As the advertising environment grows increasingly complex, challenges keep pace. Instead of a comprehensive toolbox of advertising channels, it can feel as though you have a grab bag. The fragmented media landscape can make it feel as though you’re shouting into a void, competing for ever-decreasing moments of your retail customers’ attention. Maybe you’re finding it almost impossible to update your individual media plans quickly enough to address each store’s weekly revenue targets.
Our integrated media planning approach
We construct integrated media plans the same way (hopefully!) you’d construct a building, and using data as our blueprint throughout:
- We begin at the ground level, with the individual store, then move up through the location/market level and up again to the brand level.
- We take a full-funnel approach, letting us use all available data to increase brand awareness while driving in-store traffic.
- We measure against multiple KPIs on an ongoing basis, which helps us evaluate and fine-tune the performance of each individual channel and each location’s overall integrated media plan.
As an example of how that works in practice, let’s look at Palm Beach Tan, the nation’s largest indoor tanning salon brand and a cornerstone of our retail portfolio. We’ve helped propel PBT from 40 salons in four markets to 550+ in 92 markets. For each of those markets, we develop an integrated media plan to guide PBT prospects through the funnel from brand awareness to consideration to in-store membership purchase.
Early in the 2010s, the tanning industry hit a plateau for multiple reasons, including a fragmented media landscape with increasing demands on our customers’ and prospects’ attention. That meant we needed to:
- Create aspirational brand messaging to connect with PBT customers and prospects at a core emotional level.
- Reach potential customers through the right channels at the right time.
- Drive short-term results and long-term growth with an integrated, data-driven, agile approach.
Approach and methodology
Data drives our approach to creating each market’s media plan. Since the tanning category is highly seasonal — and seasonality varies dramatically by location — we analyze previous years’ customer count trends to make sure we place media at the best times and on the right channels. We also keep a host of other factors in mind:
- Traditional and nontraditional competitors in each market
- Past campaign performance by tactic
- Maturity of the brand in the market
- Location penetration of the brand in the market
- General market conditions
- Market demographics
- Additional, market-specific elements
Our full-funnel approach to integrated media planning and ad buying lets us use all available data to increase brand awareness while driving in-store traffic:
- To drive brand awareness, we utilize a mix of online and offline channels that work harder in brand building, such as Pandora, Facebook (brand awareness objective), terrestrial radio, TV, connected TV, outdoor and transit.
- Media plans for each location/market buys vary, but the key goal remains constant across channels and locations: Capture users’ attention with targeted reach and frequency to build brand awareness and pique interest in the brand and category.
- As we progress to building awareness, we shift our media mix to the lower-funnel tactics such as paid search and the family of Facebook ads (offline conversion objective). These are better suited for generating leads and in-store traffic.
To make this approach truly integrated, we:
- Incorporate consistent messaging and offers across all marketing channels.
- Leverage the strengths of each native platform to make ad placements work harder in each platform.
- Lead with compelling brand messaging to forge an emotional connection, combined with a unique and compelling trial offer to drive engagement.
- Measure results using various tools and methodologies.
We review multiple KPIs on an ongoing basis so we can continuously evaluate and fine-tune the performance of each individual channel and each location’s media plan. These data dives also provide insights into how we can bolster relationships between online and offline media to drive leads and sales for individual stores.
A very brief list of some of those KPIs:
- Store- and market-level brand-defined KPIs, tracked weekly
- Cost per lead
- Cost per customer acquired through Facebook and Google’s store visit tracking capabilities
- Facebook Brand Lift studies, for Facebook ads focused on a brand awareness goal
- Pandora placed study, for Pandora placements focusing on a brand awareness goal
- Effectiveness of offline media, with increased/decreased branded search volume as a good indicator
The metrics we use as our primary KPIs have seen significant improvement over time. Since we launched our integrated media plans supported by evolving digital and traditional tactics in 2014, all customer traffic metrics — including prospects, returning customers, sessions and unique customers — have consistently shown positive results. Brandwide revenue and store traffic continue to grow. Store and market counts continue to expand, as does total lifetime value in months and in spend per member. We continue propelling the PBT brand forward with integrated media plans and the rest of our nimble, data-driven process.
Let’s make plans
We have decades of success helping multiunit retail brands leverage their strengths and drive short- and long-term growth. Talk with us about how Archer Malmo can develop integrated media plans for your brand so you, your stores and your customers can see both the big picture and the details instead of a series of fragments.