Retail Real Estate Experts talk about their life and career on Bayfield Training Blog.
Director at Marketing Analytix
SANDRA: You have many years’ experience in marketing, can you name some of the favourite shopping centres you have worked with?
TONY: I can’t say I have any favourites apart from the one I worked at for many years, thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes. We were fortunate in having an enlightened owner who allowed us to push the boundaries of community and retailer engagement – many of the things now seen as normal were first introduced by our team to great effect.
Though it is fair to say that we did have our moments too, in that we spent our marketing monies as if it was going out of fashion! Great fun, great lunches, but little in the way of results… important lessons were learned which led to my interest in developing the concept of effective marketing for shopping centres.
SANDRA: With the popularity of e-commerce rising, how has marketing of shopping centres changed and what are the latest marketing trends in the industry?
TONY: Shopping centre owners are having to respond to a shift in the power base from when they were all powerful in the 1980’s, 90’s and early 00’s, when typically, 25year leases with upwards only rent reviews were the standard, to now where the tenant is all powerful. At the same time marketing budgets were raised solely from the tenants with little to no contribution from the tenants. This has all changed. Shopping centres now need to engage with their retailers and restaurants, offer more flexible leases and work together to market and attract customers to their centres. Not all do – all should!
Introducing a food offer was seen as a key element in lengthening the shopping trip, but few centres had more than the odd restaurant or café – now it has turned full circle with restaurants delivering the main reason to visit many centres. One renowned centre in the UK has seen its restaurants base exceed 50 outlets and their aggregated income exceeding that for all the other 80+ retailers on site.
SANDRA: When presenting at the Shopping Centre Investment course, you have noted that at least 50% of marketing is wasted. Can you share some tips with the readers on how to improve marketing effectiveness?
TONY: Most marketing monies are spent without a clear plan, or smart objectives or a way to measure the impact of the activity. Most marketing budgets are set based on a previous year’s spend and not built from the bottom up, designed with measurable activities, all driven to achieve clear measureable results. As a consequence, most marketing monies are wasted.