TracyLocke unveils new omni-channel practices

The services are meant to help brands harmonize in-store and digital offerings and deliver more personalized experiences.
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About a year ago, TracyLocke Canada began examining the trends shaping the shopper marketing and media landscapes and noticed many untapped opportunities, according Jason Dubroy, the agency’s VP and managing director (pictured, left). He says those opportunities lie in developing services to help harmonize brands’ bricks-and-mortar, online and mobile offerings.

To that end, it recently announced three new omni-channel practices that it hopes will help brands deliver more personalized and relevant retail experiences.

A service that it’s calling the E-commerce Insight Centre of Excellence will strive to drive conversion through online channels. The practice was developed to help brands maximize purchase intent on individual platforms, such as Amazon, Walmart.ca and Loblaws.ca.

Dubroy says the offering reflects the reality that e-commerce channels are no longer just online marketplaces, but also content hubs. Amazon, for instance, is “second only to Google” in terms of where people go to find and learn about products, he says. As such, platform-specific strategies will be key in the future, he says, since “what will work on Amazon won’t necessarily work on eBay or on Shop.ca.”

In addition, the agency is helping marketers create their own hubs and media platforms to assist with CRM and develop data and analytics opportunities.

TracyLocke has also launched a Retail Technology Lab, intended to “speak to different consumers and provide value and utility at shelf,” according to Jesse Gilbert, the agency’s director of strategy and innovation (pictured, right). He says the approach will help identify a person’s “demographic sentiment at store level,” allowing brands to begin serving up content in store similar to the way they do online.

Then there’s what Gilbert refers to as the “glue” connecting the other two services: TracyLocke’s Shopper Science and Analytics practice, offered in partnership with TrackDDB, the data-driven CRM arm of DDB Canada.

The science and analytics component stems from the idea that context can be just as powerful as creative. Increasingly, Gilbert says, brands are needing to do account-specific communications, building their messages around a brand target first, then customizing that message to reach the target at a particular retailer. The reason is that all things considered equal – including the shopper’s demographic and the product on offer – a shopper at Loblaw’s will exhibit different consumer behaviours than one at Walmart.

With that in mind, he says that in addition to reaching their brand target, advertisers need to tailor their messages to a retail-specific channel in order to be successful. Mass targeting may help advertisers maximize reach, but it doesn’t guarantee high relevancy, Gilbert says. The agency’s Shopper Science and Analytics is about “bridging that gap and trying to deliver both.”