(A Case Study) K-citymarket is one of the biggest store chains in Finland with over 72 hypermarkets all over the Finland. Retail & grocery chains have been basically totally absent from the social media in Finland and quite inactive in digital channels in general.
Our agency (N2 Marketing) got invited in pitch to rethink K-citymarket digital marketing. During the process we found mutual understanding of the right digital strategy and got chosen as the K-citymarket digital partner. The first manifestation of this collaboration was to launch the social media presence (namely Facebook page) to K-citymarket. Actually, the first Facebook page for a hypermarket in Finland, to be exact.
The marketing for the K-citymarket has been typically traditional over the years with heavy emphasis on print. The effectiveness of print advertising has been on the decline lately and people are starting to use more digital channels. How to be relevant in the digital sphere as a hypermarket?
Hypermarkets as such are not the most attractive Facebook pages to like. You might want to show that you are liking Louis Vuitton or your favorite band, but not necessarily flaunting your love of the place you are buying your toilet paper from. How do we get people to like something which is part of their everyday life?
Seldom you really have a brand, which has a target group of basically the whole nation. K-citymarket is one of those brands. How to make campaign which appeals to both young and old, women and men and big cities and rural areas? How do we make a campaign that appeals to the whole of Finland?
Because the scope and reach of K-citymarket is so huge, we needed to execute the launch properly and in a big way. Couple of thousands fans would not be enough, we had to attract tens of thousands fans to make it a worthwhile channel for our client. How do you make a Facebook campaign which gathers critical mass fast?
We found that K-citymarket had huge advantages to which build the Facebook. First, the stores are really important media channels as themselves, second there are lots of interesting angles to communicate about the K-citymarket brand in Facebook. For example it is the biggest shoe store in Finland.
Due to the recent economic turmoil, people are increasingly more price-aware. Discounts interest huge amount of people nevertheless their background. When going gets tough, it is more and more important how much do you spend on your children diapers monthly.
People are also starting to get picky in social media. Basically to like a brand you want to have promotions or discounts (as can be seen on the above perception gap picture from IBM, read the entire white paper here). So it seemed as the right decision to concentrate on the discounts with the initial launch of K-citymarket Facebook-page. But just revealing discounts seemed quite dull and obvious idea, but what if you could have an impact in social media to the discounts in the physical stores?
We decided to launch Facebook-site at the same time when the legendary sales week of K-Citymarket “Mammuttimarkkinat (Mammoth Sales)” was held. The launch campaign was based on the three fundamentals build upon discounts:
Before the initial campaign launch we aimed to attract the real K-citymarket fans who were waiting for the start of the annual discount weeks. We informed K-citymarket newsletter subscribers about the opportunity to unleash discounts before the print advertisement.
This attracted 9.000 fans even before the initial campaign launch.
2. Reason to share:
“Duel of the discounts”
People could actually have an impact of what products there are in discount in the physical stores. Utilizing Facebook-likes you could vote the product of your fancy to be in discounts.
The winner of that battle would be in discount in the very next day. Very seldom you see such a rapid response in social media and retail space.
Duel of the discounts was a huge success. Together with the client we had chosen products which sparked emotions and polarized opinions. One of the most successful duels was the battle between wine glasses and beer jugs.
Wine afficiandos won that battle which invoked bitter comments from beer fans. It was the traditional discount marketing turned upside down: people were spreading the word to their tribes about the discounts.
3. Reason to go to the store & return back to Facebook: “Receipt lottery”
Receipts are a huge own media for retail chains. In every receipt there was a coupon code which forwarded you to Facebook.
When you entered the code you took a part in the competition for a trip to the place where mammoths were living (namely South-Africa).
Nowadays these fundamentals serve as the framework for the campaigns for K-citymarket in Facebook). Every campaign has to have these three reasons to pass the planning phase.
Also the facebook.com/citymarket address was included in all the integrated marketing activities for the discount weeks to raise awareness about the new page in Facebook.
Amount of Facebook fans:
42.120 (Starting from the scratch and in under two weeks. Basically got over 2% of Facebook users in Finland to like K-citymarket during the campaign)
Amount of impressions:
Over 1 M impressions for the status updates from K-citymarket Facebook-page.
Amount of votes in Duel of the discounts:
Amount of receipt lottery participants:
Mammuttimarkkinat in fall 2011 was the most succesful Mammuttimarkkinat ever.
“This is only the beginning for the digital. Facebook is a really important part of our digital ecosystem and will be developed to become more interactive in the near future. Campaigns play crucial role in hypermarket business, but Facebook gives us also opportunity to deepen the relationship with our customers and enhance the dialogue and customer service”, says Pia Laaksonen, Digital Marketing Manager of K-citymarket.
This has been one of the groundbreaking cases I have been working on. The reaction response and the positive attitude to this whole project from the K-citymarket organization has been a great asset and without it the launch would have not gone so well. Combining the fast-paced retail industry with fast-paced social media marketing has been a good combination thus far. And we have just begun.
I know that we have just scratched the surface of the potential opportunities, but the initial results for this project have been really promising.
How do you see the future of Social Media & retail?