Erin Geoghegan is Sr. Director Marketing, Americas for Criteo and founder of M2M – a networking group for women in B2B Marketing. We recently had a chance to speak with Erin about the state of digital marketing for eCommerce portals, as well as for brick-and-mortar retailers and travel websites.
Tell us a little about your background. What drew you to Criteo?
I’ve always worked for B2B tech companies in the eCommerce space, from marketing to marketers. I love the fast pace and the incredible innovation that is core to this industry.
There were two main things that drew me to now Criteo: the product and the people. Criteo Sponsored Products benefit all parties – the brand advertiser, the retailer, and the shopper. You don’t see many solutions out there that don’t impede at least one of the three to benefit the others; and unfortunately, it’s usually the shopper that suffers the most. Also, Criteo has the ability to provide real attribution and proof that Sponsored Products result in sales lifts for brand advertisers. As a marketer, I know the value of that kind of data firsthand, and it’s that’s powerful stuff.
What are some of the techniques and tactics that companies are beginning to employ in order to ensure that the potential customers to whom they are marketing are “hot leads” or “high-intent” shoppers?
There are lots of different approaches to this; but when it comes to eCommerce, a CPC ad model will help ensure that you’re only paying when a shopper clicks on your product. This is a clear sign of intent and a very efficient way to spend marketing dollars.
What are some of the major difference between marketing campaigns for brick-and-mortar retailers and similar campaigns for eCommerce sites?
The lines are increasingly blurring over time as marketers take more of a “follow the shopper” approach to campaigns. Either way, with eCommerce there is more access to real-time data and insights. Campaigns can be tougher to measure in the brick-and-mortar world, but with trends like loyalty programs which allow retailers to better collect and analyze customer data, it’s a lot better than it used to be.
Since almost everyone is doing SEO and trying to improve their Google page rankings, which companies are the ones that actually end up on top?
From a shopping perspective, it’s typically the big mass merchant retailers rather than the brands. The best way to explain it is that search engines like Google are used when shoppers decide “where to buy” or what site or store; and eCommerce sites are where they decide “what to buy” or which specific product or brand.
What are some of the unique challenges involved in marketing hotels and other lodgings providers to travelers?
We are seeing an increasingly competitive environment where it’s becoming more difficult than ever to stand out; and to do so is getting ever more costly and complicated. Also, travel shoppers are some of the savviest around and they are very aware that marketers are constantly competing for their dollars. The key is to remain nimble and allow yourself the flexibility to shift funds and resources as fast as shoppers move sites and devices. Performance marketing is key to success at this stage in the game.
What types of strategies can eCommerce companies use to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts or unfulfilled orders?
I hear a lot about making checkout faster and easier, and I think this is getting solved very quickly. Many sites now offer the ability to confirm, order, and pay with just one click. When it comes to the most successful strategies to combating unfulfilled orders, retargeting is at the very top of my list.
Other than sales or revenue, what are the metrics you look at to determine if a marketing campaign is working?
The KPIs you look at really depend on what your goals are. If it’s branding or brand awareness, impressions hold importance. There are also different “conversion” metrics to consider; for example, a shopper signing up to be part of a loyalty program would be considered a successful conversion if the goal were to increase membership. Ideally, each campaign or program has specific goals and objectives with predetermined KPIs that define success; and while more sales is the ultimate end goal, often times many other quantitative measures come into play.
With eCommerce continuing to grow worldwide, what do you foresee for the future of eCommerce marketing?
To say “the future is bright” would be an understatement. On the marketing front, measurement across all customer touchpoints – including devices and offline – will become a reality. Once this level of tracking becomes more sophisticated, it will unlock even more value for eCommerce retailers by providing further detailed insights into how the same people respond to their products and promotions across platforms.
Looking for ideas on how to tweak your digital marketing to boost revenues? Read our case study: Optimized Shopping Feed Steps Up Equine Supplier’s Sales