IN TEN YEARS OR SO, when retailers, CPG manufacturers and pharmaceutical com- panies look back on the ways their digital marketing strategies have matured, the industry representatives on the NACDS
Retail Advisory Board will have played a significant role in that advancement.
It is not that the Board’s work will have told
companies how to run their businesses—that
would be a mistake. Rather, the Board’s leadership will have helped NACDS fulfill its vision
to operate as a member-driven, knowledge-based trade association that presents insights
with the power to help a company do what it
does best: serve consumers through innovations that reflect its own
culture and brand.
The Retail Advisory
Board is a forward-thinking group of
NACDS associate and
chain member company representatives
that advises the NACDS
Board of Directors on
For the second consecutive year, the Outreach and Business Development Working
Group of the NACDS Retail Advisory Board
has partnered with A.T. Kearney on a Winning with Digital Marketing Study.
The study included surveys and inter-
views with retailer and manufacturer ex-
ecutives. It evaluated five aspects of digital
marketing within the companies: maturity
of the discipline, strategy, organization/ca-
pabilities, processes and metrics. The report
on the study was just released in December
during NACDS Week in New York.
The following are among the key findings:
¢For retailers in particular, when comparing goals for digital initiatives with those
identified last year, there does appear to be
a shift to more strategic objectives, including tailored pricing and brand awareness.
¢The top five digital marketing goals
are: sales increase; traffic increase for store
or e-commerce site; more insightful customer information; facilitating customers to
share ideas about the brand; and engaging
and relevant customer interactions.
¢Seventy-three percent of retailers say
they are using Facebook and mobile apps
for marketing purposes, compared with
only 48 percent of CPG manufacturers that
use Facebook and 31 percent that use mobile apps. Among vehicles that have been
adopted, respondents say company websites and Facebook are most effective.
¢ The report also reflected on compa-
nies’ strategies for performing the digital
marketing function. “Recruiting digital
marketing talent into traditional corporate
environments can be difficult, with many of
these individuals preferring smaller, more
entrepreneurial environments,” the report
says. “Nevertheless, there is a risk of creating
a downward spiral: If companies continue
to outsource the management and execu-
tion of their digital marketing, then they will
never develop the capabilities they need to
excel. And as digital marketing becomes more
important, companies with an in-house digi-
tal capability may be in the best position to es-
tablish relationships with customers, promote
their brands and ultimately drive sales.”
I want to commend the NACDS Retail Advi-
sory Board for its work on this project, as well
as for its work on a host of eye-opening initia-
tives that help to turn information into knowl-
edge for the benefit of NACDS members.
In listening to the presentation of the report
during our New York meetings in December, I
also was struck by the ways in which the report’s findings were further illuminated and
complemented by separate presentations on
independent, yet related, topics.
For example, during a presentation and
discussion with representatives of Univision,
participants discussed the need to tailor digital communications platforms uniquely—in
strategy, content and design, beyond just
translating the words—to match the expectations of multicultural audiences.
Also, WSL Strategic Retail described the
importance of creating a “seamless, standardized, secure” digital environment that
integrates with other aspects of what shopping means to consumers, including: fostering happiness, helping individuals reimag-ine themselves in the store, enjoying a store
that is capable of satisfying different aspects
of a consumer’s personality and style, and
engaging in a simultaneously tangible and
Sometimes creativity can be found in the
connections between concepts. It seems to
me, that was the case at the NACDS meetings in New York. S
Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE
is president and CEO, National
Association of Chain Drug Stores.
He can be reached at nacds@
CREATING DIGITAL MARKETING MATURITY
NACDS Retail Advisory Board has partnered with A. T. Kearney on the second Winning with Digital Marketing Study.
By Steven C. Anderson