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Shopper insight allows small budgets to yield big returns
Primedia Lifestyle Group

Despite trying economic times centre managers and their clients can still get excellent returns from campaign investments irrespective of the size of their promotional budgets. The key to achieving this is a water tight understanding of the community the shopping centre serves.

Primedia Lifestyle, a Primedia Unlimited subsidiary whose marketing portfolio includes more than 43 shopping centres ranging from Convenience Centres to Super Regionals has proven that by aligning campaigns with the respective communities each serves, can generate a favourable response from both customers and tenants alike.

Southgate Mall’s Power Up campaign is a prime example of how the shopping centre aligned with the needs of the greater community. Over five weeks, consumers who spent R200 or more at Southgate were eligible to enter the Power Up competition. Prizes included a gas cylinder, petrol and grocery vouchers, airtime and a gas heater.

To attract shoppers back to the centre, entrants received an SMS with a reminder that to be eligible to win pre-paid electricity vouchers, they had to be present when the draw took place on the Saturday.

Marketing Manager at Southgate Nozipho Mashele says; “Apart from generating feet through the centre and spend amongst tenants, the aim of this campaign was to offer customers a range of practical prizes that would ease their monthly expenditure burdens.

“The response from customers was extremely positive and gave us great insights that can be used in our future campaigns.”

An example of a community mall campaign that also connected with the community took place at the Comaro Crossing Shopping Centre. It was a great success despite the challenge of it being an open air, strip mall that cannot host standard type events.

Marketing Manager Wesley Scott says; “Our challenge is to create workable campaigns that fit the mould of the centre. Given that the consumers we serve have a strong sense of community involvement, we embarked on a CSI initiative by implementing a blood drive in conjunction with the SANBS.

“We also encouraged our tenants to donate blood which went down really well with the community. Tenants also sponsored prizes which were given away through lucky draws allowing us to also increase our shopper database.”

To draw attention to the event, a marquee was set up in the parking lot that was visible to all passing traffic.

“For an event with minimal cost, maximum impact was created along with good CSI exposure for the centre. We also exceeded the target set by SANBS by 25 donations,” says Scott.

Another example of the small mall big return approach in action, The East Rand Galleria Centre took a tried and tested formula adding a new twist to attract its core target market.

“We combined the launch and promotion of the centre’s Facebook page with a promotion for our tenants within the beauty industry. The aim was to draw attention to our tenants involved in the beauty sector, increase feet through the centre and to drive the growth of our Facebook page.

“Our core target market is Afrikaans speaking females. To attract them to the centre we created a special makeover day and via entries on our Facebook page, we gave away makeover prizes sponsored by our fashion and beauty tenants. The makeovers were conducted in the centre so customers could witness the transformation of the participants,” explains Scott.

On the day of the ‘live’ makeovers, brand activators using iPads encouraged shoppers to like our Facebook page and during the morning 400 spot prize goodie bags were given away which piqued shopper interest throughout the event. Each bag had R800 worth of tenant discount vouchers which in turn encouraged winners to return to the centre and redeem the vouchers.

Though the event was not new, linking the Facebook page and touching on the likes and desires of the community was. In that way we were able to drive a very successful campaign that exceeded all of our objectives, despite a limited budget. The campaign also struck the right chord with beauty aligned tenants as it allowed them to demonstrate their inventory in a very entertaining and public way.