Dixons plans ‘dramatic shift’ in marketing

Dixons is to change the way it approaches marketing by talking to customers much earlier in the purchasing process and shifting spend into digital as it seeks to build on strong growth over Christmas.

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Dixons plans to shift its marketing strategy this year to support multi-channel and ecommerce growth.

Speaking on a conference call today (16 January), shortly after reporting like-for-like sales over the Christmas period rose 5 per cent in the UK and Ireland, Dixons CEO Sebastian James said the retailer is planning a “dramatic shift” to move away from its “conventional” approach in the UK.

James told Marketing Week: “Traditionally we are talking to customers quite late in the decision process but we discovered that people start thinking about these big considered purchases up to 9 months ahead of time. We need to build a longitudinal relationship with customers and talk to them much earlier on. There will be quite a lot of change in the way we approach marketing.”

Dixons has already taken steps to shake up its marketing. It has appointed a new agency in AMV BBDO and hired Telefonica Digital’s CMO Gary Booker for the newly created role of UK and Ireland chief marketing officer.

James said Dixons is not planning to invest more money in marketing but is shifting channels in order to best reach consumers that are increasingly using both its stores and online to make purchases.

“We are investing much more in digital and comparatively less in traditional channels,” he added.

Dixons is also planning to shift its marketing message in order to get across its strengths in service and price.

“Customers now are much more discerning and pricing is much more transparent. We need to get as many customers as possible to give us a try. When they shop with us they like us and realise we are competitive with any player. These are message we need to put across,” he added.

James said Dixons will be launching an app in the spring that encourages customers to scan products in store. It will then show its prices against those of its competitors, including online rivals such as Amazon.

“We are very confident we are going to be competitive,” he said.

Dixons is also planning updates to its multi-channel service, including improvements to the reserve and collect process and its website, which it wants to make “exciting” by offering rich deep content.

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