Supermarkets are continuing to show poor performance, with Tesco (LON:TSCO) and Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) shares falling as recently as Monday, dropping by 1.4% and 1.2% respectively. Big chain stores are having an increasingly rough time in today’s market when compared with independent food stores, who are seeing an increase in both customers and profits.

One supermarket has shown better performance however -Morrison’s (LON:MRW) have been utilising the downturn to invest in a new marketing technique that appears to be paying off. According to figures form Kantar Worldwide, Morrisons, which has a market share of 10.9%, was the best performer of the big four grocers for the third period in a row last quarter with sales falling by just 0.1%.

Interestingly, the key to the supermarket’s recent success may be their recent experiment with geo-location marketing. With the population now spending around 3 hours a day on a smartphone on average, Morrison’s hired media agency MEC and LoopMe to develop a campaign to harness this.

Phones within a five kilometre radius of a Morrisons’ store were targeted with messages promoting the chain’s fresh produce. The supermarket says that the campaign was a success, driving a 450 per cent increase in awareness of the brand. Overall, 69 per cent of those who received the messages reacted positively.

The campaign directly drove sales, with 63 per cent of those surveyed saying they had or plan to take action as a result of the campaign. 22 per cent stated they had or planned to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables in store.

Alexandra Davies, the store’s digital marketing manager, said to The Drum: “Location targeted full screen ads made for a powerful creative canvas and strong consumer engagement.”


Miranda Wadham on 13/08/2015
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