By Koketso Mamabolo
“Small businesses have to understand what they wish to achieve before they even venture in this space,” says Roshana Burnett on new entrants into the e-commerce sector. Having worked for various global brands, the marketing professional has amassed a wealth of expertise on digital marketing and e-commerce.
“Find out what the market opportunity is for your business,” advises the Senior Integrated Campaigns Manager at Builders.
Raised by a single mother on the Cape Flats, Roshana attended CPUT before moving to Johannesburg in 2004 where she began rising through the ranks. She started off her career in the B2B sector but has since moved over to consumer retail marketing.
“In my view, a good leader has the courage to have difficult conversations and remains fully aware of how internal and external factors affect the trajectory of the business.”
Here we get her views on the local e-commerce sector, what businesses should be aware of when entering into the space and how to approach content marketing.
What’s your take on the local e-commerce sector?
We have a mix of pure players and omnichannel retailers. The last two years has seen an enormous influx of new entrants into the market due to COVID forcing digital adoption. The customer adoption has also increased due to the same reasons. This represents a lot of new opportunities; but also a lot of distractions and dilution in quality e-commerce offerings.
Social commerce has the chance to really drive certain retail segments; however this is very segment-specific. If I were to advise medium to large businesses venturing into e-commerce I have a few words to the wise.
- Start with the end in mind.
- Be prepared to invest heavily with the right platform partners who have good support and have a full stack off-the-shelf capability to enable your fully envisioned journey.
- Have a complete phased approach and match your resources and training to line this up.
- Do not underestimate last mile delivery and the complete customer experience journey.
What advice would you give to a small business looking to get involved in the e-commerce space?
Small businesses have to understand what they wish to achieve before they even venture in this space. Why are you wanting to do this?
Find out what the market opportunity is for your business.Have a look at who is doing it well…and who is not. Replicate the good, avoid the scenarios that create bad.
Start small and deliver a superior, personalised experience. The personal touch is hard for big business to replicate.
There are no shortcuts, understand technology that you choose and how far it can take you before you need a development platform partner.
Marketing matters! Talk to the market, pick your niche and go where they are.
What is integrated marketing and how can marketing professionals use it to grow their business?
Integrated marketing is the practice of using market communication channels and tactics (one-way and two-way) to deliver brand or campaign messaging to your target segments. These elements are required to be coherent, cohesive and connected.
What platforms are you using for your marketing campaigns?
I strive to use channels that are relevant to our target segments and can optimally support the objectives we set for ourselves. We are an omnichannel market communicator and we use all channels available to us in a different mix based on our objectives. It should be noted that we are very invested in digital channels.
What are the major challenges you’ve faced with integrated marketing and how have you overcome them?
In most businesses there are legacy initiatives that make very important stakeholders feel “safe” despite the fact that they don’t drive customer’s behaviour at all. Gaining the trust and helping stakeholders to let go of those dated perceptions is tough; even when reams of data supports a different approach. This is not a challenge that ever goes away; my approach is to engage on shared objectives regularly and to share results of initiatives that have opened up the market in ways we need more of. I know the tide is turning because I have more people in the business coming to me with: “Show me how we can do this better.”
When it comes to content marketing, what works better: fresh content or evergreen content?
This is very dependent and highly subjective. Educational content (how to use/how to choose/how to maintain/how to improve/how to do) usually has longevity and the investment pays off over a long period of time. Product specific content can be more limited in terms of wider relevance and would need to be updated when new models/versions become available. Edutainment is a great mix; but be weary of the objective…you want the message to last…not just the personality of the presenter!
How can a business use content marketing to grow their business?
Create quality content that speaks to your audience’s needs and use digital marketing, community interest groups on social media and other content delivery networks to share your content widely. Ensure these link back to a place that shows more related content and links to an environment that has the ability to convert the content browser into a shopper. Make it super easy to see the next step you wish them to take every click along the way.
What are the most important things to keep in mind when using a content marketing approach?
There is no doubt that consumers respond well to content that helps them in any way. The moment a customer feels that you have created a piece of content that serves the customer’s needs/answers his questions; you have created a connection beyond the fallibility of product and price. It shows you are in for the long game with your customers. This drives affinity and loyalty which makes for a more frequent shopper.
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