Connecting with customers through continuously multiplying channels challenges all marketers. In retail, the pressure to incorporate new channels and deliver results with shrinking budgets and resources, hits hard. Many retailers resort to increasing the number of discount offers and coupons to boost sales. But that can become a hamster wheel of diminishing returns, as the pressure to improve results builds.
Stepping back and making sure marketing campaigns are truly integrated is critical. What is true integration? Different things in different situations. It can mean making sure marketing strategy is aligned with execution, or that creative is designed to be optimally effective in the channels where it is deployed.
In the case of a national arts and crafts retailer experiencing sluggish sales, falling store traffic and sliding customer engagement, it meant finding the right partner. They needed a partner with the capabilities to help them better understand who their customer was, develop a creative strategy to effectively engage that target, and execute a coordinated multichannel campaign.
Over several years this retailer had added one vendor after another to handle different channels – print, website, emails, mobile, in-store displays and signage. But they weren’t working in unison, which made it difficult to get a comprehensive understanding of what results each channel was producing. The chain’s reflexive response to its challenges was to increase discount offers. They were emailing item price promotions and coupons daily.
Quad had recently joined the retailer’s marketing team to manage print media. We were able to optimize their print campaign to save about $200,000. As the next step, we recommended that
their marketing outreach should be better coordinated across channels, and took charge of the anchor annual campaign to demonstrate how that would work.
We were able to exceed goals the company set for the annual campaign in sales, customer engagement and store traffic by addressing four areas that are key for truly integrated marketing.
Do the deep data dive. Data isn’t working the way it should if it’s just categorized and kept in spreadsheets or on servers.
- We dug into data from POS systems, loyalty programs, direct mail and email to find out who the chain’s customers really were. Contrary to our client’s assumption, the target audience was made up of a bigger variety of segments, including a sizeable portion of men.
- Better customer insights helped us broaden the media strategy and spend to target customers more effectively.
Do an about-face on discounts. Armed with a better understanding of the data, we collaborated with the chain’s marketing team to shift away from discounts to engagement tactics that excited and motivated customers. Together we:
- Introduced a quiz for people to find out what their personality color was, with the different personality descriptions framed in upbeat design terms.
- Enhanced their annual art contest by building in digital engagement. People could upload their art work and photos to a special landing page directly from their phones or computers. Visitors invited to the gallery by social ads or contestants voted for the best pieces.
- Added a social component by allowing people to share submitted artwork on Facebook.
- Created traffic drivers such as instore-only reveals of a mystery shopping spree.
- Added an email sign-up to enter a weekly sweepstakes and receive special discounts.
- Quad produced all content for the new campaign and executed it across the relevant channels (instore, email, direct mail, website, landing pages, paid search and social media, and retail inserts.)
Get under the same tent. When different teams are responsible for different channels, that makes it hard to get a wholistic picture of customers and what tactics are motivating which customers to act.
- Quad pulled all data together into a single stream.
- We promoted the quiz and art contest in mobile, print, social and instore media, integrating digital into print. All print materials told customers how to reach the contest or color quiz landing pages by texting a special code, scanning a QR code or going to a specific url.
- We used coupons strategically in conjunction with the promotions.
- We created a cross-promotional vehicle – a digital punch card -- that was also a short-term loyalty engine. Customers used it to track their participation in the color programs. A fully “punched” card rewarded customers with a passbook coupon.
- To summarize, we established a big picture strategy and made sure all the channel tactics were linked and cross-promoted each other to capture email sign-ups and drive store traffic – something that seems obvious but often slips through the cracks of an un-integrated campaign.
Execute seamlessly. With a print foundation, we understand process and how to make it seamless so customers don’t see any cracks. Eliminating extra steps and multiple handoffs saves time and money while also making it easier to create and deliver a consistent brand experience across all channels.
Consumers become passionate about brands when the brand is engaging them directly and tapping into their needs and wants. For this arts and craft retailer, that meant providing an outlet for customers’ inner Van Gogh while also inviting them to discover their color personality. As a result, the campaign brightened this retailer’s business picture:
- Sales increased 4.9 percent on the same number of transactions
- Online traffic rose 55 percent
- Email sign-ups for the loyalty program gained 58 percent
- 23 percent of campaign participants converted into customers
To learn more about an easy solution for truly integrated marketing campaigns, visit QUAD.com