Olena Pohodina: about possible marketing activities in the shopping malls and their effectiveness for retailers

At the conference "Shopping mall and retail marketing: rethinking", organized by Malls Club, Arricano marketing director Olena Pohodina took part in a panel discussion on "Analysis of the effectiveness of marketing activities in modern realities".
Together with her colleagues, Olena discussed important issues of interaction between the shopping mall and retail.

"Cosmetic" power of the shopping mall
Theoretically, visitors come to the shopping mall for shopping. But in practice, we can see how important it is to fill guests with positive emotions. During 2020-2021, the desire for impressions increased even more, as the so-called "lipstick effect" worked. Remember that one? When the unemployment rate peaked during the American Great Depression of the 1930s and cosmetics sales rose, because buying lipstick did not hit the wallet, but brought little joy and gave a sense of control over your life.

It is not entirely correct to compare the current situation in Ukraine with the United States a century ago. However, both Ukrainians and the whole world are in a state of "readiness" for quite a long time to try out even new "shades" of that "lipstick", for example, shopping. One gets the impression that the effect of "deferred demand" concerns not only and not so much the need for goods or products, but the need for pleasant emotions, carefree leisure, and live communication.

According to our research, which we conducted in Prospekt shopping mall after the January quarantine restrictions, one of the main reasons why guests visit the shopping mall is a pleasant atmosphere.

After all, people enjoy not only buying necessary things, but also beautiful architectural locations, the opportunity to distance themselves from people and at the same time stay in an open society, live communication with sales consultants, and unhurried walks in a safe space. Therefore, all our marketing tools combine ratio (meeting a specific need with a product) and emotio (responding to psychological requests from visitors) elements.

The inseparable trinity
In the shopping mall, there is a "live" meeting of the buyer with three brands at once: the product brand, the store (retailer) brand, and the shopping mall's brand itself. In marketing communications, we apply different verticals of the consumer path: from the shopping mall's brand through the store brand to the product and vice versa – starting with consumer insight through tenant mix to the shopping mall's brand as the optimal place to meet any needs.
The experience of three-way partner projects proves that this combination is attractive for the client. Using the example of a partner project with the brands VIVO, Foxtrot and Prospekt shopping mall, we saw that visitors are very comfortable to join the activities organized by the VIVO brand in the gallery of the shopping mall, and then it is very convenient to visit the Foxtrot store with a gift certificate and make a purchase.

Shopping malls are places of synergy between brands and visitors. In 2021, we can see that most brands have adapted to today's realities, set up communication with consumers in advertising channels, expand loyalty programs, and quickly respond to consumer insights with flexible discount calendars.
Meanwhile, for a shopping mall, one of the main focuses of attention is the line of the entrance group of stores. Visitors have already come to the shopping mall, intend to make a purchase, and special promotions and offers from stores are waiting for them on the other side of the line. Is navigation in a shopping mall or storefront enough for a customer to enter the store? Or maybe we should offer a more compelling reason - such as a certificate or promo code for a discount? And it is in the gallery of the shopping mall, which, unlike advertising in the subway or Facebook, is aimed at an audience that is already one step away from buying. Of course, the shopping mall should initiate and implement these projects, because it knows and understands its audience.

Regarding the Arricano shopping malls, we are trying different cross-marketing options between tenant brands, taking into account the positioning of a particular shopping mall. For example, the RayON shopping mall is considered a place for family shopping, so during the summer holidays, we organized the interaction of tenants covering the children's segment. Thus, for the purchase of goods in the stores "Budynok Ihrashok", "Bukva", "Dytiachi mrii" or in the Boomer cinema for a certain amount, the consumer will receive a certificate for entertainment in the Game Park children's center.

For the main prize pool for the last birthday of Sun Gallery shopping mall, we have combined three tenants from different categories – "Fashion", "Appliances" and "Household goods" to reach different audiences. For the City Mall, we have further expanded cross-marketing by raffling off three certificates for shopping in the mall.
The winners decided by themselves which stores they choose to shop: two of them made shopping in hardware stores, and the third one chose a jewelry brand.

About interaction between retailers and shopping malls
Shopping mall's traffic is a great opportunity for retailers to connect with visitors, but it seems that this channel is currently undervalued. Working with the audience of a shopping mall means not only placing direct advertising, attracting promoters and providing a prize pool for events. Daily traffic of shopping malls ranges from 10 to 80 thousand visitors.  Brands have the opportunity to set up better contact with the audience, since their messages about the mission, values, and social responsibility are supported by the store's storefronts, sellers' communication, and brand information posted in the store.
And it is the systematic (no matter how strange it may sound in the era of lockdowns) and creative approach for native advertising manifestations that works many times more effectively than direct advertising.

Since we position Prospekt shopping mall as a sports lifestyle magnet, we hold thematic events with the help of our tenants. In March, we organized sports competitions among visitors to support Dynamo in the match with Villarreal, and then invited them to the broadcast of the game in the Multiplex cinema, and the New Balance brand, which is the official sponsor of the Dynamo team, had the opportunity to exhibit the "champions uniform" in the gallery of the shopping mall and attract an audience of fans to the store.

One of the best communication cases of a retailer in the gallery of the shopping mall can be called the manifestations of the French brand Decathlon in the gallery of Prospekt shopping mall. This is a comprehensive approach that consists of a grid of activities planned over time. This includes displaying information about the brand's mission, values, and advantages at the gallery stands, as well as joint sports events involving sports bloggers who promote sports lifestyle, and displaying seasonal products on creative points in the gallery. This approach allows you to create a close contact with the existing audience and attract a new one, and finally it is supported by gifts of the brand's products to visitors of the shopping mall, so that they can see the quality of the goods from their own experience.

Native advertising is not converted into instant sales, but it allows you to unobtrusively turn visitors to the shopping mall into real brand ambassadors. This game "for the future" gives noticeably better results than informing visitors about the promotion of the day using paper postcards. The financial factor also plays in its favor – optimizing the cost of advertising, because together with the efforts of marketing teams, we can combine budgets and offer the audience much better events.

In a regional shopping mall, more classic brand displays are effective. For example, some tenants of our Kryvyi Rih shopping mall "Sun Gallery" join the Fashion Day shows that take place twice a year in the shopping mall. They provide items from their collection that showcase models from local modeling agencies. The beauty festival gathers fashionistas from all over the city, so for retailers this is an opportunity to demonstrate their range in a native way.

CSR projects can also become joint projects, because a shopping mall is a socially significant object for urban infrastructure and local communities. Soon we will implement a similar initiative in our Kyiv shopping malls and attract not only retailers, but also independent organizations and public authorities.

It would seem that conclusions are on the surface: in unstable times, retail and shopping malls should join forces, look for new solutions, and most importantly - turn the negative expression "human factor" into a motivational slogan: "We are for the human resource".

Source: https://www.mallsclub.com