the Endcaps that entice her
R is for the Rebates that she earned
Put them all together, they spell Mother
From her, all my retail knowledge learned
That, of course, is the classic Mother’s Day tune, Mother, a heartfelt ode written in 1916 by Henry Burr to celebrate the influence moms have in driving their kids into retail marketing careers.
Yes, it is. It totally is. I’m pretty positive.
We all know Mom is full of good advice. And clearly we love and appreciate her for it. Why else would we be spending $21.2 billion on Mother’s Day gifts? (That’s the highest amount in the 12-year history of the NRF’s Mother’s Day Spending Survey.)
I don’t know how, but Mom intuitively understood the future of retail marketing and the importance of the shopper experience. She was ahead of her time. I believe without a doubt that everything I know about retail marketing I learned from my mother. In her honor and (in honor of the U.S.’s third-largest retail holiday), I give you ten of Mom’s prophetic, thought-provoking nuggets of retail wisdom:
Mom said, “Don’t speak with your mouth full.”
In a testament to the importance of communicating clearly with shoppers, mom understood that it is critical to give them the specific information they need, when they need it. Efficient message delivery is a cornerstone of successful retail marketing.
Mom asked, “If everyone in the neighborhood jumped off a bridge, would you?”
What are all the other shopper marketers doing? Maybe you should do the opposite. Leaders question the norm. They create the movement. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” is never the right answer.
Mom said, “Listen to me when I talk to you.”
Shoppers want to engage in a dialogue with the retail brands they love. They don’t want to be talked at, and they want to feel sure that they are being heard when they voice an opinion or share a suggestion.
Mom asked, “Do you want me to turn this car around?”
Mobile marketing. Pop-up experiences. Merchandise trucks. It’s all about retail on the move, and nobody wants to be left behind.
Mom said, “Don’t lie to me; your nose will grow.”
Shoppers demand transparency. Retail marketers win trust when communications are honest, straightforward and timely. Try to “spin” the story and that fragile trust can be broken.
Mom said, “Run inside and grab me a Tab.”
A super-hot trend in retailing? Delivery. Mom knew all along that having something brought directly to you was far superior than going to get it yourself.
Mom said, ‘You have to give valentines to everyone in the class.”
A shopper cannot feel as if she is missing out on something, especially if she thinks someone else is getting it. That’s FOMO done wrong. The retail marketer’s challenge is to make everyone feel involved and engaged – and important.
Mom said, “Do that little dance for Grandma.”
Retail marketers must be showmen. Shoppers seek entertainment; great retail theater delivers that.
Mom said, “Don’t spit it out; you have to try new things.”
As the art and science of retail marketing hurtles forward, practitioners must evolve and adapt and be brave. As the game changes, smart marketers change with it, embracing new technologies, forging new paths and daring to do things no one else ever has.
Don’t be silly; it’s beautiful because you made it for me.
Everyone wants to feel special. That’s why personalization is an important strategy for smart retail marketers. And while getting personal is easy using loyalty programs and concierge services, it is mandatory that the in-store experience deliver “just for you” satisfaction as well.
Happy Mother’s Day to the unexpected marketing expert in your life.