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Brands should shift digital focus from creative to content: FGL Sports exec

PALM DESERT, CA – An FGL Sports executive at eTail West 2015 discussed the need for a content-first focus to aid in digitizing the retail journey, using an example of adapting Canadian retailer Sports Chek’s print circulars for Facebook to reach more people and ramp up sales.

During the “Mobile Summit: Keynote: Digitizing the Customer Retail Journey” session, the executive stressed the importance of using the in-store and digital experience to create value. He also advised retailers to explore solutions for bring print content to digital channels such as mobile, a strategy that was able to boost sales by 16 percent for Sports Chek.

“The digitization of retail is redesigning the experience to create value for customers, employees and shareholders,” said Frederick Lecoq, vice president of marketing and digital for FGL Sports, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Delivering a personalized experience, that’s what the future of retail is.

“Talk about connectivity. Think about a cross-platform,” he said.

“It’s multi-platform, not single platform.”

Social media flyers
Sports Chek was able to ramp up sales by converting its weekly print circular, which only 17 percent of consumers read regularly, to a digital circular viewable on Facebook. The company claims that it saw a 16 percent increase in sales each time it tapped Facebook for a social media promotion.

Although the move required Sports Chek to take a risk by pulling the allotted thousands of dollars for the print circular and giving it all to Facebook, the profit was ultimately twice as high.

Sports Chek eventually plans to adapt all its circulars into digital platforms.

Personalized content
Sports Chek also offered in-store associates tablets to better assist consumers, a move which Mr. Lecoq claimed also helped ramp up sales. Retailers’ in-store experiences should augment their digital ones to provide a cohesive shopping experience and develop a community among consumers.

To sell basketballs, Mr. Lecoq suggested an optimal strategy could be using digital platforms to develop a community board with results from free throws or other achievements. Sports Chek stores could then reward the best local players and even take them to a professional basketball game.

Another option of augmenting this tactic would be to offer the chosen customers a chance to document their experiences on social media and share personal photos with other basketball fans.

Ultimately, brands need to be more content driven than creative driven, and must work in conjunction with marketing and information technology teams to deliver a cross-channel experience that will resonate with consumers – a large part of which should be on mobile.

“We need to shift our minds from being creative driven to content driven,” Mr. Lecoq said. “TV is not the point of entry.

“Content is the point of entry. It’s not three, four, five campaigns per year. It’s an ongoing presence,” he said.

“See content as a factory where sometimes you need to source, sometimes you need to assemble, and sometimes you need to produce. The biggest mistake is thinking you can produce all the content on your own.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York