The global health crisis was the last drop that broke the barrel. It is true that more and more aspects of our lives have been taking place on the Internet not only since Corona, but the pandemic has ultimately and clearly shifted the focus of our actions to the Internet also in our country. Everyone is online, regardless of age, origin, or social class. Whether out of deep conviction, out of sheer convenience or pure need – people inevitably live in two worlds. Online and offline can no longer be separated.
A development that clearly did not go unnoticed by the advertising industry; and so the industry has been busy reallocating budgets for some time. Away from traditional to digital and toward digital formats. After all, there are good reasons for online marketing:
Once content has been produced, it can play on any number of channels in any number of versions and always reaches the target group at the right time in the right place. The interaction of the various channels in the customer journey is constantly analyzed, the channel mix and budget distribution are continuously optimized using real-time data.
David versus Goliath
For e-commerce giants with hundreds of marketing specialists and affiliated digital agencies, data-based targeting and context-related remarketing have long been part of daily business – it presents challenges for large parts of stationary retail. There is a lack of staff, time, money and sometimes the lack of an understanding of the necessity.
Above all, however, there is a lack of expertise to use digital instruments. The workaround usually consists of proven routines and acting with a clear conscience. Key accounts with online services remain the growth drivers. And so the lockdown hit many SMEs like an avalanche.
The end of the corner shop?
But was it really only the lockdown that broke the little corner stores’ necks? Even before Corona, only a third of them expected an increase in sales for the current financial year. The main reasons [given] are the huge range of online-only retailers and their aggressive pricing policy. Particularly popular in online shops are product categories where retail is traditionally well represented:
The problem with this is that if you do don’t have the tools, you can’t really get your remaining service advantage out into the World Wide Web regardless of whether the ship door is open or not. Stationary retail has lost around 39,000 locations since 2010.
Who really benefits from coop budget?
But this will not only become a problem for retailers themselves in the long run. Manufacturers and suppliers would also do well to seek effective, local advertising efforts and to actively involve their dealer network in their marketing strategy – and not just in times of crisis. Because only a healthy, diverse dealer portfolio ensures the sale of products and creates long-term customer loyalty away from the overwhelming power of marketplaces and price search engines.
Unfortunately, in the marketing mix of many brands, there is often no item that would support retailers. And when it does, it is often indifferently ticked off via the long-outdated coop budget. Quite understandably so – after all, dealer campaigns require an enormous amount of communication and coordination. Chapeau to anyone who can still keep track of the actual effect on brand image, conversion and product sales at the end of the season.
Who will save the SMEs?
Our socialPALS team has therefore made it its mission to save the (in)valuable world of retail from the threat of extinction. The socialPALS-platform connects manufacturers and suppliers with their respective dealer network, thus creating the missing link. The core idea of the 360° marketing is the use of all available communication channels – from the most far-reaching social networks to the Google Display Network. The integrated concept covers all phases of digital marketing – from the first idea to continuous success monitoring.
For the first time, brands and their dealers can use a sophisticated and easy-to-use tool to handle complex multi-channel campaigns efficiently, quickly and without any prior knowledge. The brand’s message reaches its end customers in a CI-compliant, authentic and target-group-specific manner via the retailers’ social media channels in the local area and online via Google Display Ads.
Since the platform launch in 2018, the company, which was founded in Holzkirchen near Munich, has closed the gap between online and offline and is finally giving retailers the measures they urgently need to show new and existing customers how to get to the local store online. It is the long-awaited digital emergency aid for retailers – and thus their key to the gateway to the brave new world.
SocialPALS has already been able to convince many of the big players and now provides around 45 brands from a wide variety of industries with the daily drivers for automated retailer marketing. Almost 4,000 dealers have already registered on the platform and embarked on their promising journey into the online world.
Why not jump on the wave of solidarity that has been emerging in recent months and turn the core of the crisis into the future of regional marketing? Why not show customers with an affinity for online what they used to appreciate about the corner shop?
Because digital and personal are not mutually exclusive. They form an unbeatable task force.