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Case study: Albert County Chamber of Commerce – Shop Local campaign

Background Information

Marketing campaigns come in all shapes and sizes and can involve a variety of platforms and features. In 2021, we facilitated the roll-out of a nine-week public campaign to increase support for local businesses, the ACCC Shop Local initiative.

About the Client

The Albert County Chamber of Commerce (ACCC) supports businesses throughout the Albert County region, and we have been proudly supporting them for many years. They are an important voice for the business community and provide valuable exposure for our local businesses.

Fronted by local businesswoman Annick Robichaud Butland, the chamber is made up of passionate individuals who represent a variety of sectors through their own businesses.

Annick and Tosh Taylor fronted this particular campaign, with assistance and support from across the Board.

The Challenge

ACCC wanted to create a campaign that would promote the businesses of Albert County, particularly independent retailers, to the residents to encourage purchases in the run-up to the Holiday Season.

The campaign would involve the sign-up of local businesses and a digital passport that would be issued to anyone who wished to take part. Each time a shopper visited a participating store, a QR code would be scanned to “stamp” their passport. On the successful collection of all stamps, the shopper would then be able to submit their passport to receive a local gift card valued at $25. They would also be entered into a prize draw, with prizes being local gift cards of $500.

This was unlike any undertaking from the ACCC previously and we were excited to help support our local businesses, who were dealing with COVID implications through 2020 and 2021.

The aim of the campaign would be to raise awareness of the local businesses, encourage shoppers to go out to stores supporting local industry, rather than online behemoths. Hoped for KPIs were an increase in traffic to the websites of participating retailers and an increase in footfall where they had a physical store. An additional, less quantifiable, aim would be an increase in the engagement between local businesses and residents.

Our Solution

This was a project with many moving pieces.

Planning and logistics

Any successful project relies upon clearly laid out objectives.

  • We created a set of rules for the participating business, and a set for the visitors.
  • We created tracking sheets to manage the logistics of the campaign and enable up to date reporting to ACCC as required.

Getting businesses involved

The first part of the project required the sign-up of local businesses. Without them, there would be no campaign! The ACCC has an existing weekly newsletter and social media platforms, which we leveraged to get word out.

  • We created newsletter and social media assets calling for local businesses to get involved.
  • We sent an initial interest email out to ACCC members with a few simple questions.
  • We ascertained how the QR codes would work and decided on the format for reporting from the paper ballots.
  • We set up a form on the ACCC website, allowing businesses to sign up, including the upload of their logo for asset creation.

Creating individual business assets

Personalization was required for certain aspects and a nice touch for others. Every participating business received a pack that included everything they needed.

  • We created website graphics so that businesses could promote their participation directly on their websites. This included the business name and logo.
  • We created social media posts that again included the business name and logo that could be used for promotional purposes.
  • We created posters for each business to display in their physical location. This poster included the business name and logo but also featured the QR code that visitors could scan to register their visit.
  • We created individual webpages that linked to the QR codes. Each page displayed where the QR code was scanned and asked people to register their details. A confirmation email was automated on submission.
  • We also organised the creation and delivery of ballot boxes for each physical location and paper ballots with the appropriate branding in case people wished to take part but could not use the QR codes.

Campaign promotion

The campaign needed assets to promote itself too. Again, we leveraged existing ACCC platforms to spread the word.

  • We added graphics featuring a campaign logo to the homepage of the ACCC website that fed through to a general campaign page. This page included a summary of the campaign with links to the list of retailers and the rules.
  • We created a checklist of participating businesses that served as the visitors’ passport. This was available in digital and paper form.
  • We surveyed the participating businesses at various stages to gauge their expectations, comfort with the rules, and the campaigns success.

Section 4: Results

‘Tis the Season to Shop Local was a fantastic success for all involved! ACCC was delighted to see engagement from businesses and consumers from the time of announcement till the close. Regular reporting showed a steady interest and positive results from the retailers involved, exceeding the expectations of the ACCC. It was a fresh challenge logistically for the Cyber PR team and we loved it! It was a great opportunity to showcase our skills and help local businesses dip their toe into the potential of digital marketing.

Goal

Actual

Consumer’s entries

100 entries

380 entries

Participating businesses

20

37

Increased sales/revenue for the businesses

Estimated +10%

Social media likes

100

256

Social media shares

25

99

Additional Stats:

  • 50% of business felt more positive about the Albert County Chamber with the Shop Local Campaign happening
  • 33.3% felt much more positive about the Albert County Chamber with the Shop Local Campaign happening
  • On average, businesses felt there was a bump of +10% in sales due to the campaign.
  • 50% of businesses had never used QR codes before for personal or business.
  • OVERAL, GROWTH increased by an average of all participating businesses.

Words from the team

Lynn Colepaugh – Commander-in-Chief

Challenges

  • The biggest challenge was creating a campaign that involved technology like QR codes in a region struggling with stable internet access. We had to balance both worlds to create a blend of QR scans and old fashioned paper ballots to be inclusive of all retailers.
  • An additional challenge was including both brick-and-mortar retailers as well as online companies. We approached this with a full retailer package that included both printed material and digital graphic assets that could be used individually or together.

What I enjoyed

  • I always enjoy finding new companies within my community so I can keep our purchases local. It is an ethos that is close to my heart, so the campaign resonated with me from the start. I also delighted in seeing how keen and positive the local businesses were and how supportive the ACCC was. They were very invested in us, pushing the boundaries of tech within our community and setting us up for future success.

How it was different

  • In Albert County, we not only span a very large geographical area, but also many villages and towns with varying degrees of connectibility. There was no “one-solution-fits-all” and we had to dig deep and talk with our community and stakeholders in order to create a very customized solution to deliver this amazing Shop Local program to everyone who wished to be involved.
The team

“The Shop Local campaign was a wonderful logistical challenge with quick turnarounds needed at several points. When constructing copy and project managing, I made the most of my skills in automation, setting up automated campaigns and utilizing self-directed segments to enable a speedy and efficient roll out of assets to the participating businesses. The execution across the team was a testament to our ability to work as a unit across our varying fields.” – Zoey Hughes, our Client Services Manager and Copywriter

“I love a good project that gets me geared up for the holidays. This was undoubtedly the biggest task I’ve taken on with this team so far. 36 posters and stickers, custom to each retailer with personalized logos and QR codes. We ended up having to scrap one size of the posters we were making because we had so many retailers interested, our list was too big to fit on the single page! This showed there was certainly loooots of engagement from the retailers in our community. I’m looking forward to seeing the same excitement from our shoppers over the holiday season.” – Danica Spencer, our Senior Graphic Designer

“I enjoyed being a part of the Shop Local campaign. I’ve always been a strong proponent of shopping locally so that was a good motivator for me on this project. I also enjoyed the fact that the retailers are from different communities across Albert County. The most challenging and enjoyable aspect of the project was creating individual forms for each retailer – designing a page for them and tying the form to the page. Zoey challenged me to setup a response email to be sent out once the form was submitted and that afforded me the opportunity to dive deeper into the form software. Finally, there was a tight deadline for this project that lit a fire under me; it was very rewarding to see the campaign go live at the designated time. There was great teamwork on this project that required significant coordination by Zoey and Lynn. – Michael MacKinnon, our Webmaster and Technical Engineer

To find out more about how we can help your business with projects big or small, book a meeting or drop us an email.

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