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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Sainsbury’s drives sales through Facebook

Friday June 24 2011

Three consumer marketing programmes demonstrate power of socially-led direct response initiatives

Sainsbury's Facebook page Three consumer marketing programmes demonstrate power of socially-led direct response initiatives


TBG Digital, the leading global marketing and technology company specialising in Facebook and social media advertising campaigns, today revealed its part in three of Sainsbury’s new Facebook initiatives.


With an emphasis on direct response, it has reported that the campaigns delivered impressive results through their ability to engage consumers and drive new sales through conversations. The approach adopted by Sainsbury’s effectively halved the target cost per acquisition (CPA), as well as reducing the conversion rate on its groceries initiative. It added that the campaigns demonstrated how direct response initiatives were not only viable but also highly effective when devised and executed in the right manner.


Building on previous success


Sainsbury’s is no stranger to Facebook advertising having run many campaigns over the past few years. What makes these current campaigns different is their ability to successfully capitalise on a direct response methodology. The initial programme was a groceries initiative aimed at new customers. TBG created a standalone Facebook page for Sainsbury that was anchored around a deals-based approach.


The offer of either £10 or £15 off a weekly shopping bill was designed in a way that would encourage individuals to actively engage, either by printing of vouchers or sharing these offers with a wider circle of friends. It resulted in over 2,500 new customer acquisitions over a few months and a CPA figure that exceeded previous estimates.


Developing direct strategy


The success of the grocery programme has led to a second programme that has just gone live. It uses a similar direct response approach and is geared around a general merchandise initiative aimed at new and existing Sainsbury’s customers. The third programme created by TBG concentrates on using ‘fanning’ techniques to support and promote local Sainsbury’s stores in the north east of England. It is currently in its pilot stage.


Simon Mansell, TBG Digital chief executive, said direct response campaigns had always been considered a challenge and therefore been discounted by retailers in the past.


He added: “It is clear that direct response-based Facebook initiatives not only work but can deliver a strong return, in terms of customer engagement and increased sales. The groceries programme demonstrated beyond doubt what a well-designed and executed programme can accomplish. Critically, it was the approach and the ability to actively engage the Facebook audience that made the programme such a success. To put the success of this programme into some context, if Sainsbury’s sought to replicate the results by undertaking a series of online viral activities instead, the cost per acquisition would become prohibitive.”