What Does an Optimal Digital Mix Look Like for a Retail Store?

For large retail chains operating in an extended geographic area (from one county to nationwide), it is wise to use traditional mass media options like TV, radio and print for top-of-the-funnel offers. The visual and audio aspects of these media channels create brand recognition and elicit a craving for your products.

Strategically targeted digital campaigns supplement that traditional mix. Digital ads can be hyper-localized to individual store locations, making them an excellent way to translate broad brand recognition into actual consumers walking through your door.

These campaigns can be focused on a specific event, like a sale you’re promoting, or a more extensive goal, like encouraging customers to join your loyalty program. In either case, the localized targeting allows for highly effective search optimization, budget-friendly mobile and display ad placement, and a range of fun and interesting social media options that can actively engage customers who are close enough and intrigued enough to stop in within minutes or hours of interacting with your marketing content.

Of course, this optimal scenario requires strategic media planning and a lot of coordination on the backend, including collecting and analyzing a tremendous amount of data in order to make the most cost-effective decisions as to which channels to focus on, when, and with what message. Among other factors, marketers putting together these kinds of digital campaigns will need to analyze:

  • Goals
  • Target audience
  • Timing
  • Scale
  • Size of target market
  • What media options exist
  • Competitive set

All of this information is available, but most retail brand marketing departments don’t have a performance reporting solution as well as the know-how to gather, collate, analyze and benefit from that data consistently.

To put this into context, let’s walk through a few case studies:

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware is a well-established brand on the national scene with years of accumulated brand authority and a strong retail presence in a wide geographic area. Their top-of-the-funnel marketing efforts were consistent and effective in maintaining that position, but they came to us with a challenge.

They were struggling to produce quantifiable results via digital because their channel mix and range of tactics were led more by a “me too” philosophy rather than a true strategy, which diluted the effectiveness of every campaign. To resolve this issue, our retail experts analyzed reams of data and discovered some golden nuggets that yielded valuable answers.

One particularly important discovery was the fact that 80 percent of each location’s revenue consistently came from a relatively small geographic footprint around that location. This provided a basis for a series of test campaigns that we set up using a small group of Colorado-based locations as a subset of the national chain.

We established a clean test by only promoting previously un-marketed products and services, and we used our tools and proprietary methodology to monitor an array of digital channels and formats in various combinations to determine the optimal mix that produced the best results while maintaining positive ROI.

The winning combination produced a stunning 2:1 return on investment based solely on actual physical sales of just the products and services promoted. These returns don’t take into account other valuable factors like any other purchases customers made during their visit or the lifetime value of that customer if they were brand new.

That winning combination served as a template for Ace Hardware’s ongoing digital strategy on the national scale.

Good Feet Arch Support Stores

In this case, our goal was to drive traffic to Good Feet Arch Support Stores using a multi-channel, multi-platform media mix to maximize the reach while controlling the targeting. To accomplish that, we incorporated the following strategic elements:

  • Geo-Targeting/Proximity Targeting – By specifically targeting a radius or zone around Good Feet’s retail locations, both budget and frequency were maximized.
  • Education – Good Feet’s messaging focuses on both educating and addressing the specific needs of their customers. The media mix included long-form infomercials as well as a paid search strategy to drive traffic to videos on their website. The webpage where the video was hosted also featured a strong, prominent call to action to visit the store.
  • Continuity – From broadcast to digital, the video messaging was consistent across platforms. Broadcast drove awareness, serving as a reminder to targeted consumers. Digital reached those light TV viewers in the same targeted area.
  • Community Partnerships/Cause Marketing – Good Feet partnered with the Denver Broncos for a multi-element campaign that was both philanthropic and a consumer-facing promotion. Every time the Broncos kicker scored, Good Feet would donate money to Goodwill. Fans would then be encouraged bring their old shoes into a Good Feet location (who would then donate them to Goodwill) for a discount on their purchase.

So, what should you do with this information?

Consider getting help from the experts.

At Blue Onion Media, we’re navigators of evolving media. We guide our partners and clients to success through wise investment. Our retail marketing experts have the access to this data as well as the knowledge and experience needed to leverage it on behalf of your brand.

Creating that strategy requires collecting and analyzing data to determine an optimal mix of channels and formats unique to each brand’s target market, brand authority and budget. If you’re ready to streamline your retail marketing strategy by leveraging digital data, contact us today to discuss your options.

Call: (303) 597-9661

Email: VP Business Development, Peter TenEyck PeterT@blueonionmedia.com

Email: COO/Parnter, Eileen Weinert EileenW@blueonionmedia.com