The present supply chain situation requires significant flexibility from all parties involved. Suppliers must address consumers in a targeted manner with their retail partners. For Christoph Schwer of Osprey, the digital promotion of outdoor products is an indispensable component of the marketing mix. He recently began relying on the support of the retail marketing platform socialPALS!
Christoph, please tell us a little about yourself and your role at Osprey!
I’m 40 years old and have been with Osprey for under three and a half years. As Sales Manager for DACH, I am responsible for developing the brand in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Osprey has just jumped on the bandwagon to deliver high-quality campaign content to your retailers via socialPALS. Why did you decide to test this form of automated retail marketing?
We are confident that socialPALS is the right solution for us to make it as easy as possible for our retail partners to address their customers digitally with our content. All market players currently have to cope with many issues. Unfortunately, there is usually not enough time to deal with – from our point of view, essential – topics such as digital advertising to the necessary extent.
Therefore, we want to help our partners with the support of socialPALS and offer them content as “bite-sized” as possible. Digital advertising of customers is an indispensable component – but must be operated correctly. socialPALS provides the know-how and the “how” on one platform.
What is the objective of your KickOff campaign "Innovate AGAIN" and how much internal effort did you put into marketing to get it off the ground? Did the platform take work away from you compared to "classic" retail marketing?
The goal was for our retail partners and us to take the message to the consumer while achieving sales for the retailer. The first campaign was a lot of work for my colleague in marketing. It is our first campaign, and we also had to learn a lot – what is needed, when/how. We had a pretty steep learning curve here, and I would say that we didn’t save time on traditional marketing.
But we can clearly say that we were able to serve more partners with a consistent campaign simultaneously. Especially with our CI – this isn’t easy to implement in individual campaigns.
How difficult was it to motivate your retail partners to participate? Is the "online marketing" module accepted as an integral part of the sales concept?
At the time, the campaign’s launch was consistently received as very positive, and readiness was good. But this was over three-quarters of a year ago, during the pre-order phase. The closer we got to the starting point, the more difficult it was to get the retailers to participate. The current delivery issue was undoubtedly one of the main reasons why the participation rate is not as high as I would like it to be. To be honest, I also don’t quite understand why partners don’t take advantage of the free opportunity to acquire customers for themselves. After all, we as a brand are paying for them to advertise.
We are well aware of the current delivery issue and have responded to it for the campaign. For example, we expanded it from one product family to three so that each partner could adapt the campaign individually to their existing stocks. Unfortunately, this was only partially done. I understand that the time factor plays a significant role here, but as already mentioned, I find it hard to understand why a free advertising opportunity isn’t embraced.
What challenges do you currently see for both Osprey as a brand and for your retail partners? Are crises such as the pandemic or the current supply chain issues having a lasting impact on the industry and its actions? Have the requirements for local marketing also changed as a result?
Of course, the current crises are influencing and changing the trading landscape. Due to the enormous difficulties in the supply chains, a great deal of flexibility is required on the supplier and trade side. Everything has to be (re)processed several times, so a lot of time is needed on all sides.
Together with our retailers, we have selected and ordered collections that cannot be sold in stores now. Unfortunately, all the planned measures and the associated sales cannot be implemented this way. This is anything but ideal – but we are all in this together and must make the best of it.
Retailers also have to contend with a lack of footfall and a reluctance to buy due to falling purchasing power. Here, we as a brand are challenged to address the consumer correctly with our retail partners. Despite all this, there is still an urge to get out into nature and travel. The right equipment is also needed for this. And this is precisely where we want to create an incentive with our campaign.
How can socialPALS as a retail marketing solution support you in overcoming these challenges?
SocialPALS is an excellent way for our retail partners to sign up for a manufacturer-made marketing campaign with one click. Of course, it would be desirable if even more retailers would engage with the platform and get to grips with its functions, such as “how do I plan my calendar” or “how do I change/exchange the ad”. This is where I see the biggest problem with our campaign: there has been too little readjustment here.
How do you see the future of retail in the context of major online players' market dominance? Does the " neighbourhood outdoor retailer" still have a chance if it invests in digital measures in good time? Do end customers want to shop stationary?
That’s actually a topic that could fill an entire evening! But I see an absolute justification for stationary retail. For me, consulting and service quality, as well as specialization and differentiation, are the predominant topics. Of course, prominent pure players also have reasonable offers here – but I still think that consultation-intensive products such as high-quality hiking and trekking backpacks can be a building block here. Only if the backpack fits correctly can the user fully enjoy their activity. And trying on under professional guidance is best done in a stationary retailer!
Many consumers get their information online, so we have to pick them up right here! The young generation, in particular, consumes a lot on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Retailers need to address and advertise to them there is a targeted and localized manner. socialPALS offers an ideal, simple and fast option here.
Are you already planning more campaigns to support your retail partners?
Definitely! Digital advertising is an essential part of the future marketing mix.
Take action now and use your MDF more effectively!
socialPALS brings brands and retail partners together and creates a win-win situation that unleashes previously untapped potential. The innovative software solution simplifies complex processes through automated retail marketing and strengthens stationary retail through regional brand campaigns. Get your obligation-free platform demo today and become part of the socialPALS success story.