P2PI Future Forward 2023 Recap: 3 Ways to Future-Proof your Brand
Held in New Orleans, P2PI’s 2023 Future Forward went off without a hitch. Participants included industry-leading experts, strategists, and marketers behind some of the largest brands, retailers, and solution providers in the shopper space. With over 50 speakers taking the stage, topics varied from shopper-behavior and retail media networks, to environmental sustainability and the adoption of artificial intelligence. No matter the focus, there was enough growth-inspiring content to engage all who attended.
Missed the show? Worry not. We’ve compiled some of the hottest topics and strategies discussed at the event, whittling them down to three key takeaways that you can use to future-proof your brand.
Remove the gap between digital and physical
While we know that digital marketing is a continuously evolving and growing industry (especially in the CPG space), in-store shopping will not be defunct anytime soon. During their Future Forward presentation, Julia Miller (The Mars Agency) and Brad Godwin (Shopkick) noted that 82% of sales still come from physical retail locations. Simultaneously, digital activity is quickly increasing among younger generations. Amie Owen (Universal McCann) states in her presentation: “47% of people say they find out about new brands/products via social – and looked to purchase within that platform,” adding that the average time spent on social content is currently up to 2:26 hours daily.
While they may seem like different worlds, brands, agencies, and retailers are coming up with innovative ways to bridge the gap between digital and physical shopping. This starts by first analyzing how shoppers are using your technology. For example, in the keynote titled “Examining The In-Store Shopping Experience,” Dan Sabanosh (Great Northern Instore) and Patrycja Malinowska (Path to Purchase Institute) explain that while 39% of Gen-Z and Millennials prefer shopping online, the majority of these online shoppers are still picking up their online orders in-store or curbside, rather than relying on delivery. Shopping behaviors are now more complex than ever, blending together the digital and physical paths to purchase. The solution isn’t to strengthen your digital presence and physical activations separately, but rather to explore methods of seamlessly integrating them with each other. For example, AdAdapted’s one-click shoppable media solutions allow customers to seamlessly add products to their shopping list while in-store, or into their eComm carts while shopping online. By removing interstitial screens, we minimize the drop off that occurs with each additional step in the shopping journey, creating a frictionless blend of the digital and in-store shopping experience.
New solutions and technologies offer exciting opportunities to enhance shopping experiences, bridging the gap between consumers’ digital and physical lifestyles. However, while these advancements may streamline the path to purchase, brands must not negate the significance of building personal connections with their customers.
Know your buyer
There are many ways to better understand and connect with your customers. One is to keep up to date with market trends; video ads are rapidly gaining popularity, and shoppable video is an increasingly important part of reaching younger generations. Delving deeper, Risa Crandall (Aki Technologies) and Megan Richardson (PepsiCo Digital Labs) go beyond adjusting spend on different platforms, explaining how they personalize their advertisements for their shoppers on a much more granular level. According to their presentation, “71% of consumers expect personalization,” and “78% of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases from companies that personalize.” PepsiCo and AKI achieve this personalization by adapting their ads based on multiple variables, ranging from audience segmentation to tactics as scrupulous as the time of day. While this level of personalization may seem daunting, the results vindicate the effort: “97% of marketers witnessed a rise in business outcomes as a result of personalization,” according to Crandall and Richardson’s presentation.
Another method of understanding your buyer is through identifying and targeting based on their unique shopping behaviors; this is done best through the utilization of 1st-party data. Unfortunately, many brands struggle with limitations on the data they have at their disposal: this is when relying on partnerships can prove to be essential. For example, AdAdapted’s targeting is based on intent, using exclusive pre-shop data from our app partners. Operating mid-funnel, we reach consumers we know are actively in-market for your product category, taking personalization to a uniquely effective level.
Fad? Or the Future?
As mentioned time and time again, the digital marketing landscape is rapidly changing, leaving brands in an uphill battle to keep up. In fact, in their keynote about shopping behaviors, Brendan Light and Brad Christian (Ipsos) state “Customers are changing faster than businesses, according to 95% of C-Suite execs interviewed (Accenture Research).” Staying ahead of the curve may mean embracing emerging trends, rather than treating them as passing fads. Be it TikTok, or even the Metaverse, several discussions at Future Forward revolved around the potential that emerging technologies have for shaping the future of shopper engagement.
A popular topic at the event was artificial intelligence (AI), which has already made significant waves in the marketing space. Graham Hogg, Co-Founder & CEO of see6, shared how AI-powered sales-enablement, personalized recommendations, and virtual assistants are only a few examples of how brands can leverage AI to reduce burnout and enhance consumer experiences. Additionally, Hogg shares how AI helps brands gain valuable insights into shopper behavior, optimize marketing campaigns, and deliver hyper-personalized experiences, all the while reducing strain on marketers.
Staying at the forefront of innovation will help brands connect with customers in increasingly meaningful ways. Solutions once considered ‘boutique’ may now be on their way to becoming industry standards. Keep an eye on emerging trends and embrace new technologies; staying connected with your audience means staying current.
Future Forward highlighted how in this dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, it’s crucial for brands to constantly adapt and embrace change. Customer expectations are not what they were 10, or even 5, years ago; the ambiguity of the modern shopper’s journey requires brands to seamlessly integrate all of their marketing efforts into one cohesive strategy. By focusing on bridging the gap between digital and physical shopping, understanding shoppers on a deeper level, and embracing emerging trends, brands can rest easy knowing that they’re prepared to keep ahead of the curve, no matter what the future holds.
The times they are a-changin’ — are you changing with them? Connect with us today to learn how AdAdapted will help future-proof your brand!