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How Facebook helped brands drive in-store sales

Facebook has aggressively worked with traditional brick and mortar retailers to bridge the online/offline gap and brands such as Tanishq, Veet, Durex and Garnier are making the most of it

Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | February 7, 2017


Social media has over the years become an extension of traditional medium of communication, especially television. Gone are the days when Twitter was just meant to express opinions, or when Facebook really connected friends. Both these platforms and even other social media platforms for that matter have now become large communication mediums, especially for the millennials.

While Twitter drives a lot of engagement, with retweets, Facebook gives an immense reach. And brands are trying their best to cash on both these platforms. Giving an added advantage, Facebook has helped a lot of brands drive in-store sales with its advertising tools. Be it carousal ads, or slideshows or other creative solutions, it has worked on its technology to give the advertiser the best tools so that the consumer gets an amazing experience.

Over the last year, Facebook has aggressively worked with traditional brick and mortar retailers to bridge the online/offline gap. Brands such as Tanishq, Veet, Durex, Garnier Men and many more are working with Facebook to drive sales.

Sandeep Bhushan, Business Head, Media and Consumer goods, South Asia, Facebook, explained how they attribute offline sales to Facebook advertising. He explained that Facebook in association with Neilson sampled two identical cities for the same. One had just traditional media and the other ran Facebook advertising along. They later compared the sales in both the markets.

The market where Facebook advertising was done had higher sales compared to the other market where it wasn’t done. Various ads for retail helped advertisers run smarter campaigns with Facebook.

With over 166 million people in India using the platform to connect with people and things that matter the most to them, brands too felt this was the best possible platform to experiment.

Speaking about Titan’s jewellery division, Tanishq’s association, Deepika Tewari, General Manager, Marketing, Jewellery Division, Titan Company, said that they partnered with Facebook because it is widely considered as the largest repository of true consumer information online. “Coupled with their accessible planning tools and transparency in performance data, we felt that Facebook would be an ideal partner to collaborate with,” she added.

While Tanishq’s targeted seven segments -- the well settled women, the young professionals, discount seekers, lookalikes of Tanishq buyers, fans of the competition, wedding intenders, and other high net worth women-- the brand managed to get 30 per cent increase in in-store sales among 25 to 44 year olds and three times higher return on ad spend. The jewellery brand used Facebook to reach its audience.

Asked how Facebook advertising helped a category like jewellery, Tewari, said, “We were able to track conversions at the store level and matched the data between controlled and exposed groups set up for our Facebook campaign. This allowed us to match our database to those who had been exposed to Tanishq communication on Facebook and understand the variance when compared to the base that was controlled. We were able to understand the incremental conversion effect that exposure to Facebook communication has on New Tanishq buyers.”

On the other hand, Garnier Men witnessed 19 per cent increase in sales in a minor market and a 26 per cent increase in sales in a major market. The skincare brand found that in-store sales for its acne-fighting face wash for men increased after it ran a Facebook-only campaign to measure the impact on sales in a cluster of major and minor markets in India.

Pankaj Sharma, Marketing Head, Garnier India, said, “Facebook’s ad solutions helped us deliver our brand message to a wide, yet carefully targeted, audience in the key months of March and April 2016, contributing to Garnier’s overall success.”

Veet managed to gain 22 per cent growth in year-on-year sales while Durex had a 9 per cent growth in year-on-year sales, 29 per cent increase in sales during the campaign as it reached out to 54 million men in India.

Speaking on the success of Durex, Rohit Jindal, Marketing Director, RB India, said, “Facebook helped us connect with our brand audience in a new and unique way. By targeting young cricket-obsessed Indian males using humorous and provocative messages, Durex became a talking point amidst the cricket fever. In addition to improving reach, awareness and engagement, the campaign generated a lift in sales for the brand, which is an ultimate testament for its success.”

While brands got their results, we asked two media planners how social media platforms help in managing performance metrics, especially in light of these above cases when Facebook drove in-store sales and how important it is to plan for such activities.

Anand Chakravarthy Anand Chakravarthy

Anand Chakravarthy, Managing Partner, Maxus, said, “While social media is a platform, its greatest utility is building reach. Traditionally we've looked at reach and social media is for engagement. Facebook and YouTube offer video ads that are assets and help build incremental reach. Over and above that, there are audiences who spend more time in consuming digital media than television. Facebook and YouTube are extensions of television – and today it is important to plan for digital screens or mobile screens. The idea of turning to digital is to reach younger audiences and these platforms help contribute to offline sales.”

Akshay Mathur Akshay Mathur

Akshay Mathur, SVP, Komli Media concurs with Chakravarthy. Facebook is an engagement platform. Over the years, brands have evolved, transactions have evolved and so has Facebook. Mathur said, “When it comes to India, brands are performance led. It can be performance around a video, youth or any other hardcore performance-led function like driving footfalls and so on.”

According to Mathur, about 30-40 per cent of Facebook revenues would be performance or advertising led, at least in India. 2016 witnessed a downside in advertising on Facebook as a lot of consolidation was witnessed. But the platform continues to create advertising friendly products and that’s what makes one include them in their strategy. Mathur believes that the same thing happens on Twitter. Brands are looking at performance on Twitter as well. While Twitter is a platform to amplify a campaign or message, Facebook is purely for its reach, says Mathur.

Success Stories:

Tanishq: https://www.facebook.com/business/success/tanishq

Garnier Men: https://www.facebook.com/business/success/garnier-men-india-2

Veet: https://www.facebook.com/business/success/veet-india

Durex: https://www.facebook.com/business/success/durex-india



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