With Alan’s 20 years of experience working with Convenient Stores and loyalty programs, our first assignment for MotoMart was to assess the viability of their Magic Wand Card gas discount program and propose a plan to take the 2 year old customer affinity program to the next level with the goal of a 20% increase in usage. The WAND program was initially introduced to offset credit card fees that MotoMart pays to the credit card companies and pass along the savings to MotoMart’s customers. The program was not being utilized as a marketing tool to increase loyalty or to build brand advocates for MotoMart.
KEY CHALLENGE REQUIRING A CREATIVE SOLUTION
To reverse the opinion of MotoMart operations and ownership that the WAND gas discount card program that it was not an effective marketing tool to build their business around or brand loyalty, we conducted market research through online surveys to MotoMart customers and to non-customers in a 5 mile radius around the 75 locations to assess the viability and perception of the Magic Wand Card Program. From this research we developed a strategic branding plan to market the program, at first, with no external digital or traditional advertising. With all of the gasoline cards out there, we had to identify MotoMart’s key differentiator for their program across 6 states. While other convenience store cards touted higher gas savings, the savings were tied to introductory offers with purchase requirements and limits on the amount the customer could save. MotoMart’s Magic Wand Card allowed customers to save 6 cents on every gallon of gas with no minimum purchase or points to earn. In essence, “no strings attached”. Another perceived challenge was the issue that the Magic Wand Card is connected to the customer’s checking account and thus required an approval process and additional time for the customer to be enrolled. The third challenge was the only way the customer could get a card was to go inside a MotoMart and get a form from a store associate. Customers physically had to get a card, so customers that paid at the pump could not sign-up. In today’s world, we found this to be a huge barrier to future success.
OUR STRATEGIC CONSUMER INSIGHT
Through our extensive research to both customers and non-customers, we came to one strong conclusion: MotoMart’s program offers the best discount gas card in the markets they do business. We found that 97% of MotoMart Magic Wand cardholders felt the card saved them the most money. Compare that to our research findings that 82% of non-MotoMart customers in a 5 mile radius around their stores had never heard of the card or savings program. This compelling finding hit the MotoMart owners like a two-by-four over their head! They had a tool that their customers love and are loyal to yet virtually no one in their trade area is aware of this. We also discovered that 26% of WAND cardholders surveyed weren’t using their card because they lost it. Our research covered many areas of MotoMart’s business with insights that became actionable initiatives to improve their business.
OUR STRATEGIC BRANDING SOLUTION
Knowing the reason people go to a convenience store is to get in and get out as quickly as possible we had better make it easy for people to join the program. Our solution was to create a way to increase awareness of the program, but also allow customers to get a card if they did not have the time to get a card inside the store. Every piece of on-site signage communicated the key benefits of the Magic Wand Card and a Call to Action to “Get a Card Now”.
First, we redesigned the website with the focus on the Magic Wand Card and created a brand image for MotoMart. We also created a landing page where people could request a card online. Since most c-stores do not get a lot of organic traffic to their website, we had to drive customers there through a mobile friendly way to easily reach our newly developed landing page. Because so many people pay at the pump and do not go inside to pay, we created external signage at the pump giving customers three options to join; a QR code, a keyword to text to request a card, and the new MotoMart website URL for people without a Smartphone.
The key message that we created for our client was 6 cents savings on every gallon of gas PLUS the other benefits like free monthly offers to give the program a “club” feel. It was clear that we needed to educate the consumer, with a call to action and an easy way to get a Magic Wand Card.
For customers inside the store we know the best awareness of the program comes from the store associates knowledge of the program. We worked with MotoMart on employee communication and key points of the program to convey to customers. We also added the message to the lift signs on their POS at the register along with door signs and shelf talkers.
In order to stay top of mind with Magic Wand Cardholders, a new email program was created to brand the program and MotoMart to clearly differentiate them from their competitors. First, to get cardholders who had lost their card access to replace their cards, we deployed a lost card email to re-coup the 26% of people who said they were not using their WAND card because they had lost it. Second, to drive customers inside the store, we reminded customers that the WAND card could be used to make purchases in-store for their convenience (which is where the profits are for Convenience Stores). Each monthly email offered a free offer with purchase to give customers an added incentive to go inside the store and was funded by their vendors.