Taking Out Marketer Stress for Monday Retail Meeting

The key reason these meetings are so tough for marketing teams is technical — but there’s a way to make things better.

The Monday trading meeting is a solidified weekly feature for those that work in retail. It’s become part and parcel of the retail drumbeat. The purpose of these meetings is to look back at the previous week of trade and to agree on the strategy for the week ahead.

The marketing team plays a crucial role in these meetings. They are the ones often responsible for bringing the data points and insights from that past week, and act as the executants of the top-of-funnel strategy. 

But, with only 26% of customers buying from specific brands, and low levels of high-street footfall, many retailers have resorted to cutting customer experience programs and marketing budgets. In fact, despite the relative growth over the past year, marketing budgets remain lower than before the pandemic. Alongside a number of other factors, this has caused many marketers to start dreading the Monday trading meet.

Why Are Mondays So Hard for Marketers?

It’s certainly true that the macroeconomic factors currently affecting the retail industry aren’t making the Monday trading meeting easier. But, the key reason these meetings are so tough for marketing teams is technical. Assuming that the “previous week” only ended a few hours before the meeting (at midnight on the Sunday), marketers have little time to consolidate online and offline transactions, layer it with the known customer data and surface meaningful insights that will enable the customer experience strategy for the following week. 

Secondly, it is the disparity of objectives which makes these meetings really challenging. While the C-Suite is looking at the bigger picture, the trading or category managers are focused on traffic and product specific KPIs, leaving marketing in the middle, trying to balance customer-centricity and commercial pressure. 

Addressing all of the stakeholders’ needs and expectations, while implementing a sensible marketing plan is no mean feat, especially when the availability and confidence in the data is all relative.

However, there is light at the end of this tunnel.  

Related Article: Crushing Marketing in Times of Financial Hardship for Customers

Covering All Bases for Marketing

To shift some of the dread, marketing teams must start by overcoming the technical hurdle first. As such, consolidating various sources of data as quickly as possible is crucial. But, also using tools which enable decision-makers to investigate last week’s results, and simulate next week’s plan, easily will save time and drive efficiency. If an analyst needs to spend hours slicing and dicing data every time someone is asking a question, the analysis just won’t happen fast enough.

Another way to make Monday trading meetings less daunting is to focus on the metrics which give a complete view of progress. Trading meetings are traditionally focused around traffic and transactions which is of course fair to some extent; sales are the business’ life supply. 

The risk, however, is to miss the bigger picture — to only pay attention to next week and be blind to the broader, longer term opportunity. It is like driving at night and only seeing a few meters ahead; you need to switch on the headlamps and check out what’s coming further ahead, as there might be an opportunity to take a different road. 

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