While my day job is not managing my company’s ecommerce operations, as a consumer I am hooked. And as a marketer, I am massively interested – so much so that I recently invested some of my own time and money in an early stage ecommerce venture in order to learn more about it.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle marketers face is that we are often viewed as a creative services supplier rather than a driver of business. We are considered to be lacking in commercial nous and considered generally hopeless when it comes to measuring the impact of what we do.
Much of this is self inflicted by many in our industry who help reinforce the stereotype, but much of the problem can also be attributed to the fact that it is genuinely incredibly difficult to measure much of what we believe in.
But there is a remedy out there: I advise any frustrated FMCG marketer to consider a career in ecommerce. Rarely has life been so measurable and, better still, you get to deal direct with the end consumer, rather than having to manage via ’the trade’.
Yes that’s right, no more dealings with buyers and no more frustrating exchanges with sales teams who are born to shift boxes but have little regard for brand equity.
“No more dealing with buyers and nomorefrustrating exchanges with sales teams who are born to shift boxes”
Finally, you get to be sales director as well as brand manager. You decide how everything looks, what prices you charge and only have yourself to blame if you run too many discount promotions. It is the ultimate test of your skills and if you succeed, you are responsible for a successful business, not just a nice little marketing campaign.
It is an equally exciting time for frustrated retailers, who no longer have to be at the beck and call of their property landlord – although it could be argued that Google is doing a pretty good job of collecting the next generation of rent money.
Most changes I’ve seen in my marketing lifetime relate to the way in which we can spend our budget, whereas ecommerce is structurally changing the way in which consumers buy what we sell. Any marketer seriously interested in business should surely be surfing (and selling) online.