In part three of our "How to Thrive in the National Retail Evolution" webinar, Tim McLain, Segment Marketing Manager at Netsertive, walks attendees through a trio of national retailer case studies, showing how new through channel marketing technology that drives localized and personalized digital messages to new customers that drive them in-store to buy.


Jay McBain: If there's no consistency you can't scale [your digital marketing and] you don't have the workflow, the governance, the analytics, the best practices, the self-service access to data that is needed to make this successful. An expert in this area is Netsertive. Tim, it's time to bring you on board to talk about what you're seeing in the marketplace not only from this case study but from others.

Tim McLain: Thank you Jay, and special thanks to Stephen for sharing his insights from America's Mattress today.

Netsertive has been working with brands and national retailers for nearly a decade. As Jay said, we built our through channel marketing automation technology and paired it with a team of experts to help our enterprise clients, at scale, reach and convert local customers to buy in-store. We realized early on that we had to create a technology solution to put all of our clients' localized assets, campaign strategies together in one place, and put all these campaigns inside of one piece of proprietary technology.

For instance, in Stephen's case, every America's Mattress store campaigns are inside of our technology. Our experts can see what's working, what's not, and we can automate improvements and help drive down costs but increase performance. That's led to an 11% increase in wholesale orders for his participants. That's what we get out of bed and come to work to do every day.

Again a special thanks to Jay and Forrester, we're really proud to be part of Jay's new "Through Channel Marketing Automation" Wave Report for Q2 as a Strong Performer, with Netsertive receiving the highest possible score in the product vision criterion.


We're a great fit if you're a national retailer or brand based in North America, looking for localized cooperative marketing technology to drive customers to local brick and mortar stores. We're very happy to see our references really talk about our ability to scale quickly, offer a breadth of channels to target local buyers, and just like Stephen mentioned we deliver full brand compliance.


So I want to talk about who we help. To increase in-store foot traffic you need technology that takes the complexity out of scaling your marketing programs across hundreds of thousands of rooftops. You must take control of your brand, and you need data to make quick decisions. That's what led us to create our platform.

We find over time that the key is creating tailored digital campaigns for each retail location, to get your products and your brand in front of shoppers. When people research considered purchases [products and services that cost $500 or more] the sales cycle can take weeks of months. Buyers will go through the usual funnel from awareness to consideration, to decision.

We offer localized marketing campaigns and go after customers at each step along this new path to purchase. In today's click to brick economy, that's why we've focused on multi-channel campaigns that are localized, personalized, and optimized.


We make it easy to get in front of customers in every market with digital messages that shout the name and location of your retail partners: that's the localized piece. Every asset is localized to each storefront. Next, personalized is how we target new customers. Today's it's about creating first-party audiences on channels like YouTube and Facebook, plus rich media, think interactive banner placements. Again, all of these elements are localized, but we're only displaying them to people in the market to buy your products and services. And when people are ready to buy, we still see search engine marketing capturing this demand, so it's all about multichannel digital marketing executed at scale. Lastly is optimized; once we launch these campaigns you can't set and forget them, which is what humans or agencies tend to do. We use technology to automate bidding, creative testing, and more. Plus our performance data gives our clients what they need to make better decisions faster. So we see both the human or expert element and our technology working together to generate better results over time. And that includes lowering your costs over time.


Let's walk through a few examples of how we put these campaigns together for Stephen at America's Mattress. Plus our friends at White River Marine Group, owners of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's boat retailers. Finally, La-Z-Boy, with hundreds of retail stores across North America.

All three are well-known brands and in many cases, they have hundreds of locations combined. Their central business problem is "how do we get new customers in-store." All three gravitated to our through channel marketing automation technology to accomplish this goal.


Plus, all three invested in a centralized web site that has all of their store locations hanging off the same domain, with the goal of sending traffic to localized slices of the site for each retailer: americasmattress.com/national, 24hourshowroom.com, and la-z-boy.com. This is where we send the "click" in the click to brick economy. The goal is for customers to have a great experience on the local store web pages, so they get what they need to decide to get into their car and drive to the storefront to try a product and buy.


