Digital Adversiting/Marketing for Retailers

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Case Studies - Effective Forms of Digital Advertising

Case studies of social media advertising and campaigns which effectively drove millennial engagement that was done by (or in conjunction with) retail companies include those by Costco, Harris Teeter, HP Ink in conjunction Staples, Best Buy, and Office Deport, and Pepsico in conjunction with Walgreens. Below, you will find more details.


Costco is a mass retailer that has been targeting millennials and successfully used social media campaign to reach millennials. The overall campaign involved social media, content strategy, landing page design and more. They worked with Red Bird Group to create content for their and social channels and website, develop tone and voice and guides for customer support, and fine-tune the overall marketing strategy for Costco Services.

The marketing campaign achieved good results. The "three-month campaign targeted at millennials received 1 million+ impressions, sent 170K clicks to the microsite on, and generated conversation with 3.4% engagement around the program on Facebook." They also achieved a "3.7% CTR on the program and a 6.4% CTR on our separate makeover campaigns."


Harris Teeter is a national grocery and pharmacy chain in the US. The company actively targets millennials with its selection of fresh offerings for health-conscious shoppers that are mostly millennials.

The company wanted to drive in-store traffic with a social media campaign and were able to do that. The campaign was managed by Single Grain, an ad agency, and they describe their approach as follows: "We started off by testing a variety of different ad creatives, targeting segments, and placements. This helped us find a few combinations that delivered the most visibility for Harris Teeter in terms of social media fan base. Once the fan base was established, we started growing the engagement rates of posts. The strategy we used to get in front of new customers was behavioral targeting. We implemented geographic targeting of ads, Lookalike Audiences, and oCPM (Optimized Cost Per Mille) bidding to stretch ad dollars the furthest."

To get the social media fans to the store and track the effectiveness of their campaign, they incorporated coupons into the campaign. They drove "15,000 people to Harris Teeter stores with a single campaign. We also doubled Facebook reach within six months and monetized new fans. Just one coupon campaign drove more than 25,000 conversions during the holiday season. We also boosted post engagement by 400%."


HP wanted to get more of its HP Ink off the shelf in Staples, Best Buy, and Office Depot and launched a mini social media campaign that targeted millennials to achieve it. They employed the services of 65 social media influencers and got them to advertise "a week-long BOGO 50% off sale for HP Ink at Staples, Best Buy, and Office Depot ."

The campaign was a success and it garnered over 12.2 million campaign impressions and "37% of Social Spotters reported purchasing HP Ink while at the retail locations."

PepsiCo and Walgreens

Pepsico wanted to be part of the millennial conversation during the past summer as well as drive sales of its limited edition packaging that came with different emojis in Walgreens stores. The campaign was tagged #SayItWithPepsi and they aimed to get millennials on social media to join in and share the hashtag.

To achieve this, PepsiCo created content "designed to encourage the millennial target audience to join in on the #SayItWithPepsi conversation through social media engagement. The campaign also strove to drive product trial at Walgreens through a mix of retail-based influencer content, user-generated content, and targeted content syndication."

Pepsico described their strategy as follows: "the marketing approach leveraged highly influential creators to develop and distribute original, relevant and inspiring organic-style content that evoked a sense of energy, excitement, and relevancy within the target audience. Participating influencers were made up of visual creatives, storytellers and trendsetters.

We utilized content production, layered syndication, and social activations to achieve the best possible results. Content production included original blog posts, photography, and branded video content. Influencers participated in Walgreens Social Shops to provide a clear path to purchase for their audiences and showcase in-store selections. This content was incorporated into long-form blog posts and free-standing "teaser" social shares. It drove readers into Walgreens and Duane Reade stores to purchase their Pepsi Emoji bottles and anything else they needed in order to create an exciting summer adventure."

The campaign garnered over 46 million impressions and over 50,000 engagement. The share of "voice for Walgreens and Pepsi, combined, more than doubled during the campaign and overall mentions of Pepsi Emoji increased by 677 percent" Other results include:

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Effective Forms of Digital Advertising

Our team provided 4 proven digital marketing strategies among retail companies with physical stores in the United States. To put it briefly, they include leveraging local inventory ads, implementing click and collect, allowing in-store returns of online orders, and optimizing Google my business listing.

Leverage Local Inventory Ads

This form of digital marketing emerges as one of the most effective ways of driving traffic in store for US retailers with brick-and-motor stores. According to Surojit Chatterjee, Google Shopping’s head of product, "a whopping 80% of consumers will visit a physical store if they know their desired product will be there." Leveraging Google’s local inventory ad service, therefore, enables them to list their local offerings online.
Other local inventory ads available to brick-and-mortar retailers are Bing local inventory ad and Facebook local inventory ad.

