To say it has been an eventful year would be an understatement. Now at the helm of Epsilon’s agency business, I am at the center of the hyperbole that is the ad industry’s so-called “identity crisis.” Sure the fight for consumer’s attention has intensified, resulting in noticeable shifts like Dentsu’s acquisition of Merkle. And yes, it has resulted in headlines like “Epsilon Wins Del Monte, May Be Coming for Your Clients.” But what is really at the center of these changes and dramatic headlines?
The in-store experience is still crucial to retailers’ profits, despite how much we hear about brick and mortar going away. 85% of consumers still prefer to shop in stores as many consumers look for the tangible in-store retail experience. The presence of a knowledgeable sales associate has the ability to improve customer experience and increase in-store purchases. However, today’s consumers also value convenience and instant gratifiaction. They want to be able to enter a store and feel as though they are taken care of, by way of both human and digital interaction. Realizing this evolving consumer behavior, many retailers are answering this need by employing a series of digital technologies that enable them to control and measure their customers’ experiences in store. Rather than competing, the digital and the physical channels are integrating to yield convenience, satisfaction and an overall positive consumer perception for the brands doing it right.
I’m not sure if you noticed but it’s an election year. But you probably have as political ad spending is estimated to reach $6 billion during the 2016 election. That’s a lot of dollars being spent to capture my vote.