BDO survey: Retailers using social media as part of holiday blitz
Chicago — A majority (88%) of retailers are using social media as part of their 2013 holiday marketing blitz. But they still remain divided about mobile marketing, with only 38% using it this year, down from 50% in 2012.
Among the retailers who are incorporating social media into their marketing strategy this holiday season, Facebook (99 %) and Twitter (52%) remain the two most popular platforms. Marketers are also increasingly using Pinterest (27%) and YouTube (24%) to engage customers and drive traffic to their e-commerce platforms. A solid 16% of retailers are leveraging Instagram this year, as well, ranging from apparel brands such as Gap and Patagonia to food retailers like Starbucks.
These findings are from the most recent edition of the BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs, which examined the opinions of 100 chief marketing officers at leading retailers located throughout the country. The retailers in the study were among the largest in the country, including 11 retailers in the top 100 based on annual sales revenue.
Additional findings from the report include:
- Seventy-two percent of chief marketing officers plan to allocate roughly the same amount of funds toward holiday marketing and advertising this year as they did in 2012, Although 20% plan to increase their expenditures, retailers anticipate a 1.0% decline in their advertising budgets overall.
- A plurality of CMOs (41%) are investing most of their holiday budgets in traditional print ads, which have been a consistently popular medium over the last four years. And CMOs still believe in the power of TV to reach a wide audience: 29% say they will spend the majority of their holiday advertising budget on broadcast.
- The 38% of retailers who are including mobile in their marketing strategy this year are embracing it are ramping up their efforts. Last year, mobile comprised an average of 5.9% of retailers’ overall marketing budget; this year, that number has jumped to 15%.
- Nearly nine-in-10 CMOs surveyed say that they find it challenging to integrate and manage the massive amount of data available to them, down only slightly from 93% in 2012.
- Among the top big data obstacles facing retailers are the ability to use data effectively for marketing efforts (44%) and organizing data and developing metrics (22%). To meet these challenges and capitalize on opportunities, major retailers like Wal-Mart and Apple have adopted new, cutting-edge data mining systems, which help contextualize data over time and make it easier to forecast trends.
- Daily deals appear to be losing steam, as only one quarter of retailers anticipate using the tactic during the holidays, down from 42% in 2012. Flash sales were the top mobile promotion strategy for a plurality (30%) of retailers last year. This year, only 5% of retailers cite flash sales as their primary mobile tactic. Overall, greater emphasis on text message campaigns (33%) and mobile coupons (28%) point to a shift in mobile strategy. Retailers such as Starbucks, which is once again promoting weekly holiday offers via text, are moving to capitalize on the fact that 98% of text messages are opened and viewed, according to research from SinglePoint.
Safeway sells 11 Dominick’s stores to Roundy’s
Pleasanton, Calif. — Safeway Inc. announced it has reached a definitive agreement to sell 11 of its Dominick’s stores in the Chicago metropolitan area in a cash and lease assumption transaction to Roundy’s, Inc. Roundy’s will take possession of the stores during a transition period that will take place over the next two months.
Earlier this year, Safeway announced its decision to exit the Chicago market and focus its efforts in other operating areas where its business is stronger. The company continues to be actively engaged in a process to identify purchasers for its remaining stores in the Chicago market, and make announcements as and when pending deals are finalized.
Safeway previously announced the sale of four stores in the greater Chicago area to New Albertsons, Inc., which operates Jewel-Osco grocery stores.
Office Depot names Wendy’s exec as CFO
Boca Raton, Fla. — Office Depot, formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, announced the appointment of Stephen Hare as executive VP and CFO, effective immediately. Hare replaces co-CFO Mike Newman, who has retired from the company, and interim Co-CFO Deb O’Connor, who has returned to her position as senior VP, finance and co-chief accounting officer.
Hare comes to Office Depot from The Wendy’s Company where he served as senior VP and CFO from 2011 until September 2013. Prior to that, he was senior VP and CFO of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, from 2008 through 2011. Previously, he served as CFO of Arby’s Restaurant Group.
Hare will report to Office Depot’s new chairman and CEO Roland Smith. Prior to joining the newly combined company, Smith was CEO of Delhaize America. And before that, he was CEO of Wendy’s and the Wendy’s/Arby’s Group.
"Having worked closely with Steve on transforming businesses in the past, I know he brings to Office Depot, Inc. the knowledge and discipline needed to realize the synergies inherent in the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax," Smith said. "I am confident that Steve’s financial skills and wealth of operations and management experience will enable us to be a more competitive and efficient provider of office products and services, and set us on a path for sustainable growth.