Case Study

Saving a Supermarket chain £1.7m in media spend.

Saving a Supermarket chain £1.7m in media spend

In 2017, we worked with a leading Supermarket retailer operating more than 3000 UK stores. Despite spending £60 million on print and running hundreds of campaigns yearly, they had limited visibility of campaign compliance. Our brief was to help them analyse campaign performance to drive improvements. Using Colateral, the chain audited 6 campaigns in 100 stores every week for 5 months. By analysing the results, they identified the root cause of the issues and made improvements that saved the supermarket chain £1.7 million per year in media spend. 

Lacking visibility of campaign performance.

In 2017, a UK Supermarket chain approached us to review their in-store marketing campaigns. The retailer operated 3000 stores across the UK and spent approximately £60 million in print every year. However, while they knew which campaigns they sent to each store, they had limited visibility of its performance or compliance. And, they often found out much too late that their teams did not install signage correctly. This error meant their marketing team spent longer identifying and resolving issues that went out than they spent developing new creative work. 

Conducting the marketing campaign audit.

Using Colateral, we worked with the Supermarket retailer and a third party to audit marketing campaigns in each of their 3000 stores over 5 months. We aimed to identify three main objectives:

  • Which materials did they send to each store?
  • What percentage of campaigns were not implemented correctly?
  • What were the common causes of poor in-store execution?

Using Colateral’s campaign survey tool, the Supermarket chain created dynamic marketing campaign audits that captured critical information and included images for evidence. Then, we rolled out the surveys to a third party that conducted the surveys.

Due to the size of each store, the supermarket chain often had multiple campaigns running every week, and each campaign audit took about 1 day. Therefore, we audited 6 campaigns per week in 100 stores. Using this approach rather than trying to do them all at once allowed the Supermarket to access data quickly and identify and resolve issues in real-time while progressing towards a comprehensive assessment of campaign performance across all stores. 

The audits reviewed the materials sent to each store, the implementation of the materials, how the execution aligned with the plan and the reasons why issues occurred. For each result, the auditors filled out a survey in Colateral, answered the questions, and attached photos and images as evidence to provide greater detail. 


Identifying the root cause of issues.

After 5 months, we completed the audits of the Supermarket chain’s 3000 stores, collecting thousands of data points and over 600,000 images. As you might expect, we found that many flagship stores had near-perfect campaign execution. However, with 3000 stores of different shapes and sizes, some stores were less than 10% compliant! 

One example included the use of bunting in the wine aisle. As part of the campaign, every store over a certain size received bunting to hang in their wine section. And in about 60% of stores, the execution was perfect. However, in other stores, it was either not hung up correctly, hung dangerously, or simply not hung up at all. The most common reason for the issue in each of these examples was that the intended wine aisle wasn’t an appropriate shape or size to facilitate the campaign materials. In some stores, store managers identified the issue and chose not to implement the materials. Meanwhile, the store managers put them up in other situations because they felt they had to. In many stores, they were unsure how to raise concerns with head office, so they used their initiative. 

Ultimately, we expected poor compliance in some stores. However, by analysing campaign performance and the root causes, the Supermarket chain could make significant improvements. 

Saving £1.7 million a year with accurate campaign planning and execution.

Using this information and the photos collected, the Supermarket retailer now clearly understood their local store spaces. They knew which types of materials could fit in the spaces and the common problems that resulted in wasted materials.

With this information, the supermarket chain created a detailed store profile database which included the size and spaces of fixtures available in each store. Now, they could use the information to segment and group stores by which materials they can send to each store. Hosted in Colateral, the Supermarket used this information for everything from facilities and estate management to trade marketing and commercial media planning, execution and compliance tracking

Additionally, with greater visibility of their 3000 stores, they could now accurately control their campaign planning and execution. They could reduce the marketing packs that went out and ensure they send the right packs to the right stores for each campaign, thereby reducing printing costs, delivery costs and material wastage. 

As a result, the Supermarket chain was able to save £1.7 million per year in media spending. 

How much could you save?

If you have an audit coming up and have concerns about your media planning, reach out to us and see how much you could save with Colateral

We work with companies with more than 50 physical locations across any industry, including Retail, Financial Services, and more.

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