Every day, local retailers are connecting with their customers in-store and online to help them purchase name-brand products. Meanwhile, brands are pushing out great content through digital campaigns on a national level to increase awareness of the brand and, ultimately, to drive sales. Brands have important resources retailers don't - budget, reach and marketing expertise, but retailers have something brands don't - a direct connection with local audiences, the ones who buy a brand's product.
Together, brands and retailers can be a powerful duo for driving sales, but without an effective point of connection and alignment between the two, marketing opportunities are lost, relationships unravel and money is wasted. The brands that understand how to bridge this gap will win retailer loyalty and mindshare and the battle for revenue.
Traditional methods to unite the two sides of the equations – co-op and digital asset management (DAM) solutions – haven't done a good job of quickly and easily providing content in ready-made campaigns down to the local retailer level. Additionally, most of these programs are not built to support today's digital marketing landscape, foregoing opportunities to reach local consumers on today's most popular mediums.
Brands need a better way to team with their retailers to easily target local consumers with relevant and consistent content in order to increase brand awareness, drive foot traffic in-store and, ultimately, sell more products.
With the misalignment and miscommunication between brands and retailers causing upwards of $25 billion in wasted marketing efforts, here's a look at how Promoboxx has helped brands find solutions to the top contributors to this problem, which are:
DAMs and Co-Op Programs Fail to Engage Retailers (Especially With Digital Marketing)
Many manufacturers today rely on digital asset management (DAM) solutions to share marketing content with retailers, or co-op programs to fund marketing. The goal in both cases is to encourage retailers to market the brand's products or solutions to their end customers. Unfortunately, both of these approaches are laden with issues.
DAMs are notoriously difficult to use. While they do provide retailers with access to brand content, the volume of content is so large that it is impossible to organize into customized campaigns for retailers. Already strapped for time and often not fluent in marketing, retailers have trouble finding value in DAMs and become disengaged with participating in brand marketing opportunities in their local markets.
Cumbersome DAM programs often result in:
- Low retailer adoption and engagement rates
- A lack of insight and data into local campaign performance
- No alignment with the brand content calendar
Co-op marketing is a broken process, too. While it's easy for brands to allocate and distribute marketing dollars to retailers through these platforms, they are not quick or easy to use. To participate in a co-op, retailers first have to:
- Set up their own marketing campaigns (assuming they have the know-how to do so)
- Front the payment for ads, which can be a hefty expense for a small retailer
- Request reimbursement through the co-op program by way of loads of paperwork
So, it's no wonder that as much as 50 percent of all assigned co-op funds go uncollected. Additionally, only 12 percent of co-op programs are digital. Most today still focus primarily on print, radio and TV advertising, a serious disconnect from where most consumers make decisions today: online. Considering retailers often don't have time themselves to stay current with how consumers are making buying decisions today, offline-only co-op programs just make matters worse.
Both of these approaches typically result in disjointed marketing efforts that neither drive incremental in-store foot traffic nor increase brand value.
Quite unlike DAMs and co-op programs, Promoboxx provides a collaborative, streamlined platform that allows brands to invite retailers to participate with timely campaigns and enables them to implement social, email, mobile and website marketing initiatives directly from the platform. With a user interface and workflow designed to make it as easy as possible for brands to push campaign-ready content out, retailers are much more likely to engage.
GE Appliances has a long history of supporting their independent retailers through co-op advertising. But, as a large brand, they needed to update longstanding (and ineffective) processes and marketing strategies to better embrace paid digital initiatives at the local level. In their efforts to innovate and partner more effectively with retailers on marketing, GE Appliances turned to Promoboxx.
GE Appliances' main campaign centers around educating consumers about how they can save money by downloading a rebate from a retailer's co-branded landing page. Using Promoboxx, a group of participating retailers promoted the rebate landing page with brand-approved content and funding from GE Appliances. With this content they were able to run locally targeted digital ads. Set up using Promoboxx, these ads ran across Facebook and top local mobile app networks with major success, outperforming their previous retailer-specific ad campaigns with:
- 30 percent higher retailer engagement (91 percent)
- 14x more landing page views (8,627)
- 3x the number of rebate downloads (395)
In addition, the campaign's innovative usage of Facebook and mobile advertising paid off in full, with 3.7 million unique Facebook ad impressions and 1.7 million geo-targeted mobile in-app impressions. The campaign was featured in Adweek for their "fresh approach" to traditional co-op marketing.
“The ads generated foot traffic to our store, which absolutely translated into sales of GE Appliances. What's good for GE is good for our business as well.” — Edward's Appliance
“We were able to reach new local audiences and increase where-to-buy mindshare. It's imperative for GE to continue to build brand goodwill with our retail partners.” — Jason West, General Manager of Merchandising & Training, GE Appliances
National Advertising Is Not Effective for Local Retailers
Millions of dollars are spent each year creating digital content and placing ads to create awareness and drive sales for major manufacturing brands. Unfortunately, most of these campaigns aren't communicated well to retailers for local campaign implementation, often leaving them to fend for themselves marketing a brand's product. At best, national advertising efforts drive visitors to a brand's own ecommerce site. While that's all well and good, it doesn't achieve the intended goal of driving up local sales and can result in lost revenue.
