Acknowledging the Facts
Historically, the options available for brands to drive in-store sales and retailer loyalty have been limited to in-store promotional materials, discounted supply or offer support for retailers (ex. Consumer products brand provides free stock of iced coffee drinks, so the channel partner can sell it as a BOGO), and national branding campaigns. It is becoming more evident that social advertising has been a missed opportunity for brands worldwide to reach audiences through their partners, especially when 75% of sales have been occurring through in-direct channels. It’s time for brands to recognize that the future of social advertising is collaborative. Collaborative advertising™ presents a unique opportunity for brands to update their marketing approach by deploying localized, personalized campaigns to help bridge the gap between online and offline consumer activity.
Bridging Gap Between On-Premise & National Campaigns
Collaborative advertising™ is a connective tissue between national campaigns and point of sale advertising.
National branding campaigns work well for broad awareness messaging; however, they tend to be impersonal, so they lose the connection with the point of sale. Establishing a strong relationship with consumers through the brands’ channel partners is vital for a consumer products brand in the retailer space since the consumers are buying the products from the brand’s independent retailer (7/11, Circle K, etc.) rather than from the brand directly. Therefore, national branding campaigns are not as effective in driving in-direct sales.
In-store signage such as promotional posters or materials for products only reach consumers who are shopping at the retailer. This is a good strategy to increase on-the-spot purchases like iced coffee or an extra pack of gum; however, not all consumers act on impulses. Relying on in-store signage should not be your only plan of action. Collaborative advertising activates consumers nearest your point of sale.
One method that seeks to bridge the gap between in-store and national campaigns is discounted supply and redemption offers. Discounted supply allows brands to support their channel partners through increased foot traffic and indirect sales while receiving increased brand awareness and engagement. All this sounds great, but if the independent store is not marketing the BOGO offer – who is going to know about the great deal? Collaborative social advertising allows brands to select specific channel partners to deploy personalized, localized campaigns for the BOGO offer. National branding campaigns cannot localize their messages the way that collaborative ads can.
Collaborative social campaigns, with their use of brand-level creative advertised from local retailer Facebook or Instagram Pages, naturally link a brand’s products to the specific point of sale – directing consumers exactly where to buy.
With the Right Data Collaborative Can Connect Online to Offline
Collaborative social advertising offers a better way to measure online to offline consumer activity. For example, you can measure in-store attribution by offering redemptions in store, analyzing shipment data for incremental lift in orders from retailers and tracking foot traffic.
At the onset of Covid, a Global Fortune 500 beverage company used a collaborative social approach with their independent bars and restaurants to publish local social ads structured around community engagement, gift card sales, home delivery, no-contact curbside pickup in impacted communities, or to drive foot traffic to open channel partners. Five weeks after the campaigns launched, the company saw a 20% order uplift and a 8.1% volume uplift from their network of retailers.
Another method to measure online to offline consumer engagement is advanced attribution. When the largest U.S. specialty retailer of crafts and fabrics launched their COVID-19 mask-making initiative, they structured their collaborative social strategy around providing up to date, accurate information that accounted for all the individual stores’ local and regional COVID protocols. To measure foot traffic to locations, Tiger Pistol implemented advance attribution using mobile device signals. Campaigns published from Tiger Pistol were linked to a specialized data set that tracked device IDs and other consumer signals passively across the United States. Tiger Pistol’s platform worked with Facebook to match the consumer data set with the retailer’s campaign performance data to surface users who saw the ads, and then visited a local store. The advertisements helped drive individual retailers foot traffic while localizing the company’s social advertising to inspire a sense of community and drive participation in the initiative. Within the first month of the campaign, 4 out of 5 ads clicked resulted in store visits.
Collaborative Social Bridges the Gap Between Online and Offline
Collaborative social advertising drives product sales for your brands and ties the success to the retailer. Brands using a collaborative social approach will empower their channel partners and foster brand loyalty and satisfaction. Collaborative social increases brand preference within the retailer network. For instance, store-owners/supply managers are more likely to gravitate towards the brands that support their efforts to sell to their customers. Collaborative ads literally do this by saying “buy this brand’s product at this store” When there are new products, the collaborative advertising helps get the word out and directly drives sales. What’s more, the campaigns, while focused on specific brand products, ultimately lead customers into the store where they are very likely to purchase much more than just the brand product (i.e. an ad for candy bar at 7/11 may result in the purchase of the candy bar plus a drink. In the end it’s a virtuous cycle, the brand gets to sell more of their products, and retailers get to sell more overall. Everybody wins!