Brick-and-mortar stores are increasingly being closed every day. Store traffic and sales are down, impacting many brands and retailers. Ninety percent of all retail is still done in physical stores and, let’s face it much of the purchase intent starts online. Can online behaviors drive more foot traffic … specifically, can influencer content pointed at a specific retailer on behalf of a brand/product increase foot traffic?
Brands are flocking to influencer marketing and there is a demand for proof points to the value of influencer marketing. We sought out a mobile geo-fencing and measurement partner with an eye for examining the behavior of people exposed to influencer content versus an identical unexposed control. Together with this mobile location data and our first-party audience pixel data, we pursued the idea that the right social content could inspire more in-store visits.
Measuring foot traffic through pixel data, combined with geo-fencing technology, allowed us to tap into the shopper DNA and consumer intelligence that has been lacking in the past. We looked to expose content and weigh the results against an unexposed household. Test households were pixeled upon visiting influencer content pages and then were further cookied to check for overlap with the mobile location panel. The exposed panel’s mobile devices are routinely polled for location (latitude and longitude) i.e., frequency, proximity, and time spent at the target venue, be it a retail store or other event-based locale.
By serving specialized influencer content to the exposed audience, the chance of a consumer taking an action is already notably higher. Tracking the physical path-to-purchase through geo-fencing at a specific retailer provides the solution for justifying influencer content creation that clients have been searching for.
The content not only drives consumers in-store, but also does so in a timely and measurable way. Traditional and digital media struggle to record the actual relationship between content served and foot traffic related to advertising content. This new measurement offering will enhance a brand’s presence among consumers while providing valuable store conversion data.
Our results showed that 48% of the exposed group visited the retailer within four days versus only 29% in the identical, but unexposed, control group. The positive store conversion rate of 18.2% for the test vs. control affirmed that influencer campaigns can impact in-store traffic when implemented alongside audience pixel data and this data allows clients to target an audience they know is already interested in their product or brand. This adds another feather in the cap of influencers and their content, making them a valuable part of the marketing mix. It’s time influencer marketing be given a seat at the table and integrated across the marketing mix on both national and local levels.