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Certco Program Leverages Digital Marketing For Independent Retailers

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In the age of digital marketing, it’s important that even one- and two-store operators have access to quality marketing services, according to Certco. The Madison, Wisconsin-based wholesale distributor serves more than 200 stores throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.

Emily Mallahan

Emily Mallahan, the company’s director of retail technology and digital marketing, said independent retailers are just as tapped for time as their larger counterparts. But often the larger retail groups have their own marketing team – the one- to five-store operators do not.  

With all the gains made by the independent retailers in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased interest in the discoveries of local grocery stores, retailers are trying to keep those shoppers. In many cases, this means marketing to these shoppers in the digital space, whether it be e-commerce, online or via a mobile device. 

Certco’s new marketing services are tying retailers together as if they are one retailer from a data standpoint but keeping all of their own local flair and uniqueness. Certco compares the service to a small retail media network pulled together to leverage the age of digital marketing for the independent retailer that doesn’t have the staff experience or time and can’t spend a lot for services. 

“Brands are investing marketing dollars into digital marketing efforts. In order for Certco to maximize the promotional dollars allocated from the brands, a comprehensive digital marketing program must be able to deliver across multiple retail locations and provide the aggregated point of sale data back,” Mallahan said.

Certco is bringing a comprehensive marketing plan that augments its current advertising program and ties together all the shopper’s touchpoints with where and how shoppers want to shop. This includes in store, retailer websites, e-commerce, mobile and notification systems such as email, text messaging and social media outlets.

The service element equals no heavy lifting for retailers and also allows them to provide content specific to their locations – keeping their identities as independent retailers, which she said is key. 

“We are happy to see Certco invest in expanded services for retail,” said Mitch Eveland, owner of Madison, Wisconsin-based Capitol Center Market. “It takes time to manage a strong marketing program. We are so crunched for labor, this offering takes a big weight off our shoulders and levels the playing field with technology that the large retailers are using.”

Mallahan said Certco coordinates the onboarding for clients and aims to reduce the amount of time and money needed to invest in these types of programs. 

“What’s great is that we are pulling this all together as if we were operating as one retailer,” she said regarding accessibility. “Yet we are keeping the flexibility and are encouraging retailers to maintain their own identity by acting more like an agency and taking their content and publishing it for them – reducing the amount of time they need to spend on these programs.”

For more information, visit certcoinc.com.

Eric Pereira, content creator, contributed to this article.

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