We thought broadcast TV would die with COVID…and we were dead wrong.
As we ramped up in spring of 2020 to begin moving forward, we had a unique opportunity as an agency. We had never started from ground zero with no spending and also we could align the percentages of spending between traditional and digital. We could evaluate all vehicles equally and understanding their opportunities (and their differences).
A prevailing thought when the shelter in place orders started was that the only future is in digital and streaming. Digital, as great and as cost effective as it can be, at its core is a 1:1 vehicle with the consumer. It is highly targeted and to truly cast a message to a larger audience you end up blowing your budget out of whack. It would be like running direct mail to every potential customer in your market. By the time you thought about it you would be broke.
So, as a brain trust we began to evaluate all medias and look at them from a different perspective. Typically, as furniture focused media buyers, we have tried to evaluate all media from the lens of the prototypical female consumer. Narrowing in on lifestyle and programming choices that fit where the typical female would live. To maintain sales volume and keep the lights coming on this is a great strategy and makes your ad dollars go much further. But when you are trying to grow and get more consumers being that targeted can only lead needing more conversions.
That’s when we begin to look at our typical traditional mass medias differently.
We started focusing on where the most eyeballs would be potentially and ignoring all of the limiting factors that are circulating through the media landscape. We all know what those limiting factors are:
- Streaming/on demand
- Phone usage
- The list goes on and on
What we had done as we moved into through the summer of 2020 and into the fall, was establish a core marketing plan that generated revenue for our clients and kept the lights on. To shift and grow market share we needed to ignore what perception was and see if we could make our own reality.
That’s when the great metamorphosis of traditional media buying began at R&A. We began to buy programming we had never bought before. Our client’s ads were showing on more primetime viewing, sports, major events and less of an emphasis on local news and syndicated programming during the day. We didn’t ignore those facets, but we didn’t make them the backbone of our strategies. We let them be the cherry on top knowing that digital was hitting those typical female consumers in a more frequent manner.
Fast forward from that point, and where we could buy broadcast aggressively, we have seen the following shifts in sales and store traffic:
- Sales increases collectively of 15% VERSES great 2020 numbers in the back half of the year
- Previous cost of advertising being maintained at just over 3.5% cost of sales (while spending collectively as an agency 40% les)
- Store traffic increases collectively of 5% in same-store metrics
To stay in business, we need to grow our business. Changing our media buying philosophies to get in front of eyeballs and let our digital properties do the targeting has led to tremendous success along with top-line growth.
What are you doing to maintain what you are doing while growing your footprint as an independent retailer?