By Aimee Chanthadavong

The blur of online and offline retailing has made it a challenge for retailers to decide how to go about organising their marketing strategies.

Yaz Iida, Rakuten Marketing CEO, has been a witness to this. He told RetailBiz while the change in the retail landscape has been quite rapid over the last few years, retailers have only picked up on how important it is to have their marketing strategy up to scratch for this new age of retailing.

“Over the last 12 months, the marketing space has changed quite dramatically,” he said.

“The link between online and offline is becoming really broad and nowadays for retailers who have bricks and mortar stores they need to understand that digital marketing needs to be part of their business strategy.

“Traditionally for many years retailers treated digital marketing as a separate initiative but now it has become part of the entire strategy. The reason for this is because retail has adopted the concept of omni-channel, which is currently a really hot.”

“So when retailers woke up and realised the importance of online market it was almost like a sudden rush of grey hair management where they thought ‘oh shoot we need to do something’, which has been very interesting to see them realise how viable digital marketing is for their business.”

To help drive the importance of marketing, in particular affiliate marketing, Rakuten LinkShare has launched Rakuten Marketing as a new umbrella brand, as part of the company’s commitment to drive innovation and provide its propriety technology to its clients.

According to Anthony Capano, Rakuten LinkShare Australia managing director, the customer data produced through affiliate marketing can also be leveraged by other parts of the business.

“The data through affiliate marketing is completely transparent where we’re about to track when the customer made the purchase, how they made the purchase, and how much they have sitting in their checkout basket,” he said.

“What this information can do is be linked with the business’ own internal system and can be used to help retarget customers.”