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How Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn put itself on the shopping list with new customers

Albert Heijn wanted to target new customers in the quiet summer months.

VIOOH won the Chair’s Award and ‘Best Use of Digital’ at The Drum Awards for Out of Home in 2021, with its campaign for Albert Heijn stores. By tactically using location data, the team created programmatic billboards that offered exclusive discounts and drove footfall to the supermarket. Here, the team behind the project explains how it was done.

Albert Heijn (AH) is the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, with nearly 1,000 stores nationwide. AH harnesses comprehensive in-store and sales data to inform its campaigns, segmenting their audience into primary, secondary and tertiary customer groups based on the time they visit the store and the average order value per week. The primary customer group is responsible for two-thirds of the revenue and generally visit the store every week.

In the summer, up to a quarter of AH’s primary customer group goes on holiday abroad. The main goal of this campaign was to attract secondary and tertiary customer groups - ‘infrequent visitors’- to maintain the supermarket’s current market share position.

A programmatic DOOH drive-to-store campaign was created using mobile-location-data to identify where and when the specific ‘infrequent visitors’ target group could be reached and to encourage them to visit their local AH store. DOOH is impactful at reaching audiences on-the-go, and is a brand safe and 100% viewable advertising medium, making it the perfect media channel to reach the target group of infrequent visitors.

JCDecaux Netherlands has DOOH screens in premium locations with high footfall, and to further enhance the relevance and effectiveness of the DOOH campaign, HTML5 ads were used, with dynamic creatives displaying the nearest store as well as showcasing exclusive local offers. By adding this simple yet relevant dynamic element, the client was able to take full advantage of programmatic DOOH and its use of data to reach the right audience, with the right message, in the right context.

Objectives and KPIs

The objective of this campaign was to increase footfall in AH stores, particularly within the target groups of the supermarket’s secondary and tertiary audience of infrequent shoppers, as well as attract new customers.

There were three main KPIs for this campaign:

  • Measuring the number of exposed audiences driven by the campaign to in-store visits
  • Measuring the uplift in footfall of the infrequent visitors
  • Measuring the sales uplift within secondary and tertiary customer ‘infrequent visitors’ groups

Strategy

Research from Outsmart (2016) shows that audiences are 17% more likely to take actions from an online ad if they have already seen an OOH placement, so utilizing DOOH in tandem with mobile proved to be the perfect partner for this multi-channel campaign. Mobile as an advertising medium enables granular measurement, as well as the possibility of retargeting and using geo-location data.

With mobile location data being used, there is no need for one-to-one cookies or identifiers to create smart targeting, and the way mobile location data is used is never in a one-to-one measurement. Sage+Archer’s mobile strategy indexes the number of people counted in a certain location and from there is able to connect that contact moment to an external location where the same device is measured.

However, the DSP will only get the data based on a cohort level. This makes it impossible to reconnect a datapoint to a specific individual, making the data ideal for privacy purposes, however this data can still be used to gain significant intelligence to target the campaign efficiently.

The campaign ran in 73 selected postcodes in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, where mainly infrequent visitors were located, identifying these audiences via their mobile-location data. Programmatic DOOH placements were then delivered across JCDecaux inventory in these neighborhoods within close proximity to AH stores, pulling in dynamic creatives based on the local AH store’s inventory and sales data. These audiences were then able to be retargeted via mobile ads after being exposed to the DOOH placement, for maximum efficiency and relevance.

Not only was this campaign notable for the highly specific targeting of infrequent visitors via the use of mobile data, the dynamic creative itself was also highly innovative. Every hour, hundreds of different creatives were deployed all over the network according to the location of the closest AH store to the DOOH placement, using real-time sales figures of specific products in nearby stores to show exclusive offers that customers could make use of. This was highly scalable across all of the locations the campaign ran.

The Results

The results were incredible. Using Resono and Sage+Archer data, we saw a footfall uplift of 26% in activating more secondary and tertiary customers to visit an AH location compared to the control group! Not only this, but there was a 30% uplift of new customers from the target group to the selected AH locations. This was measured by the share of customers that did not buy any products of the same brand within the category during 26 weeks prior to the activation period of the pilot (AH sales data 2020).

Finally, the optimized buying process based on CPM per playout and OTS (Opportunity to See) saw amazing results. Instead of the 3.2 million planned OTS, 5 million OTS was achieved, and in using real-time adjustment and negotiation of lower prices, 163% more digital placements were delivered, which resulted in 44% more incremental reach.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Out of Home. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

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