Against the backdrop of steadily increasing Internet use by end consumers, online marketing has become essential for brick-and-mortar retailers. However, retailers often need more know-how or personnel to implement it on their digital platforms. Johnson & Johnson Vision intends to provide professional support to opticians with the help of socialPALS. Linda Dinse reports in an interview which advantages the platform offers!
Linda, please briefly explain yourself and your role at Johnson & Johnson Vision!
I joined Johnson & Johnson Vision in February 2020 as Brand Manager and am responsible for the ACUVUE multifocal, weekly, and monthly lens portfolio and the sector for care products. In addition, I am responsible within our team for the conception and implementation of campaigns among specialist fitting retailers. Since October 2022, I have also been taking care of socialPALS, specifically the campaign implementation on the platform.
You have been using socialPALS since October 2022 and have already implemented a campaign via the platform to provide your opticians with high-quality campaign content. Why did you decide to test this form of automated commerce marketing?
Especially against the backdrop of steadily increasing Internet use by end consumers, online marketing has become essential for store-based retailers these days. However, our opticians often lack the know-how or personnel to implement it on their digital platforms. This is where we want to support them professionally with the help of socialPALS.
What was the goal of the current campaign and how much time and effort was required to launch it within your marketing department? Did the platform save you time and reduce your workload compared to "traditional" retail marketing?
Using the platform for our first socialPALS campaign, “Experience the world through different eyes”, we pursued several objectives simultaneously.
Firstly, for our opticians, the online campaign, which was individualized especially for them – and which we also supported with an advertisement subsidy – consisted of increasing the reach of the posts in order to reach their local target group more effectively. Secondly, appealing lifestyle images on social media and Google and the cash-back promotion were intended to encourage potential new wearers to try ACUVUE® OASYS 1-Day contact lenses and thus increase the frequency at the PoS.
Thanks to the great support of socialPALS and the highly intuitive design of the platform, the effort required to implement the campaign is limited for our opticians and us. Particularly the long-term use of the tool will certainly lead to further time savings.
How difficult was it to motivate your retail partners to participate? Is the "online marketing" module accepted as an integration into the sales concept?
In general, our retail partners are very interested in participating, and our online marketing support is gratefully accepted. So far, we have received a lot of positive feedback, especially regarding the intuitive usability of the platform.
Participation in a socialPALS campaign and thus the playout of the turnkey content calendar is confirmed by each retail partner after one-time registration via 1-Click. Are there also opticians who are more closely involved with the platform and, for example, plan (additional) postings or advertising budget themselves?
Only a low percentage have scheduled manual postings. It is likely that our opticians will also first have to get used to the way the platform works and the possibilities it offers them.
What factors do you use to measure the success of a digital advertising campaign? Are you hoping to learn helpful lessons from this test balloon - for example, which channels/formats are best suited for the advertised product?
We measure the success of a digital advertising campaign quite classically by using the usual KPIs such as reach, cost per click, and conversion rate – i.e., the click rate on a campaign landing page, for example. Of course, we hope to learn from the test balloon, e.g., which ad format performs best, and which content resonates most strongly with the target group and thus generates the most link clicks. We are looking forward to the first report and which optimization possibilities result from it for the future.
What challenges do you currently see for Johnson & Johnson Vision as a brand, as well as for your retail partners? Have multiple crises such as the pandemic, the war, or even the ongoing supply chain issues had a lasting impact on the industry? Have the requirements for local marketing also changed fundamentally as a result?
The current geopolitical situation is also affecting the contact lens business.
After the category recovered from a slump in demand during the height of the Corona pandemic, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care – like many other companies at present – is facing supply difficulties due to high global demand and the ongoing shortage of skilled workers, resulting in delays in the production and delivery of some of our products. Our teams are working hard to minimize supply disruptions and provide the best possible customer service.
These situations demand increasing agility for marketing. We aim to support our opticians during these times with needs-based campaigns that hit the mark. For example, after the extended Corona lockdown, we developed the “Together Time” campaign within a few weeks, which alludes emotionally to the shared moments with loved ones that had to be done without for a long time. The aim was to reawaken the need for contact lenses and to steer those interested in contact lenses to over-the-counter retailers with the help of a comprehensive package of advertising materials.
How can socialPALS help you meet these challenges?
With the help of socialPALS, we will be able to implement campaigns in the future in an even more targeted and, above all, broader manner and thus reach end customers with relevant messages via our opticians.
How do you see the future of retail stores in the context of the market power of the big online players? Does the retail trade still have a chance if it invests in digital measures in good time, for example? Do end customers still want to shop at brick-and-mortar stores?
Brick-and-mortar retailers are still in great demand among end customers, who particularly value the advantages of personal and competent advice. Nevertheless, the customer journey is becoming increasingly intertwined between offline and online. Customers are increasingly finding out about services and products on the Internet, e.g., websites, online stores, or the usual marketplaces. However, they do not always buy online.
Specialty retailers must also be aware of this development and act accordingly. Digital measures are indispensable in this day and age to remain relevant and competitive. At the same time, digital marketing opens up additional opportunities to tap into new target groups and turn potential customers into actual customers.
Are you currently planning further campaigns to support your retail partners?
We are planning further campaigns with socialPALS for 2023. The ACUVUE® OASYS MAX 1-Day Launch is currently active and will run until the end of April. In addition, we want to activate further retail partners and drive forward the implementation of MDF measures via the platform to reach the relevant target groups in the local environment of the opticians without coverage waste.
What was your personal experience with socialPALS? Do you have any suggestions?
My experience with socialPALS so far has been very positive. The cooperation was always uncomplicated, highly pragmatic, and reliable. Especially when setting up the campaign on the platform, I received a lot of support, which made my work a lot easier.
As a suggestion, I would also include story formats and reels in the content calendar. These formats are particularly successful on Instagram – our retailers should also benefit from this.
Voices from the retailer industry:
I highly recommend socialPALS because it’s easy to use and you get great recognition through your posts on social media. We get a lot of positive feedback as a result. I’m looking forward to seeing a variant soon that you can personalize yourself for your business, this would be even more individual!
Act today and use your MDF more effectively!
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