Unilin: Store Visits as a compass in a sustainable growth strategy | Presentations and Cases

The quickstep is a light-hearted member of the standard ballroom dances. Within the flooring industry, Quick-Step designs and manufactures a wide range of laminate and parquet flooring. Quick-Step is a proud member of the UNILIN Group: a company with roots in West-Flanders, built in 1960 by a few families joining forces. 

Quick-Step organization is challenged by a rather siloed marketing and sales structure. The king of flooring brings its developed products into the market via independent retailers. The local stores represent Quick-Step and sell the product line. Whereas the central marketing team is responsible for marketing the brand and pushing forward to reach the business goals. The dealers are crucial in the sales cycle, yet it is tricky, as the marketing team of Quick-Step is blind to the actual sales happening at the dealers’ side. 

Moving data into a central role of our media strategies

Our marketing plans were becoming outdated. In recent years, data has taken a central role in marketing, but data hasn’t necessarily moved to the center of many marketing plans. Climbing the data maturity matrix does not happen overnight, and needs a long-term strategy, starting from ensuring the team stays on a pointed trajectories that focuses on metrics first. Back in 2017 we worked out the “Find a dealer” conversion (referred to as FAD in this document)  in order to navigate marketing tactics and budgets more accurately. FAD conversions are measured when a user is looking for the closest dealer in their area on the website. Until 2019, the focus was around online efficiency metrics, such as cost per finding a dealer. However, the team felt the emphasis on keeping that cost low could potentially slow down overall revenue growth, so they wanted to correct any mismatch between internal omni-channel growth ambitions and online KPIs. When Google rolled out Store Visit (referred to as SV) measurement, it meant that Quick-Step could precisely count how many store visits digital ads were driving. Quick-Step was one of the first Belgian advertisers to adopt the new measurement methodology. SV conversions are measured when a user interacts with an ad prior to visiting a dealer. 

Fast forward to the peak pandemic month of April 2020, home improvement smashed new records. Pre-pandemic, shoppers were of course already using digital touchpoints, such as mobile apps, social media and videos, along the path to purchase, but the COVID-19 crisis was an inflection point for digital adoption. It was clear we had to transition towards ROPO (research online, purchase offline). We established one unified target to measure the effect from advertising on both online and offline activities, meaning including both FAD and SV. The unified KPI is used as a compass to test and learn new channels and add them progressively to the media mix. The first step was to make sure that ROPO metric was well implemented and integrated within the different platforms (Google Ads & Google Analytics). Next, we adapted our Smart Bidding strategy to an omnichannel strategy including both FAD and SV.


Identifying new opportunities to increase awareness and brand desirability

Despite the meteoric rise in popularity of home improvement during the pandemic back in 2020, Quick-Step needed to keep pace with expectations for new customer recruitment. We realized that focusing on mid- to lower-funnel media meant we would not meet target consumers where they were spending the most time. We created a full-funnel strategy to increase awareness and brand desirability among key segments and, ultimately, win new customers. We created target personas through a mix of third and first-party audiences. The latter was mapped out using the FAD and SV signals to quantify and segment audiences. We then mapped the creative and audiences to the right tactical mix of channels and ad formats. Secondly, we wanted to explore options in using online marketing to drive more people into stores. 

Concretely, we built a consistent long term media plan articulated around different objectives and different types of campaigns to support these objectives:

  • Awareness: The objective was to make people aware of the brand Quick-Step when building or renovating their home. “Home” is a term that is strongly highlighted in the branding video, it is a claim that Quick-Step makes in their communication. This was done through different campaigns: YouTube, Discovery, Facebook, Quantum, Product placements (Huis Gemaakt), Addressable TV via DPG and Online video via Auvio. These channels were selected based on the targeting criteria of recently moved or in-market from home-improvement. 
  • Conversion: The objective was to bring users to dealers to buy a Quick-Step floor. In order to do that, we used the following campaigns: Local campaigns, Performance Max, DV360, Facebook (Smartly), Waze, S4M, Admoove. The USP in the ads was focussed on the wide network of local dealers Quick-Step has. Using location data, we could infuse the nearest dealer location in every ad, highlighting our local presence and availability. This allowed us to personalize every message with a local dimension, and in turn improving our relevancy.  These channels were selected based on the targeting criteria of (1) leveraging our first-party data segments. Audience lists were automatically created based on FAD and SV. Next, we used Machine Learning algorithms to expand targeting using the first-party data. Secondly, (2) narrowing down the audiences by targeting users in a certain radius around the dealers and displaying in the ad the closest dealer to the user (for example “Ontdek Quick-Step by Carpet 2000 in Meise”).

Secondly, timing was a key element in the long-term strategy. Whereas in previous media plans the focus was solely on seasonal peaks such as Batibouw and Fall promotions. We used the downtime to see which areas are in need of improvement by testing and learning. After every seasonal peak we conducted research and learned about our customers. Downtown periods were used to innovate and test out new formats with little risks. For example we learned that more than half of customers come via mobile devices. We found ways to get closer to the mobile users, leveraging the S4M mobile geolocation features, so we were geared up for the next peak season. 

Semetis helped Quick-Step achieve their objectives by coming up with a step-by-step plan based on our expertise, the insights from other clients' campaigns and the learnings from previous Quick-Step campaigns. 


A sustainable growth strategy with proven results

In today's constantly evolving world of marketing tech and platforms, you might wonder if it is even possible to have a sustainable growth strategy? Change is inevitable so how do you build something that is always constantly changing and evolving? This case clearly shows that it is about (1) putting data at the center, (2) testing and experimenting , (3) being patient. 

The results were stunning. 

  • 2021 was by far the best performing year with a strong increase in terms of volume of SV (+157%) and SV rate (+189%) across all channels. When looking at the cost per SV, we managed to decrease it both on all sources included (-17%) and on Google SEA campaigns (-42%).
  • In terms of FAD, we maintained a rather stable volume of FAD (-4%) across all channels, at an improved FAD rate (+12%). 


By looking at the results, we can conclude that our long term strategy has shown the real power of data consolidation, personalization and continuous optimization. Having all the teams operating towards a unified objective allowed us to generate the right business impact. More importantly, we have proven the independent retail owners that this successful strategy has a significant positive impact on their bottom line. We believe that this case demonstrates how one consolidated KPI can compass a long-term strategy that generates business value for Quick-Step and the independent retailer. 


publication auteur Janne Beke
Janne Beke

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