Marketing Week roundtable insights: advice for finance, home and garden, and fashion brands

Drew Bish, UK Head of Marketing at eBay Ads, discusses what brands can learn from the trends that emerged in the pandemic

At the end of 2021 we at eBay Ads partnered with Marketing Week to sponsor a series of roundtables, bringing together marketers from many sectors to discuss a wide range of topics including the major trends that have emerged over the course of the pandemic, current category challenges, and predictions for 2022 and beyond.

Following on from our first blog post which looked across sectors at the rise of direct-to-consumer sales and the need for marketers to be flexible in their strategies, here we will take a more detailed look at some of the panels’ most valuable advice for marketers within the finance, home and garden and fashion categories.

Finance brands should harness the wealth of customer data they are sitting on

When speaking with financial brands during the second roundtable in the series, a key topic of discussion was the need for financial brands to make better use of the customer data they collect, in order to have a clearer picture of who their customers actually are, and how best to engage with them – particularly as the industry becomes more digitised.

I previously worked in financial services, and talked about how many brands talk a good game about being customer-centric, but this can get challenging when internal pressures for financial return kick in.

My top tip for marketers at financial brands is to have the confidence to fight for the resources required to help the business become truly customer-focused, despite any commercial pressure internally. Brands should use their data to work out where both pain and pleasure points are for their customers and make evidence-based changes that truly add value to the user experience.

customer service finance advisor

It’s time for the home and garden sector to get comfortable online

As we know, one of the main after-effects of the Coronavirus pandemic is that more people than ever now choose to shop predominantly online. And, with this very much front of mind, one of the key takeaways from  the home and garden sector roundtable was the need for retailers in this space to ensure they provide a strong online customer service experience, and market their products effectively via their online channels.

Older customers – many of whom transitioned to shopping online for the first time due to the pandemic – should be a particular focus. The marketers on the panel agreed that prioritising a positive online shopping journey and service for customers that still don’t find online shopping second nature is critical to success as we look forward to 2022 and beyond – particularly as their physical presence on the high street continues to be eroded

And looking at online product marketing, one panellist commented that a technique that can work well here is using blogging and social media posts to showcase happy customers using the products being advertised. He said that brands should not underestimate the power of seeing someone else using and approving a product when it comes to influencing other customers.

The need for brand values to match up in the fashion industry

‘Conscious consumerism’ is undeniably on the rise, and a topic that was explored at length during the roundtable focusing on the fashion industry. One panellist said that when consumers buy a product, they are also buying a fashion label’s ethical stance and values. They commented ‘when it comes to fashion and you’re walking around with a logo, it’s what it stands for in society’.

As consumers look to be more sustainable in their clothes shopping habits, another marketer commented that it will be the brands and retailers that make sustainability an easy choice – either through price, accessibility or values – that may well take the lead. However, the challenge here is to get the balance right between their actions, their words and their values – with one panellist pointing out that if a brand promotes sustainability while also putting out a new collection each month, they’re not currently succeeding. 

Our fashion industry panellists agreed that in today’s landscape, there is much more to consumer-brand relationships than simply a product or a transaction. Customers are leading the conversation and to succeed, brands and retailers must listen and act in response to consumers’ wants and needs.

woman trying on clothes

Although the retail landscape in 2022 is still uncertain, it has been clear from our various roundtables with marketers across industries that things are looking positive. But there’s no time for complacency – and it will be marketers that are ready to react to changes and take on board new ideas and learnings, that will be putting themselves in good stead for a successful year ahead.

To access the full series of roundtables on the Marketing Week website please click here – and stay tuned for further tips and insights from the team throughout Q1! If you want to find out more on how to make the most of 2022 on please email [email protected] 

Select Language