Marketing: With shows and data to success

Elaborate show formats such as DJ videos from the supermarket and a hotel full of do-it-yourself projects: this is one side of the current marketing trends in stationary retail. The other is data and automation along the lines of e-commerce.

There is a new shoe store. In September 2021, chain store Görtz opened a 1,200 square meter flagship store near Düsseldorf’s Königsallee. In addition to the classic shoe range, Görtz sets up atypical places: “The platform’s successful approach in e-commerce is implemented in a stationary manner” on pop-up areas – so Görtz brings other companies into the house.

Niederegger, for example, offers marzipan, and Freiraum hangs its lifestyle clothing brands, which are advertised on Instagram, on stands. The aim is to “regularly test new themes and elements with customers and to adjust the sales area in a future-oriented manner”. Görtz cannot say anything about the first results on request.

© Kaufland

Flashy and colorful is the trend in retail marketing: Tiktok star Younes Zarou in Kaufland’s hip-hop video.

The trend is toward hyper personalization

A lot is currently being tested and adjusted in the pandemic-ridden stationary trade. While the German Retail Association expects online sales to grow again by almost 20% to EUR 87.1 billion in 2021, traditional retailers are looking for ways to (again) convince customers of their business. “We sense an almost endless need for data from the large retail chains,” says Marc-Etienne Geser, Managing Director of the marketing service provider Marktguru Germany.

“Stationary retail is becoming programmatic. That means: It consistently follows the online world and uses data for its decisions and for the automation of processes.” And for hyper personalization: The ideal is the “segment of one”, i.e. an individual offer, possibly also an individual price for each customer.

Possibilities of data analysis are almost limitless

Data usage has many faces. Marktguru, for example, has the option of analyzing (anonymized) receipts via its app, which includes a bonus system (cashback) and digital brochures. Marktguru’s retail customers want to find out: What do customers buy all the time, so what no longer needs to be advertised to them?

What is bought together? Is it worth it to automatically send certain special offers to individual customers with certain combinations of goods on their receipts? “The possibilities of evaluation are practically endless,” says Geser. “It’s one of the trends that’s emerging, we’re just getting started.”

Comprehensive customer data platforms claim to collect and structure data from all conceivable sources across sales channels, browsers and end devices.

Providers of such platforms such as Infosys Equinox promise to update the data in real time and thus predict future customer behavior. This makes it possible to trigger the right content, offers and promotions to the right customers, according to Kunal Puri, Infosys Equinox’s head of customer success.

Evaluate license plates in the customer parking lot

The Pilot Agency takes another approach. According to the words of the managing director Wolfgang Nagele, there are various (data protection compliant) ways to determine the origin of the customers. For example, by automatically reading number plates in customer parking spaces or using movement data from mobile phones.

If a high-revenue area falters, digital countermeasures can be taken immediately, for example through targeted online advertisements. The continuous automatic counting of customers provides information about the occupancy of a store, so that interested customers can be informed via app that the store (or restaurant) is not busy at the moment or that there are free parking spaces.

Pop-up areas in Görtz's Düsseldorf flagship store

© Goertz

Pop-up areas in Görtz’s Düsseldorf flagship store

“In some areas of Germany, up to 70% of mailboxes have a “No Advertising” sticker on them,” says Nagele. “That doesn’t mean that these customers don’t want any advertising at all – just maybe no print brochures. Such areas can alternatively be addressed digitally, for example.” That’s why it’s important to know where customers live and through which channels they can be reached.

From the glass bakery to the DJ from New York

This is the data page. The show portion of current marketing trends includes all things spectacular. It starts with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that provide a view of the company’s own bakery in Globus’ new large-scale store in Eschborn. And that doesn’t end with the elaborately produced video “Edeka presents: Super Marc”, for which Edeka hired New York DJ Marc Rebillet.

It got 4.3 million views on YouTube alone (plus 2.2 million from the “making of”). Shortly thereafter, Kaufland released the hip-hop song “Too cheap to be true” with Tiktok star Younes Zarou (1.6 million views on YouTube).

“We sense an almost endless need for data from the large retail chains.”

Marc-Etienne Geser, Managing Director Marktguru

Flashy and colorful is the trend

One of the most recent marketing campaigns comes from the hardware store chain Obi and is called “Hotel Create!”. In around ten episodes of around six minutes each, influencers and designers completely redesign a hotel room according to their own ideas. It’s flashy and colorful – and a sign of a change in marketing.

“It used to be about advertising individual products and attracting customers to the market,” says Dr. Christian von Hegel, Managing Director Corporate Marketing at Obi. Today, the focus is on acquiring new customers and supporting customers with their problems.

Away from product advertising towards communication

The “Create! by Obi” format is aimed explicitly at people who want to redesign their home without any do-it-yourself experience. That means: “Marketing is only partly advertising and to a large extent communication with relevant content.” Most of Obi’s marketing remains classic, including performance marketing, social media – and last but not least, printed brochures.

According to von Hegel, “highlight formats will always be needed to attract attention and draw customers into the customer journey”. Philipp Westermeyer, founder of the digital and online marketing platform OMR, agrees. “The fact that marketing is becoming more expensive is not due to complex formats, but to large platforms such as Google and Facebook,” he says. “They maximize the actors’ willingness to pay.”

Data and show are closely linked

Companies, including retailers, would therefore do well to capture so-called organic referrals, i.e. classic recommendations as a significantly cheaper alternative to platform advertising. This also includes spectacular actions.

Both sides, the data and the show, are closely linked. “Both the Edeka video and ‘Hotel Create!’ from Obi only exists because the marketing people spent a long time looking at the customer data,” says Marc-Etienne Geser from Marktguru. “In addition to a great creative idea, the success of such campaigns also requires precise knowledge of the target group and the zeitgeist – and courage.”

This article first appeared in Der Handel.


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