Magnetic’s Data Magnified Roadshow continued last week at the Standard High Line in New York City. Agency and brand marketers joined together for beautiful views of the Hudson, delicious food, strong cocktails, and engaging conversations with industry experts.
The panel focused on a few of the industry’s trending topics, including the changing role of the advertising agency, the outcome of changes on capitol hill, and the need for reform when it comes to ad fraud and viewability. However, the theme with the most buzz was how digital is turning the retail world upside down.
Audrey Yu, VP of Global Digital Marketing and eCommerce at John Hardy, had quite a bit to share about the changing role of retail and how the luxury jewelry brand is dealing with and embracing the change. Yu explains, “We have been going through a revamp and transitional stage the last two years. I think everyone here understands the changes that have been happening in the retail space – a lot of firings and doors closing. It is really tough out there.” She goes on to explain that a majority of John Hardy’s business has been through wholesale, working with retailers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as independent jewelers here and around the world. However, that is starting to change as brands aim to break through the noise of the wholesaler.
Many brands have been making an effort to build a direct to consumer relationship. Although retail stores are closing at a rapid rate, especially in malls, retail stores with less square footage are starting to pop up. John Hardy has opened two new boutiques in the last 12 months, with plans to open several more in the next 18 months. Audrey says, “We actually built a much stronger relationship with our customers that step into the physical space because we are able to tell our brand story much better.” She goes on to explain that the traditional thinking of doing your research online and then going into the store to purchase has flipped – consumers now come in to experience the brand, then go home to continue their research and eventually (hopefully) make a purchase.
Kevin Nemeth, VP of Digital Marketing at TD Bank, also chimed in on how digital is shaking things up. While Audrey made note that age doesn’t affect John Hardy’s digital marketing approach, Kevin added that this is a huge initiative for him and his team. “Millennials want everything instantly – they want instant gratification, they want everything to be seamless and easy. For a brand like us, which is predicated on customer experience and human interaction, we have to figure out how to bring that to the digital space. We’re a bank! It’s not an easy mix right now.” Kevin goes on to explain that millennials want to do everything digitally, such as opening a checking account and paying bills. However, for mortgage and home equity, customers still want to visit a TD Bank location, sit down with someone, and have a conversation. Kevin also mentioned banks in other countries are adapting VR technologies, so customers can feel like they are sitting down with someone and having important conversations. Although that is what the future of banking is looking like, he adds that we are still about 10 years away.
Kevin admits that TD Bank just started focusing on digital 2.5 years ago, and there is still a lot to learn. He mentioned that the direct mail budget doubles his digital budget, which drives him crazy. He says the more efficient we can get with serving ads to the right people at the right time, the stronger case we have to switch those dollars to digital.
It seems as though everyone has been affected by the the shift to digital, not just in retail. For more information on the digital shakeup and other topics from the panel, check out the video below:
For further details regarding our city line-up, agenda, speakers, and RSVP requests, check out our site: www.datamagnified.com
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