The message to member dealers at the True Value Spring Reunion in Washington, D.C. was clear. Cable TV advertising was going away, and will be replaced by local digital ad buys.
From the onset of President and CEO John Hartmann’s welcome message to the gathered General Session attendees, the focus of the address to members was that increasing numbers of new and existing customers are doing their research online before entering a local store. Hartmann said True Value is committed to helping member dealers bring those customers into their local stores.
More than 1,200 online products will soon be available in-store only, Hartmann said. The object is to direct customers to their local store to pick up the product rather than order it from TrueValue.com
According to Dave Elliot, Senior Vice President, Marketing, some 80% of customers will now visit a website before they visit a store. To take advantage of this shift in consumer behavior, True Value is re-launching its website in April, and the focus of the site will be to show local prices.
Using data from True Value’s Rewards program, the focus on local, digital marketing will include search engine and social media marketing. Teresa Jordan, Director of Digital Marketing & Social Media said that preliminary test how that a $1 spent on local digital marketing, leads to $16 in in-store sales.
The focus on digital marketing isn’t just for existing True Value stores, said Heath Ashenfelter, Vice President, Merchandising. True Value has a goal of opening 300 new stores in 2018.