Canadian Tire has firmly established itself as the country’s go-to source for auto parts, hardware, and home decor. But, in spite of its success, this company never seems to stop marketing, and its campaigns are phenomenal. If you’re looking for ways to improve your marketing efforts, you may want to focus on these key takeaways.
Effective marketing isn’t just about talking to your customers — in the age of social media, that unilateral approach no longer works. Now, customers expect interactivity, and Canadian Tire’s "Tested for Life" campaign is the perfect example.
To get customers involved, the company selected 15,000 product testers from different age groups and demographics, and even more importantly, the company actually used their feedback to improve its products. To complete the interactive experience, the store tags many of its products with links to customer reviews so shoppers can pull up that information on their phones while they’re in the store.
By encouraging customers to access online reviews while in the store, the "Tested for Life" campaign bridges the gap between the online world and reality, and that’s another thing that modern consumers expect. Similarly, Canadian Tire’s "House of Innovation" campaign also bridged that gap. With that campaign, the company purchased a home in Toronto and fixed it up, exclusively using products sold at Canadian Tire. To keep customers in the loop, the team recorded and broadcast their progress over the internet and invited people from Toronto to come take a look at the actual property.
To incorporate these ideas into your own marketing efforts, you may want to take a cue from the "House of Innovation" and give customers a tactile real-life experience that circles back to your products or services. Alternatively, focus on the fact that shoppers are using their phones to read reviews, ask for opinions on social media, and check out the competition’s prices, and that’s all happening while in your store. Then, like the "Tested for Life" in-store reviews, find ways to make this process more effective.
A Warm Brand Image
To endear yourself to your clients, you need to sell more than just products or services. You need to sell a brand that stands for something. In that vein, Canadian Tire stood for the concept of inclusivity with its "We All Play for Canada" campaign. Although you don’t have to choose the theme of inclusivity, you may want to think of a feel-good concept and explore ways to tie that feeling or idea into your branding efforts. Ultimately, if people are flooded with positive feelings when they see your logo, that’s a sign of a truly effective marketing strategy.
Social Media Tie-Ins
Ideally, with any marketing effort, you want to tie in social media, and again, that’s something that Canadian Tire does well. The company pioneered the idea of playing seven-second silent ads on social media. Basically, the marketing team realized that consumers were scrolling by videos without unmuting them, and to create a "thumb-stopping" experience, they decided to make short ads that were compelling even without sound. With its newest campaign, the company is harnessing the power of social media to hand-pick ads for certain customers. In other words, if a customer engages with a certain Canadian Tire ad, that dictates the type of ad the company shows that individual next.
You don’t need a massive marketing campaign to copy the strategies used by the big companies. If you see something working, you just need to find ways to scale it to your needs. In particular, if you want to bring some of Canadian Tire’s magic to your marketing, you need to focus on interactive experiences, tie in social media, and create a warm brand. Even with a modest budget, that’s all possible.