14 April 2024, 00:09
By Furniture News Jun 05, 2018

Using technology to accurately target new audiences

Last year, retailer and manufacturer Mattressman launched a television advertising campaign based on data profiling, using Sky Adsmart to reach potential customers living within eight miles of its stores. Furniture News asked our retail panel about the potential of this new technology …

With Sky AdSmart, different adverts can be shown to different households watching the same programme, so businesses can advertise on national channels, but to relevant audiences.

Ross Beveridge (Archers Sleepcentre): This is a subject that draws much attention, with opinions ever diverse. Traditionally, TV advertising has been dominated by the brands and multinationals, who can spread the cost and penetrate a much larger area with numerous locations to benefit from blanket advertising, reducing the cost per acquisition substantially. The more granular and targeted you can make the audience, should, by all accounts, only increase your ROI. 

I do feel that the furniture industry – and beds in particular – is a far less successfully advertised area, with master bedroom purchases as seldom as once every 7-10 years. Retailers and websites with frequent visitors have the need to adopt a very different approach, and continued customer engagement is a major part of that. 

Advertising budgets can easily run away, and with the complete shift from organic results to paid search on Google, this often represents a large share of that budget. For us, tightly managed PPC advertising and local advertising such as leaflet inserts to the most commonly-read newspapers in each location still represents the most successful avenue (and word of mouth is still a key part of that). Customer service includes aftersales service, and this should never be underestimated.

Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): The best form of advertising always has been, and always will be, word of mouth – and we are seeing this develop further now with social media, as friends comment on the picture of the new sofa, or businesses ask for recommendations on LinkedIn. It’s obviously the cheapest way to gain a customer, but you still need to supplement it with a decent marketing mix – direct mail, radio, TV, social media and local press is all we currently use.  

The local press element is a lot smaller than it used to be – instead of being the main form of advertising it’s now the smallest part, and I’m pretty sure it is something that will continue to decrease further as we all move away from reading daily/weekly papers.  

Social media will become the main marketing tool for most, as new ways to gain sales through social media channels come to the market. Interacting with customers is something that we have been doing more of this year – simple things like asking for feedback and opinions is so much easier now, with an instant line of communication open 24/7 through social media.

Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): The mix of different methods of advertising are endless. We mix a list of various methods, from radio to social media. Our use of traditional press has been reduced and replaced with PR. 

We track performance of all campaigns to ensure ROI is being met, and month after month this demonstrates the importance of looking after the customer and providing them with a memorable buying experience, as our metrics consistently record that 45% of our business comes from either recommended or previous customers.

Mike Murray (Land of Beds): Whether people are using Google, scrolling on social media, reading local newspapers or listening to the radio, they will see or hear an advert for us. This multichannel approach ensures we are an active presence in people’s lives at all stages of the buying cycle. 

While we will always work positively with traditional print outlets at a local, regional and national level, we are increasingly shifting our focus and spend towards digital and television advertising – working closely with our Google, Facebook and Sky AdSmart partners to increase our presence on those platforms which, experience shows, yields the best results. 

Within the local communities we serve, word-of-mouth referral is hugely influential – yet we take online reviews just as seriously. 

Products are placed front and centre in all our advertising, but we are also using social media and live chat to engage people in conversations about the symptoms and causes of poor sleep as part of our commitment to helping them choose the best bed for their unique needs. 

Steve Adams (MattressOnline): As a primarily online retailer we have the benefit of having very transparent ROI for our direct advertising. We rarely employ traditional forms of marketing, and keep it Pay Per Click, remarketing, social and affiliate partnerships. 

However, it is getting harder to attribute each sale to a specific channel, as an increasing number of our customers are visiting our website from across multiple devices and along multiple touchpoints.

We also treat our Search Engine Optimisation as a form of advertising – it requires regular investment and goes hand in hand with our overall marketing strategy. Going forward, we are all going to have to be smarter and think out of the box, as demonstrated by Mattressman.

Discover more discussion items like this in Furniture News' Year in Review article, in our January issue.

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