A robot lawn mower eschews springtime advertising to stand out

A robot lawn mower eschews springtime advertising to stand out
The Media Plan

European gardening company Stiga wanted to launch its new robot lawn mower in the UK with a media plan that promoted the benefits of the product’s app-driven technology.

Traditionally, Stiga’s business has been focused on an audience of serious and committed gardeners, with its route to market through machinery distributors.

But Bountiful Cow was tasked with re-evaluating Stiga’s target audience in the UK and put in place a full-funnel digital strategy.

“Whilst Stiga enjoys high levels of spontaneous awareness in European markets such as Germany and Sweden, in the UK the brand has historically low levels of awareness and most competitors are outspending them,” commented Emma Deacon, Bountiful Cow’s account director.

‘Outshouting’ competitors

Deacon noted that Stiga did not have a budget that could “outshout” competitors, so Bountiful Cow looked to “find those moments and spaces that their competitors overlooked”.

The team started by challenging the seasonality of Stiga’s advertising. Garden machinery companies tend to invest the majority of their media spend in spring, when interest is presumed highest. However, using Google Trends data, Bountiful Cow found interest all year round, with 15% of people searching for information in the summer and 20% in the autumn.

By looking beyond spring, Bountiful Cow was able to invest in more cost-effective paid media, while creating a space for Stiga to stand out when the gardening category is less cluttered.

The agency went a step further by eschewing TV, radio and OOH in the media budget — all channels in which Stiga’s competitors spend big — in favour of performance activity for a brand that had no performance strategy in place previously. As such, Stiga’s media plan spanned video, search, social and commerce channels.

A ‘brandformance’ digital strategy

Deacon explained that because people use a range of sources for information on gardening, including websites, social networks and online communities, a digital strategy would enable Stiga to “do well due to their product superiority”, adding: “Making the robot lawn mower easy to find and buy online was therefore essential.”

To do so, Bountiful Cow sought to build brand awareness where most consumers start their online purchase journey, rather than via distributors.

“Our plan looked to address this journey with richer assets and digital placements at discovery to harvesting demand and converting to sales through performance media,” continued Deacon. “This entailed an always-on performance media strategy, consisting of pay-per-click and retargeting, social media, plus influencer content to add credibility, and a seamless full-funnel digital strategy through to purchase.”

She added that the team also challenged Stiga’s current distribution model, proposing that there was instead a relative advantage in “heroing” its own website. The result was a mix of performance and brand marketing tactics.

By managing ecommerce against Stiga’s website, Deacon reasoned that it would help the brand better understand the full conversion journey to offer further optimisations in the future. “This would help to make their own websites more profitable, plus all orders are still fulfilled by distributors, so those relationships are protected,” she explained.

“By going against standard category norms and being distinctive, we are delivering relative advantage for Stiga, reaching and engaging audiences across the year, in places and moments free from their competitors.”

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