In partnership with The Home Depot Rental, Brunner aligned on a communications strategy: To increase awareness of the new brand value propositions to acquire new customers and increase frequency among existing customers within key markets. To do this, the agency developed three key marketing objectives to drive awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty across The Home Depot Rental’s customers:
Generate Awareness of THDR “One-Stop Shop” Value Proposition via an annual increase in impressions by EOY
Increase Rentals Through the Key Pro and Consumer Benefit via an annual increase in traffic by EOY
Drive Trial and Return Customers via media mix analysis by EOY
The primary audience for The Home Depot Rental is professional contractors (Pros) with a secondary audience of DIYers. The Pros, ages 25 –49, tend to be the decision maker of general contractor small businesses or mid-size specialty trades like landscaping, electrical, plumbing, or HVAC. In addition to the Pros, The Home Depot Rental also targets DIYers. This group consists of first or second home buyers who are empowered to complete indoor and outdoor renovation projects. And as the largest home improvement retailer in the U.S., DIYers are core to every aspect of The Home Depot business.
Knowing the behaviors and needs of core audiences through primary and secondary research conducted in 2019, Brunner identified a dynamic media mix to support its objectives, including channels such as SEM, paid social (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), and Display. Additionally, third-party research was conducted to surface new opportunities and solve for how the pandemic had changed the way people behave and consume media. For instance, Brunner’s findings from Nielsen Scarborough indicated streaming as a key behavior to the pro audience, and that annually expanding OTT reach was expedited by the pandemic. As a result, Brunner bolstered the existing channel plan with extensions to OTT, YouTube and Nextdoor to extend messaging and reach consumers where they are spending more time.
Since the needs and frequency of Pro rentals are influenced on a regional level, Brunner decided a regional strategy could make an impact within key markets. This approach already showed annual success with SEM and social, and could be expanded to new, additional channels, like Display, to drive greater impact.
For core channels, like SEM and paid social, an always-on approach was implemented that fluctuated media spend and messaging based on seasonality. For additional and test channels, to determine campaign flighting, Brunner leveraged seasonal and timely trends, evaluated sentiment, and factored in media weight. As the pandemic continued throughout the U.S. and people hunkered down at home, research showed, according to Houzz, a surge in DIY home improvement occurred as individuals used some of their extra time to undertake projects. Additionally, Pinterest cited a 5.5x increase for “home project diy” searches vs. a pre-pandemic world. Keeping seasonality and the change in behavior top of mind, the team capitalized on these behaviors to inform the content approach and plan campaign flights.
Once stay-at-home orders were eased and loosened, Brunner was able to deploy a safe and CDC-compliant production shoot to develop dynamic video assets for channels like Facebook, OTT, Nextdoor, and YouTube. To determine the creative and appeal to both audiences, the team storyboarded and developed specific creative concepts prior to the shoot that would result in seven 15- and 30-second video units that would run across the aforementioned channels. The creative included both brand and category-specific key messages while showcasing the variety of products available to rent.
To support all media flighting, Brunner developed five customized landing pages that all digital campaigns drove to. Two of the pages were brand focused – one for the Pro audience and the other for the DIYers – that highlighted key brand attributes and differentiators. Another page was dedicated to Pro-specific products available to rent. Lastly, a project-specific landing page was built for the DIYers that provided various outdoor and indoor seasonal projects that homeowners could take on. The page also included step-by-step blog instructions, how-to videos and project material shopping checklists.
Given the desire for connectivity from the pandemic, Brunner bolstered the online experience for campaigns through a community management approach that helped humanize the brand and further build relationships.
To evaluate the impact of the campaign, Brunner quantified how many individuals saw the content (increase in awareness), interacted or engaged with the content (increase in consideration), and, most importantly, rented from The Home Depot Renal as a result of the content (increase in conversions).
By creating dynamic content coupled with a comprehensive channel mix and media plan that reached the target audiences, Brunner helped The Home Depot Rental successfully achieve and surpass its objectives.
Brunner delivered upon the 3 marketing strategies, driving:
16MM views on OTT at a 98% completion rate
32% Y/Y lift in Large Equipment SEM impressions
149% Y/Y lift in Large Equipment paid social impressions
44% Y/Y lift in Truck paid social impressions
149% Y/Y increase in Large Equipment paid social clicks
50% Y/Y increase in Large Equipment SEM clicks
26% Y/Y increase in General Tool SEM clicks
15% Y/Y increase in Truck SEM clicks
26% Y/Y more efficient cost per conversions on Facebook
The landing pages drove 620K+ pageviews during the campaign, resulting in an increase in overall web traffic
17 earned media opportunities secured and 333,009 earned impressions secured YTD (live placements only)
During its campaign, The Home Depot Rental achieved multiple record-setting weeks in rental transactions and saw 5-6% Y/Y increases in revenue across all lines of business
56% Y/Y increase in engagement rate on Twitter due to Brunner’s community management program
Additionally, through a marketing mix model analysis, Brunner was able to demonstrate an 8:1 ROI for marketing.
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