Strategies from dentsu on how brands can build trust and stronger relationships with customers

November 22, 2022 | By Jareen Imam, Sr. Content and Editorial Manager

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This blog post is a part of our coverage for the annual Amazon Ads conference unBoxed. At the 2022 conference, advertising leaders gathered to see our latest products and to discuss ways brands are inventing on behalf of their customers.

Missed the event?
Explore more from unBoxed 2022.

As audience fragmentation continues, brands not only have to think about how to reach new consumers, but also how to develop meaningful connections with those consumers in order to stay top mind.

At unBoxed 2022, the annual Amazon Ads conference, held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from October 25 through 27, we sat down with Kavita Cariapa, senior vice president of e-commerce strategy at dentsu. In her role, she advises dentsu clients on how to best optimize their digital performance at retailers and owned sites across media and sales channels.

During the conversation, Cariapa shared how brands can grow and thrive in the midst of change in the ad industry and during times of economy uncertainty, while also building stronger relationships with their customers through marketing strategies.

How has reaching audiences changed for brands?

Addressability has advanced significantly over the past few years. Our strategy at dentsu has shifted from behavioral signals to an audience-based approach. And we use M1, dentsu’s proprietary audience-building tool, along with first-party retailer audience tools, to inform planning, communication, and activation across our end-to-end consumer journey.

How can brands better connect with audiences, especially at a time of audience fragmentation?

Brands need to evolve to a changing environment of new media networks, channels, and retail conditions. What’s most important is to understand the nuances of these audiences and their motivations by retailer, to tailor the right messaging and experience to that retailer’s consumers in the right environment. Brands cannot rely solely on media through these partnerships, but should also ensure their brand presence is tailored across content and owned assets.

How can brands build stronger relationships with their customers?

Relationship building starts by listening to customers—to not only build rapport, but also trust and long-term loyalty. Within online retail, customer feedback is so powerful, and a customer review strategy is key. These reviews can inform a span of optimizations, from content updates to underserved audiences to research and development for product updates.

What’s the biggest challenge to brand growth today?

More than ever, inventory and marketing teams must communicate and align on forecasting challenges and product availability to provide realistic performance expectations. The more common ways to directly engage customers are reshaping before brands’ eyes.

What’s your advice for brands jumping into the digital marketing?

It’s important to set up a measurement framework and build strategies based on long-term goals, as growth requires investment. Return on ad spend (ROAS)and sales aren’t the only key performance indicators (KPIs)for brands. The key is in measuring how customers are interacting and engaging with branded content throughout their purchase journey.

Any advice for how brands can continue to grow and serve their customers during uncertain economic times?

Brands must provide consistency and value in messaging and not just talk about deals and promotions during key time periods. To be always-on in media is an understatement as customers are constantly connected to digital channels wherever they are.

It’s important to be adaptable and flexible with media and messaging, and nimble when it comes to economic uncertainty. With the emergence of retail media and commerce media, we have a better opportunity to hold every dollar accountable. Therefore, areas like retail media are a great place to start, as we can track digital media activity to true business outcomes.

What excites you about the future of advertising?

I’m so excited about the future of advertising talent entering the industry, and how they will shake up how agencies and brands operate. For example, Gen Z adults grew up in a digital-first world, and they have homegrown marketing experience before they even enter the workforce. I think we all have a lot to learn from them.