Shopping centers often promote their retailers’ marketing campaigns via various digital and physical channels to drive traffic and sales. While retailers generally pay for shopping center marketing as part of their lease agreements, they often don’t take advantage of these offerings due to the difficulties of communicating with representatives at every complex.
James Connell, VP of E-Commerce and Customer Experience at Roots, a Canada-based outdoor lifestyle retailer, noted that while his company recognized the value of advertising correct promotions, hours and store details at every location, it was getting cumbersome to communicate campaign directives to each individual store.
“For one person to reach out to more than 100 locations is a challenge logistically,” Connell said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We farmed out the task to our district managers and our store managers, but we found out there wasn’t necessarily the consistency and follow-up that we needed to make sure the results were on par with what we would expect. We recognized that we needed a tool that would help us operationalize our relationship with multiple locations to make it easier for both parties, from a content and information distribution perspective and a follow-up perspective.”
Roots, which began by selling leatherwear out of a Toronto boutique in 1973, now has 120 locations across Canada, six in the U.S., and sells its products in 138 partner stores in Taiwan and China. The company is targeting 10 to 14 new U.S. retail locations by the end of 2019, so there is lot of ground to cover to ensure that the retailer’s marketing presence is maximized across all stores and is consistent and accurate in multiple marketplaces.
Since turning to Engagement Agents in 2017, the retailer only has to upload its marketing campaigns and job postings once to the platform to give all shopping centers the same information to promote — rather than having 100 different conversations with reps of each shopping center. With more consistent conversations in place and with a third party to monitor them, Roots can afford to be more creative in their marketing campaigns.
Not Just Local But Hyperlocal
“Never underestimate the power of hyperlocalized marketing content,” Connell said. “As platforms like CarPlay or Google search start to integrate information, this type of hyperlocal content becomes more valuable, and you’re just losing out on opportunities if you’re not listed, or not listed correctly.”
Roots often builds out hyperlocal content for geotargeted social campaigns and leverages Google My Business to localize each store location. The content that is delivered often depends entirely on the type of promotion they’re using to reach consumers, and where the company feels the shopper is in the buying lifecycle.
“If there’s a consumer that we feel is very close to purchasing and they’re actively searching at a location for us, then the content that we serve up to the consumer in that situation is much more targeted around converting, services provided in that store and what’s actually available within inventory,” Connell said. “Compare that to an overall brand message that you might find on a less targeted channel like an Instagram post that doesn’t have any geotargeting on it.”
Providing A Menu Of Creative Assets For Shopping Centers
Previously, the Roots team had to manually create a list of names and email addresses of contacts that the retailer needed to reach out to on a biweekly basis. With the new process, Roots provides Engagement Agents with current information about the campaigns they plan on running and the specific creative assets their shopping centers can use. Engagement Agents then automates and manages the complex distribution to all of Roots’ shopping centers, ensuring their campaigns and brand are consistent across all of their shopping centers’ marketing channels in order to drive traffic and sales. As a result, Roots also saves money, time and resources.
“Some malls have different restrictions or requirements or even pixel dimensions of creative projects,” Connell said. “We’re now able to list a number of different options that fit all the different criteria for the various properties, all in one location. The person who is in charge of the mall’s marketing channels has their selection of a lot of different sizes, so it allows them to give themselves more flexibility if they’re building an email versus updating a web site. They don’t have to reach out to us to get an additional asset, they can go to the same web page and download the image that they need.”