THE MARKETER QUARTERLY
SPRING 2017 20 | MQ
MARKETING EXECUTIVE Dee McLaughlin has been in the business for decades. The marketing consultant
most recently served as Head of Global Marketing at Forever 21, and has also done time
at Viacom and Virgin Entertainment Group.
MQ caught up with McLaughlin to discuss the
trends that she sees on the horizon for retailers
MQ: What marketing trends do you expect to
see among retailers this year?
DM: I expect to see a focus on personalization,
mobilization and data-driven marketing which
will be used to acquire and retain customers,
build brand awareness, and drive sales.
MQ: What is driving these trends?
DM: Smart shoppers who expect engaging experiences online and offline are driving these
trends. As personalization is the new strategic
differentiator, we need to really understand
whom our customer is and how they want to be
communicated to, which is a constantly shifting
target if your customers are millennials.
MQ: What channels are most important in
reaching millennials in 2017?
DM: Millennials are a large and extremely diverse generation and are native researchers
when it comes to shopping. Brands are well
served by working in social media communities
and with trusted influencers, and remembering
it’s a dialogue not a monologue. Don’t forget
easy content sharing and incorporating experiences into your marketing process, and that mobile is everything.
MQ: What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for retailers this year?
DM: One of the biggest challenges for retailers
is customer acquisition and retention. The battle
for wallet share is not a new problem but with
higher costs, more fickle customers and smaller
budgets, marketers have to become increasingly
focused on loyalty programs, content marketing and PR to influence purchase decisions. An
opportunity is in branding which needs to be
strong and consistent across all touch points,
creating customer experiences offline and online, and improving customer service which is
the activator of differentiation.
CHATBOTS & VR
BY DIANNA DILWORTH