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Inspiration

Introducing the 2020 Retail Change Agents

By Sharon Shapiro

Today’s retail environment is fast-paced. 

Consumers are now hyperadoptive, meaning they’re willing to try new brands in search of better experiences, and both new and established players are disrupting the status quo of engagement. 

Against this backdrop, change is inevitable.

In fact, doing nothing is now riskier for retail organizations than taking a chance on change.

Despite the importance of change — and the enormous organizational and career benefits that come with success — leading a change effort is one of the most difficult things a marketer can do.

If Change is Inevitable, Why Does it Remain So Challenging?

There’s no way around it: Change is uncomfortable.

Change often forces people to alter their behaviors and leave behind the comfort of what they’ve always known. As a result, attempts to enact change often meet pushback. 

This pushback can come in many forms, including active naysayers who argue for maintaining the status quo or put down the new approach as well as passive naysayers who simply don’t participate in the change in the hopes of derailing it.

And it’s not just securing buy-in that makes enacting change so difficult. A truly successful change effort requires many steps, including:

  • Developing a vision for change: Recognizing an opportunity for improvement (either in a case where something is “broken” or in a case where there’s room for innovation) and fleshing out that vision to a fully-formed idea.
  • Effectively communicating the impact of the change: Any change should be associated with a positive impact, such as increased revenue, reduced costs or time saved. Defining and communicating the expected impact is essential to getting support for enacting change.
  • Developing a plan to enact change: An idea and a goal are one thing. Having a plan to make that end state a reality is quite another, and that’s exactly what’s needed to successfully bring to life any kind of change.
  • Overcoming resistance and gaining buy-in: Even the most well thought-out plans for change will meet resistance simply because most people don’t like change. The best way to overcome resistance (which can come from all directions), is to secure buy-in at all levels. This buy-in should include support from the top-down and the bottom-up.
  • Executing on the plan for change: Finally, it’s time to put the plan for change into action — but the hard part isn’t over just yet. Communication about progress, goal-setting and education are essential to maintaining buy-in throughout the entire change effort and immediately following it. 

Getting Past the Naysayers: Uncovering the Power of Change with the 2020 Retail Change Agents Award

Enacting change is an uphill battle, but it is possible. And when done successfully, change efforts can prove a powerful catalyst for growth.

To shine a spotlight on the power of change, Bluecore is proud to introduce the 2020 Retail Change Agents Award, which honors 10 retail marketers from brands like CDW, Jockey, Stride Rite and Anthropologie, who have successfully advocated for change within their organizations and tied those efforts to positive business results.

These 10 marketers have positively influenced everything from email revenue to digital customer experiences to cross-channel marketing strategies. Key results from this group include:

  • 16% increase in annual email revenue
  • 500% increase in inbox placement rate
  • 230x increase in return on ad spend

In achieving goals like these, this group of marketers has truly personified what it means to be a change agent: Someone who leads a positive transformation by focusing on key changes to technology, processes and people.

Making Change a Reality: Lessons from the 2020 Retail Change Agents

Diving into the work these change agents did, including the type of change they enacted, how they made sure it was successful and how they got past hurdles and naysayers, yields important learnings for any retail marketer.

To learn more about how they made change a success and how you can do the same for your organization, download our eBook highlighting the 2020 Retail Change Agents Award winners.

Sharon Shapiro

Sharon Shapiro

Sharon leads Bluecore's content marketing program, collaborating with top retailers and strategists to highlight the latest trends in retail marketing, spotlight industry leaders and share advice on how marketers can stay ahead of the curve. An experienced story teller, she has spent her career building content marketing programs for B2B SaaS companies. Sharon has had works featured in MarketingProfs and Content Science Review..