How to evolve your traditional retail media plan into an effective digital strategy

Digital and computerWe recently saw a question that is probably on the mind of most marketing people these days. The question is: “How can I evolve a traditional retail media plan into an engaging, digital/social media plan while growing revenue and profits?”

Our answer is:

This is a common question in the fad driven world of following the latest trend.  Unfortunately, all businesses that have achieved scale live with a “baseline”, a status-quo.  Making changes to the baseline can be terrific, or damaging, to revenue and profits.  Before working up a plan to make that change in marketing mix, we think a few tough questions should be asked and answered.

First and foremost, why are you being drawn to making this conversion form current media tactics to a new digital approach?  Is your target consuming digital media in a way that you can break thru and then have an impact on their consumer behavior?  If you still want to pursue a significant evolution to digital media, consider this: while digital media can be more “engaging” by its very nature of interaction (when implemented effectively), have digital media tactics been proven to positively impact your KPI’s?  No different than changing from a TV campaign to a radio campaign, the proof must be there before a large scale change is made; otherwise, you risk your current connection to your baseline of business.  Technology is a wonderful thing and as such, it enables us to test and measure a lot.  Using geo-targeting techniques, you can construct a reliable test to prove out your digital inclination before making the changes that might put revenue and profits at risk.

Once your digital ambitions have passed your tests, migrating your traditional media plan to digital doesn’t necessarily require more budget dollars or the reduction of traditional media dollars transferred into digital. Digital media budgets can be grown by using retail assets as payment, and revenue and profits can be grown through the resulting increase in digital media – all without a loss in your traditional budgets.

The means exist to trade assets such as dark store locations, gift cards, short-coded inventory, end-of-of life equipment or unsold store or warehouse merchandise for a variety of premium digital media properties. Rather than liquidating them at market pricing, these retail assets can be valued much higher in terms of the digital media received.

The digital media paid for with surplus assets should be equal in quality to that which you would otherwise be bought with cash. Agreements for this type of trade must include normal buying guidelines and costs just as would be followed by your ad agency for an all-cash digital buy. Done properly, payment using assets can provide an additional 15% or more to digital campaigns without reducing the budgets of your traditional media efforts.

About Mike Lake

Mike is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Evergreen Trading. When not playing jazz trombone he is probably obsessing about writing content that will capture the attention and interest of business people and fellow learning junkies everywhere.

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