IRT: Digital marketing is an endlessly evolving discipline for retailers. Please list and explain best practices in digital marketing.
Salerno: The very first thing for retailers to understand about digital marketing is that a plan that may have worked beautifully for a competitor may not work at all for them. That’s one of the biggest challenges and why so many retailers are experiencing results from digital marketing campaigns that fall short of what could be achieved. Digital marketing isn’t different from any other type of marketing in that the best results are achieved from solid foundations — and the only way to build a truly rock solid foundation is to completely understand both your customers and the products that you sell.
There are no shortcuts for that; you have to start there. Of course, very few retailers completely understand their customers. Or, they once did, but customer tastes have changed over time. That is to be expected, and one of the beautiful things about digital marketing is that it is nimble enough to respond quickly to those failures. Changes can be made in real time as opposed to having to design a new billboard or script, shoot, and edit a new TV commercial. Course corrections always yield casualties of some sort, so it’s best to begin with a set of proven knowledge and reasonable assumptions.