Engagement Agents help retailers across North America fully leverage their already-paid-for shopping centre marketing dollars
By Sean C. Tarry
When retailers make investments to bolster their business – whether the investment involves acquiring the latest technological gadget, employee training, sustainable practices, or anything else – they generally want to make sure they squeeze the most value out of every penny spent. The same is true when it comes to their marketing dollars.
It’s the reason most retailers are stunned when they find out that they are not seizing all of the opportunities available to them to optimize the marketing dollars they are allocated as part of their lease agreements with landlords and shopping mall developers.
“Every retailer located in a shopping centre pays significantly for marketing opportunities through their leases; whether built into total lease dollars, CAM fees, marketing/promo/ad funds, merchant association fees and/or percentage rent agreements,” explains Sean Snyder, President of Engagement Agents. “However, 90% of retailers never take advantage of the benefits of these investments.”
The fact that benefits are not taken advantage of is, of course, not intentional on the part of the landlord or retailer. These missed opportunities occur due to the fact that they are often deep within the lease agreements. And, because the retailer’s real estate team and the retailer’s marketing team are not effectively communicating, the opportunities are often not realized. As one of many examples, by pointing out these marketing dollars within the lease agreement, Engagement Agents was able to help a 1,000-store retailer identify $26 million which they were incurring every year within their leases, but not effectively utilizing.
The next challenge is an inherent executional gap that exists between the shopping centre landlords and the retail marketing teams. It’s a gap Snyder experienced for himself while working as Sales and Marketing Director at Stitch It, which has 85 shopping centre-based locations across the country.
“One of the hurdles that needs to be overcome with respect to marketing and promoting the store through the shopping centre’s marketing channels is the fact that each shopping centre uniquely manages and executes its own marketing.
Additionally, they all have different opportunities to promote retailer marketing campaigns; whether it be their mobile site, website, app, social media, email lists, events and/or onsite digital signage. On top of that, retailers may task their store managers with the responsibility of supplying the individual shopping centre that its operating in with their marketing and promotional materials. But the store managers are already busy enough as it is. If you’re a retailer with 50 locations, do you really want 50 store managers doing the same thing every week? That becomes very expensive in terms of the salary costs as well as the opportunity costs concerning the missed sales that the store manager can’t generate because of time spent in the backroom.”
Snyder, who has over twenty years of retail experience, recognized these challenges when he tried to take on the responsibility of managing all of Stich It’s shopping mall advertising. What he found was the need to engage 85 different malls, many with multiple marketing contacts, provide each of them with more than 85 packages of marketing and promotional collateral, of which many required multiple images of varying sizes and formats. He’d then be required to follow up with each one of the 85 shopping centres to ensure the marketing and promotions were posted properly and in time.
“It was a nightmare for me to manage,” says Snyder of the ordeal. “I soon realized there’s no way any one person or team could effectively accomplish it all without technology. Not only was it very time-consuming, it was not within the skill sets of most store managers who were already very busy with their core responsibilities. Furthermore, the shopping centres want the retailers’ content and campaigns, as they all have marketing channels to promote what is new and exciting at their retailers! The challenge for shopping centres is that it’s “like pulling teeth” to try and get the content from the retailers.
This left a lasting impression on Snyder. He reached out to other retailers and shopping centres and soon realized the extent of the challenge and opportunity for a far more efficient, centralized approach. Engagement Agents was born out of this insight with a clever solution that’s centred around a Software as a Service platform which standardizes, manages, automates and tracks the marketing and promotional efforts for retailers operating in shopping centres.
By working with Engagement Agents, retail marketing teams simply upload their marketing and promotional materials to Engagement Agents’ marketing platform, which manages the complex distribution of campaign content and image assets to each shopping centre.
Today, a number of the world’s most recognizable retailers partner with Engagement Agents to maximize and monetize their already-paid-for shopping centres’ marketing channels to drive traffic and sales, while saving tremendous amounts of time, money and resources.
“By using Engagement Agents, we can quickly distribute our marketing and promotional information across multiple locations with consistency, for all our stores at once,” says James Connell, Chief Ecommerce & Customer Experience Officer at Roots Canada. “By providing updates more often, we ensure each property has current and relevant Roots content, which is more impactful to shopping centre visitors and therefore drives more traffic to our stores.”
In a hyper-competitive retail environment, optimizing every opportunity to get in front of customers and bring them into your store is paramount. Engagement Agents removes the guesswork and effectively execute retailers’ mall marketing campaigns for them.
“Retail frontline staff can be a competitive advantage when they are able to focus on creating exceptional in-store shopping experiences,” says Snyder. “Engagement Agents helps retailers drive these invaluable customers into their stores through their already paid for marketing investments.”
For more information about the ways Engagement Agents can help your business maximize its marketing dollars and drive more traffic to your shopping centre locations, Book a Demo today!