[Video] The 3 Digital Tactics that are driving the growth of Pep Stores…
Jessica Hubbard, Deputy Editor; 5 August 2015
While there is still widespread skepticism around whether digital platforms can truly affect business performance, most South African brands are at the very least dipping their toes in the water. Retail giant Pep, for one, has partnered with digital agency OgilvyOne to pursue a more aggressive digital strategy. We interviewed Ben Evans, National Managing Director, OgilvyOne S.A., to find out exactly how they are going about it…
“The brief essentially boiled down to two objectives for Pep,” explains Evans. “One of which was to deliver incremental sales using digital, and the other was to drive a price perception around ‘lowest price provider’ in the category.”
The mandate was to use digital within a fixed budget.
According to Evans, Pep has a target audience of over 25 million customers, of which around 9% ‘play heavily in the digital space.’
“Which is a significant proportion of customers and we know that’s growing, but makes it tricky to drive a mass price perception through that target audience,” he says. “The other major challenge that we faced is that digital isn’t present through every stage of the buying journey. So in order to demonstrate and effect incremental sales you need to be present right the way through to purchase.”
Evans said their approach to these challenges was threefold.
“Firstly, Pep have a successful digital ecosystem, and we felt there was an opportunity to sharpen that up and to align some of the touchpoints to the key strategy,” he explains. “Pep have a website, a very successful Facebook page and Twitter presence. We looked at each of those touchpoints, and asked how much of Pep’s market are playing in that channel?”
Evans said OgilvyOne first assessed how much Pep should be investing in those particular channels, and then they looked at the roles of those channels in the context of the consumers’ lives and their relationship with Pep.
“The second pillar was around creating an always-on advertising programme that ultimately linked the consumer right the way through to the sale – using mobile vouchering,” he says. “We said [to client] that independent of campaigns, you should be promoting offers and price news in your stores through mobile vouchering.”
Evans noted that there is ‘a healthy cynicism within the business as to whether digital does drive incremental business value.’
“If we help them join up digital marketing with what happens at the till point, we will be able to really demonstrate the power of the medium,” he says.
Game Changing Digital Messaging
The third strategy that Evans highlighted was around ‘really using digital to its full creative potential.’
“We called that strategic pillar ‘game changing creative’, and we came up with some ideas beyond just making the digital ecosystem more purposeful,” he explains. “For example, using some of the window space that Pep have to call people to action to interact with their phones, and potentially win something or get incentives to go in store and buy something.”
He adds: “It’s about using digital almost beyond its means…so people who aren’t necessarily engaging on their phones with that media can still see the impact of it.”
Rich Digital Lives
Evans notes that roughly 20% of Pep’s audience has a digital life of sorts.
“They have very rich social media lives, they are downloading games and content selectively and carefully, and we are seeing some very specific behaviours emerge,” he says. “What we went back to Pep with was a realignment of the investment that they make across the digital ecosystem. We said: invest less in Twitter, stop investing in YouTube and Instagram, carry on with Facebook and the web…”
“In that first strategy, we got very specific around how to evolve and how to spread the investment in a really purposeful way within their current digital ecosystem,” he adds.