Connecting with consumers at scale: Thoughts from the iMedia Brand Conference

Our Head of Industry, Michael Hirshoren, teamed up with Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing of the CMO Council, to share initial findings from our research into the current digital advertising marketplace. From this, we found how top brands are regaining the mindset of their customers and re-shaping their commerce strategy with new platforms.

The Convergence of Customer, Commerce, and Content

One of the biggest findings of our research was the diminishing divide between ecommerce sites and content sites. Historically, brands partnered with publishers for content, and social media sites for reaching vast audiences to grow their user base. But now, we’re seeing commerce platforms that have invested in content and creating commerce experiences, on par with publishers from a reach perspective. This means, in order to compete in the marketplace, brands can now turn to these trusted commerce communities to deliver commerce and content to a vast number of audiences.

Don’t Disrupt the Journey, Observe It

There has been another shift from disrupting to co-opting how users shop. As the online marketplace has matured, consumers have little interest in being drawn away from a path of their own design. Knowing this, commerce companies are seeking insights into shoppers’ online journey, from start to finish, and very few platforms are able to deliver it. By housing the entire journey, from initial research to final sale, sites like eBay are in a prime spot to deliver a more “shoppergraphic” overview of what their customers are thinking at every step of the process.

The User Takes the Lead

One of the long-term effects of the explosion of social media and Web 2.0 platforms is the shift from brand or site-centric online experiences to user-centric ones. Now, more than ever, we have to make the user central to everything that ecommerce platforms do. This forces brands to ensure they have the shopping journey, product mix, and end-to-end digital experience that the user wants. Brands can no longer simply build a shopping interface, they have to ask themselves, “What do my customers really need from me?”