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Monday, February 21, 2011

Quick Case Study

In the world of home improvement can you tell me the first store that comes to mind?

If you are like many people I've talked to, the first thought that comes to mind is Home Depot or Lowes.  Then I ask is there anyone else, and at this point if there is going to be a response it is usually after a few moments of thinking,  ACE Hardware, McKay's,  and K-mart?  Really, K-mart?

Anyway so I recently discovered that ACE hardware has been making some pretty interesting strides to start pulling ahead in the home improvement industry by pairing up with Microsoft Mobile to accomplish four specific tasks.

The Task:
1. Engage loyal on-the-go customers
2. Use new media to enforce Neighborhood appeal
3. Drive in store traffic
4. Increase it's share of it's maintenance market

The Target:
Men the ages of 25-54

The Delivery:
Banner Ads
   Hotmail
   Mobile MSN weather
   Verizon News and weather

The Action:
The first deal offered was getting a chance to come in and put items in a bag.  Then upon check out you were eligible to receive a 20% discount on all items within the bag,

Next was to impress upon the holiday enthusiast that Ace has everything for you to prepare for the holidays.  This was their Tis the Season Campaign.

Then they wanted to deliver a specific campaign for after Thanksgiving sales.  This isn't too unusual because many people have a big black friday sale.  But it's better to tell people about it that to assume it's there.

Finally, There was an in store campaign that established Ace as the "Holiday Place".

Each of these strategies coincide "surprisingly" with their goals.  So What Happened?

The Results:
Ace was able to raise brand awareness to the target of males 35-54 y/o by 60%  When expanding those results into the 25-54 y/o range they raised awareness by 101%

In the 35-54 age range the in store attendance for those who had seen the ad increase by 8%.

Then in any ad campaign you want to know the customer's Click Through Rate (CTR).  Interestingly enough the CTR for this campaign raised as high as 11% in the areas in which it was tested.

It was easy to see from these results that ACE Hardware made some good moves to market better themselves and their services.  That is important to do, seeing how they are still relatively small compared to some of their big competitors.  But like sailing a ship on the ocean.  Bigger the ship the harder it is to change course unexpectedly. Ace being one of the littler ships can make these marketing turns so much faster than most of their competitors.

I think that I would expand their grasp of mobile advertising to text interactivity.  Possibly run seasonal ads when needed.  I feel they might be able to increase their customer retention with a mobile customer loyalty program.  Every now and then where the customer hasn't been in for a while, send them a text message with the reward points they are able to spend with some ideas of how to spend them.

Just some food for thought.



Resources:

Tsirulnik, Giselle. (February 11, 2010). Ace Hardware mobile ads drive 60 percent increase in brand
     awareness. In http://www.mobilemarketer.com. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from
     http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/5365.html.

NA. (NA). Mobile Marketing. In http://brandedcontent.adage.com. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from
     http://brandedcontent.adage.com/mobile10/network.php?id=3.

MOSTERT, ETTIENNE. (NA). Has Mobile Marketing Changed the Game for Advertisers? . In
     http://www.heavychef.com. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from http://www.heavychef.com/has
     mobile-marketing-changed-the-game-for-advertisers/.

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