Large segments of the leisure sports industry are among those that benefited from the “staycation” trend as a result of the Corona pandemic. HANWAG’s retail partners also welcomed numerous new customers in need of purchasing high-quality hiking footwear. Nevertheless, one of the essential aspects of Florian Glaser’s job as Marketing Manager is to increase the online visibility of specialized stationary trade, making it more crisis-proof. In the interview, he reports on how he succeeds with the help of socialPALS!
Florian, please tell us something about yourself and your role at HANWAG!
I am the Marketing Manager for Germany and responsible for both Trade Marketing and our Social Media channels.
You have been using the socialPALS platform since 2020 to provide your retail partners with high-quality campaign content. Why did you decide to integrate this form of automated retail marketing into your communication concept?
socialPALS makes it possible to play out our retail campaigns efficiently and with high quality. In doing so, we can also ensure that the brand is presented according to our CI guidelines. In addition, we can reach local target groups and thus provide targeted support for our specialist retail partners.
What challenges do you currently see in the sporting goods industry - both for HANWAG as a brand and for sports retailers? Were you able to solve them with the help of the socialPALS platform?
We see great opportunities for us as a sustainable premium brand to be able to offer end-consumers quality products together with specialist retailers. socialPALS helps us to further increase the online visibility of stationary specialized retailers and therefore support the development since the beginning of the pandemic.
What was the goal of the "100 Years of HANWAG" campaign and how much internal effort did you put into marketing to get it off the ground?
The goal of the campaign was on the one hand to further increase our brand awareness and on the other hand to specifically support the specialized trade – we were able to achieve both with the help of socialPALS.
Thanks to the easy-to-use campaign creation and control via the platform, we were able to keep the effort to a minimum and use our resources perfectly. This has been a big plus in our anniversary year 2021 with many different projects.
How difficult was it to motivate your retail partners to participate? Is the "online marketing" module accepted as an integration into the sales concept?
That wasn’t difficult at all. In fact, it was already our second campaign with socialPALS and almost all the retailers we invited took part in this campaign again.
The participation in a socialPALS campaign and with it the playout of the turnkey content calendar is confirmed by each retail partner after a one-time registration via 1-Click. Were there also retailers who took a closer look at the platform and e.g. planned (additional) postings or advertising budget independently?
Yes, there were those, too. The platform offers all options to adjust posting timing or the advertising budget to your own content plan. We were also delighted that some partners used our content to publish their own posts on Instagram. Of course, this shows us that we could offer added value with the campaign and our content!
Was the campaign successful? Were you able to draw helpful lessons from it - for example, which channels/formats are best suited to the campaign goal?
We are more than satisfied with the results of the campaign. We were able to bring our anniversary and the brand closer to a large and relevant target group and at the same time increase frequency and sales with our retail partners. In addition, our high-quality shoe care sets, which we sent out as add-ons, were sold out within a short time.
To what extent did the "Corona crisis" affect the industry? Did you have a boom in sales because many people rediscovered hiking and nature? Have the requirements for local marketing changed?
Many people have rediscovered regional leisure options for themselves, partly because of the restrictions on international travel. We are certainly one of the industries that have benefited from the “staycation” trend, and this will undoubtedly continue over the next few years. For the most part, our stationary specialist retailers were also able to welcome more customers in the store who purchased high-quality hiking footwear.
How do you see the future of stationary retail in the context of the market power of the big online players? Does the local sports retailer "on the corner" still have a chance if it timely invests in digital measures, for example?
Definitely yes, because face-to-face customer service and personal contact are two of the USPs of brick-and-mortar retailers. However, many specialist retailers still need to develop further to stand out from exclusively online retail when it comes to product availability, visibility, and quality of advice.
Are you already planning more campaigns to support your retail partners?
Yes, we have complete confidence in socialPALS and are already planning for a new campaign in 2022.
That makes us extremely happy and we are excited to see what's next - thank you very much for the interview, Florian!
Here's what our retailers have to say:
The campaign was a complete success! The sets were sold out very quickly and were also well received. The platform is super simple and self-explanatory. We haven’t needed much support so far – but when we contacted socialPALS, our questions were answered promptly and competently.
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