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16/03/2017  |  BY EMMA GOBLE


What are the core business challenges you’re facing in 2017? Are personalisation, conversational commerce and video marketing part of your strategy?

Last night we hosted a round table discussion at the Riding House Cafe. SMACK was joined by senior digital marketers from brands such as ASOS Marketplace, River Island, Clarins, JML and K-Swiss to discuss the digital retail trends affecting them and their customers in 2017. 


- Increased spend on video marketing
From live streaming exclusive, exciting events to fashion panels and featuring how-to videos on product pages, everybody in the room had plans to incorporate more video in their marketing budgets this year. Although there were claims of successes with phenomenal views and engagement rates, everyone was also feeling the pressure of satisfying the demand for video content - Read SMACK’s top 10 tips to succeed in video marketing here.

- Email marketing renaissance
“Email marketing is alive and kicking!” said Lauren Rodgers of ASOS Marketplace.  There was a consensus that everyone would be spending more on targeted and personalised email strategies. Debenhams’ Rosie Price-Smith talked in detail of Debenhams’ success in this area.

- Is the influencer dead?
“Not at all” claimed Francesca York of River Island, the brand has had success and plans to continue to invest in influencer engagement this year. Whilst everyone in the room agreed that it’s an expensive initiative and feeling over saturated most have had major successes when partnering with the right influencer. 

- The threats
We asked our guests to share their brand’s challenges to achieving their marketing aims in 2017: Thinly spread budgets, working in silos (for the larger marketing teams), Brexit and the devalued British pound, Amazon, attribution, resource and the constant request to prove the ROI were all cited.

- Personalisation
Taniya De Abrew and Chiara De Lio of The Body Shop talked of the success of their skincare consultation diagnostic designed and built by SMACK which they rolled out globally: “It gives the user a personalised skincare routine and delivers a high value average basket” Most of our round table guests said personalised experiences benefit the user and are seeking new technology to help them get a better understanding of big data.

- Second Life
Pinterest is not dead. Many retailers find that the channel is a very useful traffic driver as it helps facilitate the shopping journey. Meanwhile, Twitter did not seem to be high on anyone's agenda for this year.