It's easy to see the reason for this disconnect, considering that most of today's co-op and DAM programs are one-way communication channels that offer little to no support or instruction for retailers, who often don't have the marketing expertise needed to implement complex, targeted campaigns. So it's no surprise that retailer participation in brand marketing efforts is typically quite low when it comes to national marketing initiatives; there is little to no pathway for them to get involved in a timely and streamlined manner. That's where Promoboxx comes in.
Unlike co-op and DAM programs, Promoboxx connects and aligns brands and retailers with a marketing platform to streamline how brands deliver timely marketing content to local retailers. Using Promoboxx, brands can invite their local retailer networks to participate in campaigns using brand-approved content. Retailers can then customize the content for their local market and automatically promote it to their earned and paid audiences—all with a few clicks. Promoboxx takes the need for specialized marketing skills and knowledge out of the equation and empowers retailers to execute successful co-branded campaigns with confidence.
Shaw Floors was looking to bolster local consumer attention for their recent Holiday Savings Event campaign. Using Promoboxx, Shaw Floors sent a targeted group of retailers content to promote the campaign to their local audiences. Using Promoboxx's Local Ads offering, Shaw Floors and their retailers were able to run targeted mobile display advertising campaigns to reach local consumers. With easy access to professionally-designed content, retailers were able to effectively promote these campaigns across key marketing channels directly from Promoboxx, driving traffic to their local stores.
Together, Shaw Floors and their local retailers created where-to-buy mindshare for Shaw flooring products, amplified brand awareness and, ultimately, drove foot traffic in-store. With 100 percent engagement among their targeted group of retailers, these efforts resulted in 9.6 million ad impressions on mobile devices and a click-through-rate (CTR) 8 times higher than ads run without the help of Promoboxx's Local Ads product.
“Being able to target on a local level allows us to reach the type of person we want. Local Ads drove more traffic to our website and our showrooms.” — McSwain Carpets & Floors
“By connecting our local retailers to untapped audiences on the mobile and digital channels where they naturally spend time, we can further promote our local retailers alongside the Shaw Floors brand. It also allows us to hone in on consumers in close proximity to store locations to more strategically allocate our advertising funds.” — Todd Callaway, Director of Digital Content, Shaw Floors
Most Local Retailers Fail When It Comes to Marketing
Many local retailers are small, resource-constrained shops with little to no marketing expertise. While retail shop owners may be very successful at running their businesses and connecting with their customer base, they may not know what an effective marketing mix looks like. Without guidelines or support from brands to develop effective marketing content, local retailers are left to create their own DIY marketing campaigns, having to cut and paste copy and imagery that is often out of date—or even creating their own. Piecing together a marketing campaign in this fashion isn't ideal for a brand's identity.
And even if retailers do have access to brand-approved content — which, quite frankly, is not often — many of these retailers have little to no knowledge about how to market via social media, email and website channels. In today's digitally connected world, that significantly reduces the impact and reach they can have on behalf of brands with their local markets. What's needed is a structured and streamlined process to help retailers gain access to and correctly implement marketing campaigns.
Using Promoboxx, manufacturing brands can invite their retailers to the Promoboxx marketing platform, exposing them to a comprehensive campaign calendar and set of materials to customize for their social media programs, website content, email marketing campaigns and local ads. In addition, each campaign is given a start and end date, creating urgency for retailers to participate and ensuring accuracy for brands. This way, brands and retailers alike can ensure they're producing consistent, effective and timely marketing campaigns.
In mid-2014 Nissan was tasked with finding a way to get their brand content into the hands of their dealers to increase sales and maintain consistent brand messaging. While the automaker focuses a tremendous amount of internal resources on regional and national marketing, they needed a way to extend that down to specific, hyperlocal dealers. Nissan turned to Promoboxx to achieve this.
Today, Promoboxx works with both Nissan's national marketing team to run campaigns for vehicle launches and sponsorship campaigns, as well as with Nissan's regional marketing team to implement local campaigns with dealers. Since dealers are far more likely to get onboard with a new strategy or program if their sales reps tell them to do so, Nissan's sales reps are very involved in leveraging Promoboxx to engage their dealers.
This approach has paid off, and fast. Within three months of kick-off, Promoboxx reported a 98 percent dealer platform adoption rate across Nissan's entire dealer network. In a 2016 Nissan Maxima campaign, in particular, Promoboxx helped dealers automatically promote localized, co-branded campaign content across Facebook, Twitter, email, and website. Through these efforts, Nissan achieved an 85 percent dealer engagement rate and reported over 4,500 landing page views and 54,000 consumer clicks.
“Our team at Nissan was looking for a way to deliver our high-quality national marketing content down to our dealers. Promoboxx has succeeded in elevating the game of our whole dealer network.” — Erich Marx, Director, Marketing Communications, Strategy & Content, Nissan
“This is so helpful. I was trying to hire someone to do all of this for us. It's pretty amazing!” — Stanley Nissan
Achieving Campaign Consistency Across Retailers is Difficult
More often than not, retailers don't have the expertise, resources or time to create consistent marketing campaigns across multiple channels. That's because they typically don't know social, mobile, email and website channels well enough to create multi-channel campaigns. This results in one-off promotions that lack the multi-channel reach and targeting necessary for a campaign to be truly effective.
