Beyond the banner: Decathlon on using location for its most successful Asian store opening

Beyond the banner: Decathlon on using location for its most successful Asian store opening

Earlier this year, Decathlon opened Hong Kong’s largest sports store, with a multi-channel campaign that led to one of the brand’s most successful openings in APAC.

Decathlon Tseung Kwan O, opened in June this year, used a variety of channels but the decision to use location technology for its programmatic activation helped the brand pull in customers at the last step, driving over 150,000 visitors in the first weeks.

Benjamin Darde, marketing lead for Decathlon Hong Kong, tells The Drum that while the campaign consisted of many layers of activity, the location aspect was key to push the bottom of the funnel results.

“Decathlon Tseung Kwan O is the largest sports store ever opened in Hong Kong, so we had to put together a large scale campaign in order to drive awareness before opening and store traffic from 15 June onwards. That's why we combined several channels to maximise our reach - traditional OOH (MTR ads, bus stops, billboards), digital (paid search, banners, google maps). This drive-to-store campaign was really the final push at the bottom of the funnel to drive sports lovers in the store vicinity to visit Decathlon Tseung Kwan O,” he says.

The company worked with its agency Havas and Near for the location aspect and, as well as driving people in-store, the brand combined audience data from the activity with its own in-store metrics to learn a lot about its customers.

“Thanks to the ‘Find Your Way’ call to action and the location service, we could track precisely the footfall of that channel, which - combined with our in-store metrics - allowed to get a clear measurable understanding of the traffic we generated through the entire campaign,” explains Darde.

According to Havas, the addition of location data was important to the programmatic activity because it added additional meaning and insights to the campaign, which will inform its activity next time.

Louis Ng, programmatic trading lead, Havas Media Hong Kong, says, “To make a meaningful difference is always our mission, Programmatic is playing a key role in a drive to store campaign that offers accurate location targeting in real-time, which goes beyond traditional banner placement.”

“As programmatic media buying and technology continues to grow, location tactics is getting more important to adapt on drive to store campaign,” explains Ng, “Apart from footfall data, we also got audience insight from Near like age, gender and interest or even traffic time data, which is helpful for us to provide optimisation plan for next drive to store campaign.”

Despite Decathlon’s successful use of location, Smriti Kataria, vice president of marketing, Near, argues that not many brands are making use of this technology.

“Brands do use location in marketing but are far from unleashing the true potential of the data to build offline world insights into their marketing and business strategies. Merging the online and offline worlds has been a huge challenge, and is the only way to get a 360-degree view of the consumers. This is possible today only with location data,” says Kataria.

As for Decathlon, Darde says every store launch needs a completely different strategy but the data and insights generated will be used to dictate future media and planning strategies.

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