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Rite Aid Optimizes Targeted Digital Marketing Efforts

Rite Aid recently launched a multi-pronged marketing effort that harnesses the power of programmatic digital advertising to drive sales. Focused primarily in two major areas—promoting the company’s value-packed wellness+ with Plenti customer loyalty program and encouraging customers to protect themselves from the flu—this effort represents a refined marketing direction vested heavily in programmatic media buying, marketing and advertising.

“Simply put, programmatic marketing delivers the most ‘bang for the buck’ by allowing us to target customized messages to the right people at the right time,” John Learish, Rite Aid senior vice president of marketing said. “It’s a more economical and effective approach than traditional mass marketing methods.”

In late August, the company launched a radio advertising campaign to raise awareness and educate customers on the importance of protecting their health by getting a flu or other immunization at Rite Aid. According to Learish, radio’s promotional nature makes it a great vehicle to use as a “call to action.”

To support this emphasis on targeted marketing, Learish’s team developed several video segments focused on wellness+ with Plenti, flu immunizations, and creating “Caring Moments”— short video clips that bring Rite Aid’s brand “With Us, It’s Personal” to life. These videos are available on Rite Aid’s YouTube page.A link to Rite Aid’s YouTube page is also available on RiteAid.com.

These video segments are being distributed through narrow-channel mobile and programmatic advertising to target very specific audiences. An example of this is the company’s partnership with weather.com, the Weather Channel’s website that provides customized weather information for every locality in the country. Certain weather events—such as frigid temperatures or snowstorms—correlate to higher incidence of colds and flu and will “trigger” the flu immunization ads to run in the affected areas. (See related article, “Rite Aid Focused on Helping Customers Fight the Flu” in this issue.)

For maximum impact, this “geo-targeting” is refined even further by cross-referencing data from the Centers for Disease Control that indicates areas experiencing heightened incidence of flu with time of day and peak flu shot hours in local stores. Rite Aid is also using a third-party data source to specifically target consumers who have received a flu shot in the past—even from a doctor or competitor—with online messaging designed to promote Rite Aid’s flu immunization services.

This year, the company’s flu immunization effort will be augmented by the Rite Aid Foundation’s “Spread Hope Not the Flu” campaign, which will donate $5,000 to each of the more than 360 KidCents charities in honor of customers who receive a flu shot at Rite Aid from October through December, 2016. According to Learish, this campaign will be advertised in all channels as a special incentive for customers to help children in their community as they protect themselves and their families with a flu shot from Rite Aid.

To raise awareness and educate consumers on the exceptional benefits of wellness+ with Plenti, the company has also produced a series of entertaining videos with “The Krazy Coupon Lady”—a wildly popular Internet resource for couponers. Touting the “Four Ways to Save” with wellness+ with Plenti, these short video segments  explain the program’s incredible value and benefits for members.

“We’re having a lot of success with these fun and informative videos,” said Learish. “Combined with attention-grabbing carousel ads that promote the Rite Aid brand and wellness+ with Plenti on social media websites like Facebook, this digital campaign is helping us reach our target audience in even more creative and effective ways.”

Another series of videos highlights the company’s focus on creating “Caring Moments” with customers. These short clips support the service standards embodied in The Rite Aid Experience—the company’s new service framework—and demonstrate what makes the customer experience at Rite Aid so different from other retailers.

“We’re very excited about this new marketing focus and its potential to attract shoppers, promote wellness+ with Plenti and drive incremental sales through targeted, relevant messaging,” said Learish. “By making it ‘even more personal’ for our customers, these marketing efforts deliver not only on our brand promise, but also on our commitment to meeting the individualized needs of our customers.”