Going back to Stephen's results, his store network's results year-to-date is a strong 11% increase in mattress orders for the stores participating with Netsertive versus those that aren't. Stephen's retailers can purchase a multichannel digital marketing campaign that drives awareness, consideration, and decision leading to increased sales.


We find that search engine marketing, even in 2018, is the foundation of any good digital campaign. It is the most expensive way to send a customer in-store, but it still captures a majority of the traffic when people are ready to buy.  What's important to know is that our most successful client's layer on at least two additional channels - YouTube, Facebook, or display banners - to drive awareness of their storefronts, products, and services. Last year the clients who did this - added 2 or more display channels - saw their search engine marketing conversions go up by 50%. So as Stephen mentioned earlier, single-channel marketing doesn't work. These channels all work together. So while search metrics are always the healthiest in terms of click-through rate and conversions, all the channels have to be running to drive consistent results.


Another great partner of ours is La-z-Boy, they shared some stats at Furniture Market here in High Point a few weeks ago. Their data shows that their website is driving significant in-store activity. First-time site visitors are showing up in the stores quickly, sometimes within the first few days after browsing online. Another clear example of our click to brick economy. So as we take a look at their digital campaigns, they have localized assets for each of their store locations. And they've decided to unlock digital videos that are localized to a given market as well as static display banners.


If I'm a La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries store or a Comfort Studio, I can turn on a localized campaign with personalized targeting to optimize my marketing outcomes and get new furniture buyers in-store.


We haven't even talked about this yet but there's a lot of folks who own stores home stores who focus a lot of their marketing dollars and mindshare around promotions. We've trained customers to focus on sales, so it's 8-10 times a year where retailers will invest more dollars into marketing. But as Jay said earlier, he's moving into his new house today. This weekend he'll have to go buy some mattresses and furniture. There's no national sale event got going on this weekend. So that's why we always are clear with our partners that evergreen marketing makes sense - your stores need to be visible every day, all month long. But add investment during high-traffic sales.


So finally we've got White River Marine Group. They're a great partner of ours and started in January last year. We slowly added new locations over time, with all 96 of their Bass Pro Shops locations live by mid-February.


Working with their team, we delivered localized video, display banner, Facebook, and digital video placements for each location. Every asset was personalized from a targeting perspective, and we captured as much conversion data as we could. And we're very excited to see that they actually attributed 35% of their in-store activity during this period from Netsertive. Q1 tends to be a slow period for boat sales, we as we looked at their data last year it was clear that we helped their stores sell boats, in Canada, in winter. And we're continuing to innovate as the second year has started.

Jay McBain: Tim, is that another way to say that you can sell ice to Eskimos?

Tim McLain: Absolutely!

Jay McBain:  As a Canadian, I love that example.

Tim McLain: We heard from the stores directly that they were happy to be getting calls and leads in Q1 for their boat brands. It does show that our digital campaigns were definitely driving in-store behavior. To go deeper into the channels we automate for our clients, one that most viewers have not seen to date is our rich media placements. These originate from a company we purchased last year called Mixpo.


We're all familiar with static banners that appear on the websites we visit. With these new rich media assets, they may look like a static banner at first, but when you mouse over them they pop open and contain a video and other interactive elements. There are more than thirty different widgets we can turn on inside each ad, plus we can stamp a map at the end with driving directions. It's all about mixing together the high converting portions of a display banner along with animation and video, plus layering on the localization and personalization to drive results.


Next, what's really interesting about Facebook, despite their enormous reach and lower costs per interaction, is the audience targeting we can unlock. This is crucial to brands and national retailers today, that Facebook will begin phasing out third-party data and encourage advertisers to capture their own first-party data.


That's where our brand to local audiences are playing a key role on the social network. We've got audiences rolling up across individual clients as well as our key industry campaigns in automotive, home goods, and healthcare. So all the clicks and interactions are being mined for audience targeting, leading to a dropping cost per click and an increase in results across our client base.


