On Thursday John Lewis reported strong Christmas results, like for like sales up 6.9% vs. the previous year. Whilst on-line sales were up a huge 23%, I was interested to see that Andy Street, the Managing Director told the BBC that it was the combination of their online and offline strategies “hand in glove” together with getting the pricing right that was the key to their success. He declared himself happy wherever the sales come, because customers want to use the two channels together.
He cited examples of customers who use both channels (sometimes repeatedly) to help them decide what to buy before making the purchase online or in store, or in some cases using the ‘click & collect’ service to buy online and then collect from the store.
It’s an approach that makes perfect sense to me – as customers we are influenced by and use a variety of channels and media in our purchasing process. When we are trying to win or keep customers, excluding any channels or media denies us an opportunity to influence our potential customers.
Of course, it’s easy to ‘spread the jam too thin’ – trying to take advantage of every opportunity to reach our prospects could be unaffordable or dilute our impact to the point of invisibility. However, an ‘all the eggs in one basket’ approach must represent missed opportunities.
A key part of any marketing strategy (and the activity plan that results) should be to continuously review and refine the mix of channels, media and activities to improve overall return on marketing investment. Oh, and of course, the job is never finished because everything changes – customer behaviour, competitor actions and the universe of marketing opportunities offered to us.
Why not talk to us about joined-up marketing opportunties