The trend toward digitization has been dramatically accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Today, purchasing decisions are made far in advance – incentives to buy must be set at an early stage by targeting customers. So it’s all about brands and manufacturers being visible where their clientele is: online! Sebastian Straub knows this all too well – and therefore relies on socialPALS support for the promotion of MAMMUT’s products.
Sebastian, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your position at MAMMUT?
As Team Lead Marketing DACH at Mammut Sports Group, I am responsible for planning and implementing all marketing measures across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Retail marketing and cooperation with our customers play a central role in this.
Mammut first used socialPALS back in 2020 to provide your retailers with high-quality campaign content. After a hiatus, you continued in May of this year with the promotion of the "VIA FERRATA DAYS". What were your motives for reintegrating this form of retail marketing into your communications concept?
socialPALS is the perfect solution for us to be able to play out social media campaigns automatically and to support our brick-and-mortar retailers in selling our products.
What was the goal of the current campaign and how much in-house effort did you put into marketing to get it off the ground?
The aim of the campaign was to position our new via ferrata collection on the market and to support our local dealers in selling it. The internal effort is straightforward. The platform is intuitive and clearly structured. There is both a brand and a merchant view and the dashboard provides all important key figures.
Were the campaigns successful? Were you able to attract new target groups and/or expand your customer base by using socialPALS? Did the platform contribute to furthermore strengthen your brand image and/or improve your market position?
This depends heavily on the target definition. The ROI is difficult to determine for such campaigns. However, if you consider other KPIs, such as reach or interaction, you can definitely speak of success. With a manageable budget, we reached plenty of customers, and the interaction rate was above average for our campaigns.
How has automating campaigns through socialPALS impacted the efficiency and scalability of your marketing efforts? Has the platform helped you use your budgets more effectively?
I would say so. The big advantage of socialPALS is that campaigns can be played out automatically. That saves time and costs that we can use elsewhere.
Has socialPALS given you any new insights into your brand or your products? Were you able to extract knowledge from the platform - for example, which channels/formats are best suited for what? Were there any surprises?
Based on the results of each campaign, we conclude new campaigns. There were no real surprises here. Instead, the results support the findings made from our channels: video generally works better than images, Google is better than Facebook, and we reach a younger target group via Instagram, to name just a few.
What role do KPI analyses play in evaluating campaign performance? Did you derive any value from our platform data for your marketing strategy?
Today, Big Data is more critical than ever and is indispensable. Only those who know their customers and their needs know which channels they use for information and how they make purchasing decisions, and can then address them in a targeted and efficient manner. KPI analyses provide essential information for this.
How difficult was it to motivate your retail partners to participate? Is the "online marketing" module accepted as an integration into the sales concept?
Plenty of our retailers have already had positive experiences with socialPALS. So, the decision to join our campaigns was easy. For newcomers, it takes a bit of convincing. Here we rely heavily on our sales force, which discusses the advantages of a multichannel strategy in joint dialog with the dealer. Once impressed, almost all retailers have taken part in our campaigns. On average, we have an onboarding rate of over 90 per cent!
Participation in a socialPALS campaign as well as the playout of the turnkey content calendar is confirmed by each retail partner after one-time registration via 1-Click. Were there also retailers who took a closer look at the platform and, for example, planned (extra) postings or advertising budget themselves?
This is rather the exception. Most of our retailers adopt the content calendar that we preset. This is certainly a good way to gain initial experience with the platform. However, there are also retailers who deal more intensively with the topic and plan extra postings or advertising budget. In our campaigns, this was an average of one to two retailers per campaign.
What challenges do you currently see for MAMMUT as a brand as well as for your retail partners? Have multiple global crises such as the pandemic or the supply chain issue had a lasting impact on the industry? Have the requirements for local marketing also changed fundamentally as a result?
The trend toward digitization is not new, but the pandemic has greatly accelerated it. Today, purchasing decisions are made far in advance. In this respect, it is more important than ever to create incentives to buy at an early stage by addressing customers directly. However, this requires knowing your customers and which channels they use.
How do you see the future of store-based retail 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?
Our customers value the physical product experience at the PoS. This remains the great strength of brick-and-mortar retailing and cannot be replaced by digital offerings in the future. However, it is also vital that in-store retail does not close itself off to digitization. The connection between online and offline is more important than ever. Today, customers expect experiences and services that don’t stop at the store door. This doesn’t mean that every retailer has to operate a costly online store. Instead, it’s about being visible where customers are: online!
How would you rate the customer support of socialPALS? Were there situations in which you had questions or problems - and if so, how were you helped?
The support at socialPALS is exemplary. At all times, a professional account manager was available to us with advice and support. The communication with our customers was also excellent.
Do you have any suggestions? How can socialPALS as a retail marketing platform support you in overcoming current challenges (even more effectively)?
No tool is perfect. The playout of video ads on Google or the definition of individual budgets per retailer would be two improvements that come to mind spontaneously. If it were also possible to measure the ROI directly via the platform, it would be the perfect tool for me.
Testimonial retail sector:
I really like using socialPALS because it is very easy to set up and intuitive to use. I love the campaigns, which I can customize with just a few clicks. There is always an advertising budget as well as prepared campaign material that can be used very well for our own target group and corresponds to the proximity to our customers. Whether adjustments are made depends on the campaign, whose content calendar I always look through before starting. For more general campaigns, I also like to go into the texts, which I then adapt. Several campaigns can also be coordinated at the same time. I am involved in every campaign.
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