Christoph Lergenmüller from STIGA knows that it is essential for brick-and-mortar retailers to market their services and personal advice online as well. But since retailers often lack the time and know-how for multichannel campaigns, they now rely on our retail marketing platform. SocialPALS can generate significant reach and brand awareness effects, even with small budgets!
Christoph, please tell us something about yourself and your role at STIGA!
Since 2021, I have been responsible for marketing at STIGA for the Germany, Switzerland, and Benelux regions. Therefore, my responsibility is to increase brand awareness and thus revenue in these countries. To this end, we want to expand our loyal fan base, which we regard with pride.
STIGA is an absolute innovation leader in the garden industry, and we want to position it as such in terms of communication. For example, we are the first company to develop a ride-on mower with interchangeable batteries. These batteries also fit other gardening tools – that’s new! And we have other highlights in the portfolio. Take the StigA, the first lawn mowing robot for private gardens, which works without a restricting cord thanks to GPS, Real-Time Kinematic, 4G, and a specially developed algorithm.
You began using the socialPALS platform in 2021 to provide your retailers with high-quality campaign content. Why did you decide to integrate this form of automated retail marketing into your communication concept?
Online and social media marketing are gaining relevance in the marketing mix. With socialPALS, we support our partners in over-the-counter retail. They often lack the time or know-how to use digital media to promote themselves locally and in a targeted manner. socialPALS offers a simple, straightforward solution to play out brand-compliant content and messages locally and strengthen our position in retail. Due to the precise targeting, the available budget is used very efficiently.
What challenges do you currently see in the industry - both for STIGA as a brand and for your retail partners? Were you able to solve them with the help of socialPALS?
There is a shortage of time, skilled workers, and know-how. That is why we rely on socialPALS because this offers a simple and understandable solution for both industry and retail – and in the interest of all!
What was the goal of the "E-POWER CASHBACK" campaign and how much time and effort did you spend in-house on marketing to get it off the ground?
With our “Cashback” campaign, we won new consumers for our battery range. Through the Shopper Activation and media playout on social and Google, we have been able to increase reach and thus promote in-store sales. Although it was the first campaign in cooperation with socialPALS and we started without any previous experience, it worked well right away and the internal effort was manageable.
How difficult is it to motivate your retail partners to participate? Is the "online marketing" module accepted as an integration into the sales concept?
Online marketing by many retailers is not yet fully recognized as the opportunity it is. The idea of competition with the big online players often arises here. In my view, however, online sales must be only one side of the coin. Instead, online is an important advertising platform for store-based USPs such as service and customer advice – this is often overlooked.
Once the message is understood, many new doors open. After all, online offers a sensational environment to try out new ideas and measures: Even small budgets can impact, and online measures can target consumer behavior. In the gardening industry, the RoPo effect (“Research Online Purchase Offline”) still frequently applies.
Participation in a socialPALS campaign and thus the playout of the turnkey content calendar is confirmed by each retail partner after one-time registration via 1-Click. Were there also retailers who took a closer look at the platform and e.g., planned (additional) postings or advertising budget themselves?
Yes, after the initial successes and the recognized added value, many retailers are investing their own advertising budgets. A development that makes us happy!
Was the campaign successful? Were you able to draw helpful lessons from it - for example, which channels and formats are best suited for the advertised product?
From our point of view, the campaign was a complete success. In addition to the ad impressions and clicks we achieved, we received a lot of positive feedback from the retailers. At the same time, we were able to use the first campaign to learn important lessons for future campaigns.
Has the Corona crisis had a (lasting) impact on the industry or have the demands on local marketing changed - or have you rather benefited?
Like so many others, Corona has posed many challenges to our industry and has had an enormous impact. In my eyes, however, we have emerged stronger from this period. Supply chains are broader, the exchange with retailers has become more intensive and closer, digital processes have been advanced.
Moreover, online marketing has also become more important for the stationary trade – here we are meeting with increased interest. We want to expand this further with agencies, the industry, and retailers because we can use the successful marketing of products requiring intensive consultation to strengthen in-store retailers further.
How do you see the future of store-based retail in the context of big online players' market power? Does the "specialist retailer around the corner" still have a chance if it invests in time, e.g., in digital measures?
Today, neither companies, brands, nor retailers decide when, where, and consumers shop. Due to the seemingly unlimited access to information and the absence of closing times.
Therefore, brick-and-mortar retailers need to market their USP, service, and personal advice accordingly. Digital measures offer a great opportunity: retailers can promote and position their USP and themselves as local experts. Another advantage of the digital world: retailers can achieve a lot even with small budgets thanks to the correct targeting. Due to the medium’s flexibility, one can try out, learn, and optimize the measures.
Are you already planning further campaigns to support your retail partners?
Yes, we will build on our successful campaign and use our learnings to set up even more efficient campaigns. Through continuity and consistent communication, we want to further increase our brand awareness. Here we see a lot of synergy effects through the integration of the social media channels of the trade. At the end of the day, this will also increase the local, stationary sales of our retailers.