As it says on Threefold’s website, they “look at a retailer’s whole media estate, from their branded microsites to the space on their supermarket trolleys. Then [they use their] trademarked technology to work out how to put the right brands in front of the right shoppers at the right time.”
To get a better feel for this part of the retail marketing industry, we’ve interviewed Sali Davies, a Client Manager at Threefold, for our Day in the Life feature. Here’s what Davies has to say…
(N.B. Check out the Econsultancy Jobs Board if you’re looking for a new position)
Econsultancy: Describe your job: What do you do?
Sali Davies: As a Client Manger at Threefold, we work in partnership with retailers such as Shop Direct, Co-op and Mothercare to deliver supplier-led campaigns both on and off-site. Originally joining the Shop Direct account up in Liverpool, in 2016 I transitioned over to the Mothercare account to look after the campaign implementation team, splitting my time between our agency offices and the Mothercare HQ.
As we work with over 90 supplier brands at Mothercare, my role is quite broad. One day we’ll be working with anyone from Silver Cross and Graco through to VTech toys, so you’re able to work with a whole host of brands within the Mothercare umbrella. The additional challenge of working within an ever-changing retail environment is also an exciting one to say the least!
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
SD: My three key things are: the ability to multi-task, organisation and communication.
Due to the nature of retail, the turnaround of campaigns is incredibly fast, with up to 25 campaigns going live in a month so my ability to multi-task has definitely improved! As factors such as stock, promotional activity and trading contingencies can sometimes affect campaigns, it is imperative that the workflow is organised and up-to-date at all times so the team can work flexibly with the buying and trading teams at Mothercare to execute the campaigns successfully.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
SD: The first thing I’ll do each day is check progress on each campaign via Trello, a project management tool. I’ll ensure priorities are aligned with the team and we’re on track with each campaign. This is predominantly from a creative perspective; however, I’ll then have a quick look into the custom dashboards within Google Data Studio to check how the live campaigns are performing across the site and highlight the key actions and highlights to the team.
As we work in partnership with Mothercare, I also spend a few days a week inside their head offices to ensure that we’re working closely with all internal teams from the buying and merchandisers, to store communication staff through to the digital teams. This is a critical aspect to the role as we’ve become an extension to their own marketing team, focusing predominantly on supplier activity.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
SD: What I love about the role is the sheer diversity of my day to day!
As a shopper media agency that puts data at the heart of what we do, I love analysing the campaigns to ensure that we’re continuously optimising activity to ensure that we deliver the best possible results to our clients. With many of the touchpoints being within the digital realm, it enables us to really delve deep into the analytics and understand what really drove the campaigns and how we can build upon these in the future.
In terms of what sucks, it has to be when unforeseeable external factors such as competitor price matching comes into play during a campaign! This is a challenge that we have to face head-on and optimise the campaign accordingly to ensure we deliver the result we’re after.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
SD: There are several goals that I have, dependent on the campaign objective. Whilst we look at everything from click-through-rates to conversion, we focus predominantly on driving awareness and incremental demand during the campaign period for both Mothercare and the supplier brands.
When reviewing, we combine Google Analytics, Coremetrics and sales data to give a really clear view of the campaign. We then overlay each touchpoint on the sales data to really understand the incremental value driven by the media and calculate a ROI along with recommendations for future campaigns.
As Mothercare has recently launched an in-house customer experience lab, this also opens up a whole host of opportunities to learn first-hand from the customer about everything from how they navigate the site, to brand perception to A/B testing creative. As a result, this data alongside our reviews are imperative to our work across the account and are central to how we continue to partner with brands.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
SD: Outside of the marketing essentials such as Google Analytics, Oracle and the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, Trello is a life-saver and has transformed the way we work across the account! We manage the workflow and priorities for all touchpoints using the tool and it has subsequently enabled the team to work much more efficiently and transparently across the account.
I also must mention how excited I am about Google Data Studio! The ability to pull together dashboards and insightful nuggets of information to optimise out campaigns whilst collating data from several sources into one place is incredibly powerful.
E: How did you get into retail and media, and where might you go from here?
SD: SMG – Threefold’s parent group – is great at developing grads and giving them the opportunity to really craft a career within the industry, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. Over the last three years the company has continued to grow from strength to strength, and has in turn offered me new and exciting opportunities working alongside some of the biggest brands.
We pride ourselves on continuing to push boundaries across the accounts and delivering best-in-class retail executions for the campaigns. As Mothercare continues to focus on transforming the business into a digitally-led retailer, we plan to help them lead the way.
E: Which retail brands do you think are using media well?
SD: I really like John Lewis’ ‘Only Here’ campaign. As Mothercare lists a number of exclusive products, it’s really interesting to see another retailer focusing on their own exclusive collections.
Teaming up with more than 60 supplier brands, John Lewis has pushed the exclusive collaborations across various categories across the online journey, social, CRM and in store – it’s definitely a major brand campaign for John Lewis and one to watch!
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to work in your industry?
SD: Stay hungry – get a whole host of experience and take it all in like a sponge! Marketing, and retail in particular, changes so quickly that you have to stay at the forefront of the industry trends and news at all times and understand how the competitive landscape is performing so you can strive to be the first to adopt the next big thing!
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