Episode 17 – Frictionless Commerce, Retail Specialism – Fiona Ellis-Chadwick – Loughborough University


Straight to what we are assigning your time this week as after our interview we will take a look at the CIM Level 4, Digital Marketing Assignment for Dec 18, question 3 (b) and it’s a biggie It’s that big that our top tip is even linked to this and to the previous question 3 (a), as we look at SMART Objectives and what the hell they are?

But first, our guest – Dr. Fiona Ellis-Chadwick, Senior Lecturer in Retail Management and Director of Impact at the Institute for Research & Consultancy Application at Loughborough University.

Fiona had a successful commercial career in retail before becoming an academic in the field of digital marketing and online retail management and has co-authored some of the leading marketing management textbooks as well as having research published in numerous journals (all links are in the show notes as usual).

With a passion for bringing management and business education to life through such topics as retail marketing, digital technology and economic growth as well as leading multi-media teaching projects, Fiona has also worked as an academic consultant on The Virtual Revolution, Foods that make Billions, Evan’s business challenges and Radio 4’s The Bottom Line.

– Within the digital retail realm it is the big retailers that get it and now provide multi-channel offerings, reducing that friction that is often the blocker to success. Unfortunately it is the smaller businesses that this is affecting, the ‘local’ shops that are around 15 years behind where they should be. On some levels this can be put down to time and lack of knowledge around digital platforms and user experiences but it can also be a fear of failure and the unwillingness to embrace new channels and concepts that are holding them back

– Following on from this thought, innovation and web adoption are heavily linked to success not just within digital retail but also quite simply in survival. Innovative senior management support, understanding the size of the potential opportunities available (through global reach) and customer development and retention all predicate this success.

– Frictionless commerce, digital integration, retail specialism, 365/24/7 opening hours and service excellence within physical retail spaces will be the markers that will create a customer experience, assisting in retention and continual loyalty, which we all know is what all businesses strive for.

Top Tip – Being SMART
This week’s top tip is being SMART, which if your listening to this, you are, and thank you, but it is also linked to both question 3 (a) and (b) for the Level 4 CIM Digital Marketing Assignment – Dec 18, in all honesty, most assignments will have an element of SMART in them. I am of course talking about SMART objectives, which are instrumental in any type of marketing planning process. So what are they and why are they so important?

They stand for: Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic, Timed (now these may differ slightly (especially the A – sometimes agreed upon or achievable, but this really doesn’t matter as the principal is the same). To keep things simple what this means is that when creating a SMART objective, (an objective you are looking to achieve by implementing a marketing plan), it becomes unequivocal in terms of what you are aiming for.

So a NOT SMART objective would be: increase sales from the website

A SMART objective would be: An increase in sales of 20% from products A to F via the website within a 4 month period

So why is this important. If we haven’t got an objective, a SMART objective, we cannot monitor our progress, nor measure successes and failures, adjusting and implementing the marketing plan accordingly to achieve not only our overall goals or aims, but to show a Return on Investment.

So lets all be SMART.

Assignment Question – L4 Digital Marketing (2103) – Dec 2018 (3b)
This question is worth a whopping 20 marks, which is 20% of the overall marking, so it’s worth paying attention to this next bit as it is the question that brings the whole assignment together.

As this is a Digital Marketing assignment, the main bulk of your answer needs to focus on a digital comms mix, but the scenario that has been put in front of you requires a mixture of online and offline communication channels so there is a need within your answer to cover both as long as you show that they are integrated.

If you were to view this question as part of a wider marketing strategy then it would firmly sit within the Tactics part of your SOSTAC marketing plan (you can learn more about SOSTAC by listening to episode 10, where we have a chat with the one and only PR Smith, creator of this evergreen model).

Alternatively you can read more about the model in PR Smiths book entitled ‘SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan’ – the link is in the show notes).

Learning from your previous answers and detailed research, you should by now have a good understanding as to what an effective integrated multi-channel digital marketing communications mix should look like and what will work within this for your chosen organisation. If you don’t, I hate to say it, but you need to spend more time doing your research, and you also may want to revisit your previous answers!

Another fundamental element that your answer must comply with is that the comms mix you choose MUST and it is a must, help to deliver the objectives set within question 3 (a), which we have already discussed in episode 16.

Consideration should then turn to how your mix pulls together and integrates with a thought towards how the whole answer is set out, which I would suggest is structured and methodical using titles for each element and reasoning’s for these.

Finally, make sure that it is a realistic mix for the size and resources you have available. In other words, if there isn’t a multi-million pound marketing budget then don’t write a multi-million pound marketing mix.

Happy Marketing Everyone!

Music Featured on this Podcast:
Sleepy in the Garden
Lobo Loco www.musikbrause.de
Creative Commons License

Fiona Ellis Chadwick:

Principles and Practice of Marketing (UK Higher Education Business Marketing):

Principles and Practice of Marketing: https://amzn.to/2I9Mxoh

Digital Marketing: https://amzn.to/2jQlC2b

Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice: https://amzn.to/2IdAV3P

SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan: https://prsmith.org/books/

The Way Back Machine:


Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant: