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Columbia sold on hyperlocal targeting following successful Q4 campaign

After Columbia?s first mobile advertising campaign targeting users at hyperlocal level delivered a click-through rate 54 percent above the industry average as well as strong engagement with click-to-call and map elements, the sportswear brand is planning to repeat the strategy this year.

The campaign ran during the fourth quarter of 2013 with the goal of driving mobile users into nearby retailers such as Dick?s Sporting Goods, REI and Sports Authority, where the brand?s products are available. In addition to leveraging location data, ads were also targeted based on users? recent search history on mobile.

?We wanted to use mobile to really help support the retailers because we are able to go in on a hyperlocal basis and make it more relevant for the consumer in terms of, it?s cold and there?s a Dick?s Sporting Goods right around the corner for you that has a great solution for you with Columbia Omni-Heat,? said Juli Johnson, associate media director at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito, CA.

?So really tying in those retail locations and making it easier for them to find products,? she said.

BSSP is Columbia?s media agency of record.

Columbia and BSSP partnered with xAd on the campaign, which delivered ads across the platform?s network in 10 key markets.

Supporting retail partners
The campaign was built around Columbia?s Omni-Heat jacket and consisted of banner ads delivered on mobile devices with the goal of driving mobile users into a nearby retailer to experience the product in person.

The campaign is part of a bigger focus this year by Columbia to support its major retail partners. While Columbia maintains its own retail outlets and has an ecommerce presence, the majority of its products are still sold through retail partners.

The banner ads focused on the story of Omni-Heat, which is Columbia?s technology for winter clothing.

Location targeting
At the bottom of the banner ads, users saw copy telling them how faraway the nearest retailer selling Omni-Heat was.

When consumers clicked on the banner, they were taken to a mobile landing page that was put together by xAd that featured more information about the products.

Users could either click to learn more about the technology or they could click to see more information about nearby retailers and either call a store or pull up a map showing a store?s location and directions for getting there.

Ads were delivered to users based on their proximity to a retailer as well as on their search history on mobile. For example, the ad could have been served to someone who was searching for a Dick?s Sporting Goods store or for a winter jacket.

In-store sales
In addition to delivering a click-through rate 54 percent about the industry benchmark, the campaign also delivered strong engagement with elements such as click-to-call and maps, suggesting users were being driven into stores. BSSP?s analysis also suggests the campaign helped drive sales for retailers.

?We saw some nice engagement with actions that drive people to store, but we were not able to measure how many people actually went to the store,? Ms. Johnson said.

?We have information on a holistic level about overall sell-through for the season, and we know that it did really help contribute to the numbers,? she said.

Going forward, Columbia plans to repeat the strategy of using hyperlocal targeting to drive mobile users into stores.

?Consumers are paying more attention to their mobile environment and want information that is localized for them, especially when it comes to their mobile device because everything you are doing on the device when you are out and about shopping has to do with that local information,? Ms. Johnson said.

?I think it is going to be dialing up how do we get in front of the user when they are looking for a winter jacket, when they are looking to go find our partners and our retailers,? she said. ?And having them not only finding where the nearest Dick?s is, but have them going in already wanting Columbia.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York