What's new are our YouTube campaigns at scale. Here's an example of one of our first campaigns. If any of you have tried to do YouTube campaigns, especially at the national level, you have to pay an agency to log into YouTube and do these placements one at a time. So a few months ago we announced that Google had given us the green light to create the first YouTube advertising API so we can automate localization and personalization of videos at scale. Our beta tests are continuing, and we've got a few slots still open to drive early results.


Here are the results of our first beta participant. I love the 410% increase in store phone calls. Who doesn't like phone calls? Keep in mind this is not a unique phone call number, this is all that all the phone calls so some people may have called more than once. So, let's call it 100% increase in phone calls, but again we have trackable phone numbers stamped on every asset, so we're able to show how a digital ad triggered a sales conversation, and even record that call and deliver it to the store. We're excited to unleash additional multi-channel capabilities to generate more phone calls and get more buyers on the phone. That's what it's all about.


We offer digital video advertising in addition to YouTube, delivering localized videos through different networks and websites that are available and delivering great results at just 2-4 cents per completed view. We can even do interest-based targeting which I love, all these new ways we can do targeting, it's not just waiting for somebody to do a search. We've got audiences with social and we've got interest based targeting including retargeting topics and keywords that we can do through our other video providers.


Plus, search engine marketing, I love that we've left this till last. I think we sometimes talk too much about it, but it's still important. It's all about making sure that we can bid just what it takes to get our clients into the top two at search ad positions where 85% of the clicks are going to happen. We love providing centralized reporting and metrics so you can see what's working in every market, see search trends. All of our clients have access to campaign analytics, 24 hours a day. They can go down to the store level and see how each channel is performing, spot trends, and see where your marketing dollars are being invested.


Jay McBain: Great points, Tim. In a few short years, nearly all retail purchases will be web-influenced. We see distributed local marketing as a way to influence buyers not just once but all the way through the buying cycle that we talked about today.  For considered buys, it's an entire sales cycle that's increasing digital. To bring in buyers you have to first give them the information they need online, then they'll get in their vehicle and head to a local store.For somebody who's listening that you know maybe isn't that far down the path, you know how do they get so started? How do they you know kind of set the stage for their own success kind of take us through a day in the life of a new brand that's looking to really take advantage of this and maybe your process to get them to the finish line?

Tim McLain: I think there are three different ways to set the stage for success when you're ready to use through marketing automation technology.

The first one is setting goals. You need to sit down and see what you're selling today, and you want to sell more of tomorrow, and set quarterly and yearly goals. Effective through channel implementations require careful planning. And you want to work with your internal stakeholders especially you're at the individual store level to make sure that you're measuring and monitoring your marketing impact. Step two is leveraging technology and human expertise, together. You can't just go to a computer and start generating results, it takes expertise and the human element. We've been saying for years that a human being cannot run a good digital campaign; we can't work as fast or effectively as a computer, but the two of us work really well together.

Do you have the support resources to make this successful, both internally and externally? Once your campaign goes live; you need to understand who you can turn to for best practices. It takes expertise and daily optimization. If two is it's not all technology it's also expertise, number three is that you also want to take a step back and evaluate your retail partners themselves. Many of our partners start with a group of stores that can be centrally supported and then grow it outward to the rest of their network over time. Unlocking co-op funds also help fund these campaigns, so you can put your dollars into your best sellers to being in even more shoppers. In a lot of cases, our brands will match dollar for dollar up to a certain amount based on the sales numbers to give them extra money to help really put some fuel into the fire of each of the retail locations. Or of course they defined it all centrally, so it just depends on how they decide to set that up.

Stephen Day: Totally agree. Co-op funds really have helped our stores adopt the program.


Jay McBain: That's great! So I want to thank you both for your insights. This has been a really good session and I think we covered a lot of ground, offered some real-world examples, case studies with clear best practices. In the business world, we're in the third stage of marketing, started with the CRM phase for sales, then moved into the marketing automation phase for marketing. Now we're in the through channel marketing automation phase for direct marketing.

Given the continued growth of retails sales and the health of brick and mortar retail, TCMA is a key investment for national retailers and brands to focus on in the next five years. So, thank you again and have a have a great day.

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