"Marketing managers grope blindly”

It's time for the marketing manager to take the IT-director’s hand and together begin to explore technological possibilities. This was written by Jörgen Bertilsson at Avensia.

The majority of the Swedish market executives believe that trading online and in stores is impossible to integrate in real time. The results of a survey we recently made . It is obvious that reality has outstripped marketing managers. Now that we are going into 2014 it's time to stop thinking of e-commerce and retail sales as competing businesses.

Today multichannel strategies should, where a company's all sales channels integrated in real time, be obvious to all marketing managers. Here is the chance to lift sales by taking advantage of synergies between physical stores, e-commerce and emerging channels including mobile as they arise.

There are significant business opportunities for the traders who are proactive and meet consumers where they are. The reason is of course that we as consumers have more choices, we also become increasingly unfaithful to the suppliers. We simply buy where we get the most value for your money, and then select the purchase channel that fits best. This places high demands on retailers; price must be right, the stores have to bring something extra, home delivery is a given and the item must be in stock.

Yet our survey shows that just under half (47 percent) of marketing executives involved in corporate e-commerce activities. And 64 per cent believe it is impossible to integrate all sales channels in real time. Overall, the survey shows that many old e-commerce myths still seem to be alive among market managers.

It is possible - and is necessary - to have the customer at the center of all sales channels. Not least in the B2B, it is still possible for a modern player to pick a large part of the market quickly by offering the customers what they want in the channels they use.

In our study, it is clear that there is a knowledge gap among marketing managers about the opportunities available through integrating all sales channels. Silo thinking is also found in many businesses and also brings problems - that e- commerce is an IT issue and Retail a retail issue. Here is the marketing manager with his knowledge of how clients are reachable binstrumental. But not as long as the myths of e-business is taken for truths and multi-channel thinking is not embraced. It is basically about how today's consumers thinks.

It's time for the marketing manager to take the IT-director’s hand and together begin to explore technologies related to customer behavior. Then we can finally delete the letter "e" in the word e-commerce and start seeing all the channels that complement. How customers choose to shop - online store, physical store or app makes no difference. As a business, you will reach them anyway.

Jörgen Bertilsson, Vice President of Avensia