Implementing Click and Collect

Click and collect, also known as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), is likewise identified as one of the "most successful initiatives" among retail companies with physical stores in the US. It makes it possible for customers to make an order online and come by the store to pick the purchase. This strategy has already proven effective in boosting in-store sales at Walmart, and Home Depot. It is predicted that by 2021, more than 90% of retailers will implement BOPIS.

Allow in-store returns of online orders

Most retail companies with physical stores in the US are beginning to accept product returns and exchanges of online purchases. This strategy is aimed at engaging customers who visit the store in the process. Wal-Mart’s Mobile Express Returns allows customers to initiate a return and complete the process when they visit a store by "scanning a QR code and handing over the item." "Kohl’s and Amazon recently established a partnership that allows Amazon shoppers to return items in Kohl’s locations across the US. For Kohl’s, this means more in-store foot traffic and a higher opportunity to convert more in-store shoppers."

Optimizing Google My Business Listing

Research by BrightLocal reveals that 96 percent of buyers "have searched online for a local business." Therefore, most retailers are noticing the need to keep-to-date their location information, including phone number, directions, an address, and more on Google.

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Case Studies - Effective Forms of Digital Advertising Part 2

In the research carried out, we were able to identify the social media campaigns of Target, Haagen-Dazs in conjunction with Walgreen and Tiffany as examples of social media advertising and campaigns that effectively drive millennials engagement for retail companies. We provided more information below.


To find examples of social media advertising and campaigns which effectively drive engagement for millennial done by retail companies, we started the research by searching for case studies on the Advertising campaign databases like Effie, War and Creative Brief, etc and used search option to find cases of retailers like Walmart, Public, CVS, Dollar stores among others. However, there were no relevant cases found which were matching the research criteria. We only found other examples of campaigns done by retail companies.

Next, we searched for articles on websites like shortyawards. The company gives annual awards recognizing the people and organizations that produce real-time short form content across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram we felt that information on social media advertising and campaigns could be found on its database. However, we could only find an example of a case study for Haagen Daze in conjunction with Walgreens.

Furthermore, we searched the websites of millennial marketing, adage, Adweek to find examples of specific campaigns as these sites creative advertising, global advertising, and new campaigns. However, this strategy did not yield any result as the examples found were related to e-commerce stores, clothing, retail, etc.

Lastly, we looked for more examples on sites like mytotalretail, retaildive among others as these sites provide the latest news and analysis on the retail industry through various forms of content and community-building events and found examples of social media campaign by retailers which were targeted towards millennial in United States.



Target leveraged Facebook and Instagram ads to promote its Wonder pack crafting kits. The company ventured into Snapshot for the first time with a Thanksgiving-themed geofilter to engage millennial.
From Dec 1, 2015, to Dec 25, 2015, the company released a new holiday-related geofilter every day.

The dive into social media helped target to rank fourth in L2’s Digital IQ Index and to garner an 85% share of voice among General retailers.


The objective of this campaign was to highlight in a fun, accessible, yet aspiration way, the Häagen-Dazs BOGO promotions and sampling events at Duane Reade and Walgreens stores in New York City.
The company worked with lifestyle millennial influencers to develop a hyper-local content inspired by the city's celebrated stance on open container laws. The campaign utilized high-quality, original content and hyper-local targeting to engage audiences near retail locations with a propensity to shop for a play on words aligning with current events in the local market. Content created repositioned Häagen-Dazs as a mature treat to enjoy with friends this summer.

The campaign garnered over 14.3MM impressions (43% above the goal of 10MM)and resulted in a 148% lift in share of voice for Walgreens and Häagen-Dazs with product restocking did increase dramatically as a result.


Tiffany targeted millennials by using social media and digital marketing. The company found a new life that fueled significant company momentum, both organically and fiscally. Using its Engagement Ring Finder mobile app, its 7 million followers on Instagram and 9 million on Facebook, the company was able to create an impactful digital campaign that appealed to millennials and help drive customer loyalty.

By leveraging on its social media presence, Tiffany’s has been able to refresh the brand image and introduced new messaging which resonated with millennials. This led to a 6% increase in store sales in 2017 and a 15% jump in this year's first-quarter worldwide sales. All these were achieved without losing its loyal base of older, wealthy customers.