Drive to store

September 5, 2023

Why retailers should embrace Drive-to-Store right now

Written by Lucie Marand

Written by Oliver Bolenius, Managing Director Hawk DACH


With people returning to city centers, retailers can attract many new customers to their stores. Modern Drive-to-Store strategies offer a variety of solutions for efficient advertising with minimal stray effects using the latest technologies. In particular, omnichannel strategies are increasingly used by companies to adapt to new consumer habits. For chain stores, this means taking full advantage of Drive-to-Store to keep up with and differentiate themselves from the competition.


1. Multiply the impact with omnichannel


Drive-to-Store campaigns are well-suited for omnichannel strategies because geo-data can be used via mobile devices to determine who has already been targeted by ads in Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH). Experience shows that using an additional channel in Drive-to-Store campaigns significantly improves the advertising impact. For example, in a recent campaign for a telecommunications company, the unique visit rate was doubled thanks to an omnichannel activation (digital audio combined with DOOH and Display) vs one media only. 

Retargeting, for example through mobile display, can also significantly increase Drive-to-Store efficiency. In a campaign for a banking group, combining DOOH, audio and mobile, we achieved a +17 points increase in the visit rate thanks to mobile retargeting.

Advertising media such as mobile display or even programmatic audio are well-suited for localized targeting in addition to traditional DOOH when consumers use their cell phones near the point of sale. This feature enables retailers to focus their audio campaigns on the geographic location of a smartphone, making it easier to capture consumers’ attention with an ad and address, and directing them to a nearby point of sale. Although audio integration into Drive-to-Store strategies has been slow, programmatic audio inventory is currently experiencing significant growth. This provides brick-and-mortar retailers with another relevant advertising channel to target customers via streaming and internet radio platforms.

A Drive-to-Store campaign can be especially effective when it dynamically and creatively displays the address of the nearest store. This is currently accomplished by embedding the store locator in the creative, which stores the advertiser’s nearest stores. With one click on the mobile display ad’s call-to-action, and taking advantage of native mobile apps, the user’s GPS can then seamlessly guide them to the advertiser’s nearest location. To ensure successful campaigns, advertising channels, audience segments, geo-targeting and creative should be optimally aligned, regardless of the approach taken for Drive-to-Store.


2. Dynamic location targeting instead of traditional geotargeting


Geotargeting is essential for Drive-to-Store measures. Traditionally, there are various methods, such as geofencing with radius, geotargeting by postal code, and targeting customers along their physical journey to the store (journey’s geofencing targeting). Brands often combine geofencing with audience data to serve ads within a specific radius where the data indicates a large concentration of the target audience.

Moreover, current technologies offer advanced possibilities. Locations with high audience concentrations or high-value customers also change naturally throughout the day. These fluctuations can be captured by continuously matching and updating the affinity and location of potential customers. As a result, it becomes possible to determine dynamically at any time where the target group is located. This not only significantly reduces scatter effects but also increases advertising effectiveness.

These technical capabilities and geo-data create a wide range of possibilities for dynamic and continuous customer targeting. For instance, when a consumer leaves their home, they can receive targeted messages with ads on their mobile device through omnichannel platforms that are optimized for multistore campaigns. Based on the user’s location, they will be shown nearby stores. These managed offers consider all stores that are near the user at a given time, providing additional value and purchase intent.


3. Understand the appropriate KPIs for Drive-to-Store


To evaluate the effectiveness of Drive-to-Store marketing efforts, it is important to track store visits and how they change over time. Digital platforms can use uplift studies to compare the number of store visits for people who were exposed to advertising versus those who were not, providing uplift rates. These incremental visits are the result of the Drive-to-Store campaign. Most platforms also provide a cost-per-visit metric for comparing different campaigns.

Comparative data enables advertisers to evaluate their marketing efforts and make necessary adjustments. Drive-to-Store campaigns benefit from modern evaluation options as they can be conducted entirely digitally. Even small-scale campaigns can achieve a significant uplift and identify effective measures.

For example, a fast-food restaurant can run a Drive-to-Store campaign targeting consumers near its location on a Sunday when a competitor is closed. Such targeted actions can significantly benefit retailers. It is important to stay current and not only find the optimal channel mix, but also to be on the lookout for new channels. As more advertisers move to Drive-to-Store, it is not just about playing the game, but mastering it.


Want to receive some of our Drive-to-Store success stories? Contact us

Receive monthly news and insights

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive Hawk updates and other industry news, every month

Related Posts