Using Promoboxx, local retailers have access to a manufacturing brand's content, targeting and funds to help them create consistent, brand-funded campaigns across multiple channels. Armed with the right brand messaging, imagery and logos, along with Promoboxx's streamlined workflow for implementing these campaigns, brands see a tremendous uptick in both retailer engagement, and, consequently, results.
At any time, brands can check in on their retailer activity feed on Promoboxx to see the promotions that their retailers are running and get a pulse on campaign implementation and effectiveness. This gives them a clear view of the total reach their retailers are getting, what content is most popular and even what campaigns resonate with which local markets.
While cycling brand Trek is really effective at telling their brand story through content, they needed to give retailers a chance to get involved. Trek already had a pretty good reach themselves, but they wanted their local retailers, who have very engaged and dedicated audiences, to play a part in sharing the story as well. They knew if they could get great content in front of these retailers and give them a chance to execute marketing campaigns that they weren't equipped do on their own, it would pay off. To do this, they turned to Promoboxx.
Specifically, Trek leveraged Promoboxx's Local Ads to engage retailers and drive consumer sales. For their Trek Fest 2016 event, in particular, they rewarded retailers with $50 in targeted Facebook Ads per store location for sharing Trek's content on Facebook. They experienced an 85 percent retailer engagement rate from this with over 1 million impressions and more than 76,000 clicks. In total, they were able to reach 537,000 consumers in a six-week period of time.
“Promoboxx makes it really easy for us to share brand content with our retailers. Our retailers have a smaller reach, but they have really dedicated customers and if we can get good content in front of them it will pay off.” — Jeremy McKinley, North American Marketing Manager, Trek Bikes
“I love the polished and professional presentation of content, photos and videos of the product. It helps me do my job more efficiently and gives our customers exciting posts to look forward to.” — Nicole Rose, Infinity Bicycles
National Brands Often Favor Only A Subset of Retailers With Marketing Efforts
Most manufacturing brands face budget and resource limitations when it comes to funding retailer marketing. This forces them to limit funds and support to only their top retailers, meaning the bulk of their retailers are left to create their own "rogue" content, or, worse, market their competitor's offerings.
Instead, with Promoboxx, manufacturers can provide all of their retailers with quick, easy and cost-effective access to marketing content and ad funds in a scalable way. The brand simply uploads their retailer list to the platform and retailers are sent a one-time enrollment link that when clicked, enables them to receive instant email notifications when new campaigns are available. The brand-approved campaign content leads consumers to a mobile-optimized landing page that is co-branded, featuring the brand promotion as well as each retailer's local store information. Brands benefit from local message consistency, increased sales resulting from the combined reach of all their retail partners, increased retailer loyalty, and visibility into retailers' actions.
As an additional layer of value, the Promoboxx Support team fields all retailer questions, whether it's about the platform or digital marketing itself. Brand customers have the peace of mind that all of their retailers' questions or concerns are addressed promptly. This saves brand teams more valuable resources and further ensures that retailers fully engage with the brand's content available to them.
New Balance has great national reach when marketing their many different athletic products. On a local level, however, they experienced many inefficiencies when trying to communicate campaign details to all of their retailers, which resulted in inconsistent branding and poor campaign performance. The time it took to gather the right assets to send to their sales reps and retailers was becoming untenable, and, worse, they had no way of measuring whether these efforts even paid off because they had no way to track the results.
Because they were previously unable to reach and provide ad funds to many of their local retailers, New Balance noticed that some of these retailers opted to take their own pictures of the shoes, posting them to their online channels, accompanied by misspelled or inaccurate product feature descriptions.
Now, with Promoboxx, New Balance is able to streamline this previously time-intensive and inefficient process so that they can reach all retailers and realize much improved results. Their retailers today receive consistent and up-to-date imagery and messaging. Additionally, communications between the brand, sales reps, and retailers is completely streamlined in the Promoboxx platform, so that all retailers feel involved and informed.
Using Promoboxx, the New Balance team spends 90 percent less time organizing content for local marketing campaigns and one-off requests from reps and retailers have been reduced to nearly zero. New Balance now has visibility into which retailers are engaging with which campaigns and can view engagement rates in real-time. These insights have even given them the ability to discover active retailer accounts they didn't know still existed, enabling them to build new and long-lasting relationships. Their retailers, too, consider it a big win, because the Promoboxx platform is very easy to use, which has increased their participation in brand marketing initiatives.
“Prior to Promoboxx, multiple people in the building were searching for the same assets, sharing out onesie-twosie via email. Not only do we save 10x time using the platform, but we have established a workflow and system internally to better support our rep teams and retailers.” — Tom Taylor, US Run Specialty Channel Marketing, New Balance
“I LOVE Promoboxx and it really helps me promote the brand.” — Julie Sibley, Fleet Feet Sports Bloomington