White River Marine Group has dozens of retail locations, from Bass Pro Shops to a growing roster of independent dealers. As the new year arrived, they decided to try something new. Forrester calls it Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA).
The goal: When local boat buyers researched a very considered purchase online — a $20,000 to $100,000 fishing boat — they found a White River dealer first. With Netsertive's TCMA solution for brands and local dealers, White River scaled local marketing campaigns for nearly 100 local dealers in Q1 this year.
The result? The most significant response to a marketing action in recent memory.
In part one we learned that the path to purchase has gone digital, with details explaining why a campaign mentality no longer works for multi-location brands.
In part two below, Maurice Bowen, White River Marine Group Senior Marketing Director, offers his insights into his decision to embrace new marketing technology to scale local marketing during our recent webinar with Lori Wizdo, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst.
In the third installment you'll hear how Netsertive's technology harmonizes brand-to-local campaigns, driving consistent digital messages to local boat buyers to turn White River Marine Group's stores into a single sales machine.
MAURICE BOWEN, SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR, WHITE RIVER MARINE GROUP:
Thanks, Lori. By way of an introduction, I have been marketing big ticket items for my entire career spanning several decades. I tell everybody that I have lived through what Lori has been describing in her slides so far.
A little background on White River Marine Group. We consist of the marine manufacturing and retail operations of Bass Pro Shops. We are one of the leading boat builders in the United States, we're very well known to fisherman and boating families offering nine boat brands [Tracker, Ranger, Sun Tracker, Nitro, Triton, Mako, Regency, Stratos, Tahoe.]
We deliver sales and service for our boat brands through 300 or more dealer locations including company stores located inside the Bass Pro boating centers.
Our daily quest when we come to the office is to answer that classic marketing question, which is how to deliver a relevant message at the right time for the right customer.
Last year we invited Forrester to come to our headquarters and hold a workshop for us to talk about what was going in solution for some of the problems we were facing.
Forrester had a very elegant overview of what was happening.They talked with us about things that we clearly knew, but I think that it was explained to us very clearly, that brands and manufacturers and vendors are all trying to communicate with the end consumer.
And the marketplace has changed dramatically, where before it was relatively simple to communicate through the few channels that were available. There is an ever-expanding range of channels that are not only being used by brands and manufacturers, but also by retailers.
So we saw the fragmentation in media and message and believe that it is very important to try and unify that, but because of all the players and all the media, it's very, very complex.
Forrester gave us a name and a definition to the solution - through channel customer engagement using through channel marketing automation.
And Lori, I think that you wanted to talk about this a little bit.
LORI WIZDO, VP PRINCIPAL ANALYST, FORRESTER:
Yes, it is an interesting dynamic that Maurice is describing that we've seen in many companies who reach their audience through a channel via dealers, distributors, retail locations.
We call it through channel marketing automation or TCMA. It's a new type of marketing automation system and really a new type of marketing strategy that enterprise marketers and brands are using to basically enable their local marketing execution channel to become more digitally active and to scale that marketing activity.
But the most important thing is this is done in a governed way. This is really important because that is what helps protect the integrity of the brand. When we looked at this, one of the big fears we had about this marketing automation and local email tools and marketing tools that local agents might be using could enable what I call "bad marketing at scale."
So you want to get the marketing going you want to enable that digital approach we were talking about, but it also needs to happen in a governed manner.
On the left we see the capabilities that a TCMA product and approach can bring. One is the ability to scale content creation. The ability to syndicate that content so that it can be used by those created centrally, and then exercised and used and leveraged by the players in that multi-tier distribution model.
Then we can develop marketing programs that can be syndicated for use by retailers in that multi-tiered distribution channel. Finally, we collect data about the efficacy and the performance of those programs.
A TCMA solution makes your marketing more efficient so you get a better return on investment. You improve your reach and also the clarity of your message by amplifying your message with consistent fidelity as it goes through all of your marketing channels.
You can also go to market faster and close the loop from a reporting standpoint. By providing the kind of analytics and insight that allow you to make increasingly more informed, and better decisions to increase the return on the marketing investment.
So again, I'm going to go back to Maurice here because I would like you to share some of the ways you've been using Netsertive.
MAURICE BOWEN, SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR, WHITE RIVER MARINE GROUP:
Sure. So we know we have to deliver a relevant message to potential customers on behalf of hundreds of independent dealers and nearly 100 company stores in as many target markets.
So let's look down at a single-store level. Here's one of our locations in Bridgeport, Connecticut. We know we have to be relevant to their customers as well as customers on the West Coast and everywhere in between.
Through-channel digital marketing provided a solution so we could provide a variety of creative assets that could be targeted to support the customer at any point in the customer journey, and at the right time.
For example, Google AdWord ads that respond to search terms that the customer is inserting.
Display ads that are being presented to targeted audiences in each market, all with the right brand message delivered at full fidelity across our network of dealers.
Plus social media advertising which is adding a more personal touch and a more appealing tone to the message that we are delivering on Facebook.
And the Netsertive solution made it all possible. The execution phase has been in the last six months.
We had a very fast pilot in January and then the success of that pilot demonstrated to us that we could have confidence in expanding very quickly.
What we're doing is driving more visitors to our local dealer websites. The chart that you see on the right-hand side, the top line indicates the pattern of traffic growth that we have seen, and you can see the specific moment when our campaign went from a pilot program to a national program.
We can attribute 35% of the increases that we're seeing to the campaign that we're doing with Netsertive.