We know that digital marketing and advertising promotions can have a powerful reach and yield favorable results, and in light of the pandemic, retailers—with help from their manufacturer partners—are relying heavily on digital sales and advertising tactics now more than ever to maximize their outreach to consumers.

Just as the pandemic and business operations are ever-shifting, so are Shaw’s efforts to be a total solutions provider to its customers, says Carrie Edwards Isaac, vice president of marketing and brand strategy, residential division.

With the introduction of the Retailer Playbook in early May, Shaw began equipping its retail partners with the tools and skills needed to adjust to changing business demands by providing ready-made digital assets and tutorials on how to run a paid social campaign.

“Not only will we continue to update the Retailer Playbook, but we’re looking ahead to long-term opportunities for differentiation, such as more influencer partnerships and other creative ways to help our retail partners engage with their customers in the digital space,” said Edwards Isaac.

A complete tool kit to navigate the changing retail landscape, Shaw’s Retailer Playbook is aiding retailers in their efforts to connect with customers in order to create more revenue for their businesses, by providing them with virtual resources, best practices and financial resources, in addition to customizable marketing campaigns.

Engineered Floors has also enlisted the services of multiple digital based platforms that have increased the ability of its customers to reach consumers more effectively and ensure they are better informed regarding the manufacturer’s products. “This has also been a great way to amplify our reach and ensure our customers and consumers are aware of the strides we are taking to continue to be an industry leader in innovation and sustainable manufacturing,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of marketing.

Striving to be at the forefront of technology in the flooring industry since its founding in 2009, Sanderson says the company’s commitment to the digital space and the value it brings to customers has only increased during this challenging time. And as we look to 2021, Sanderson says Engineered Floors’ increasing presence in the digital arena will only continue to build.

Call it a premonition, or maybe just perfect timing, manufacturers like Karndean and Mohawk were steps ahead of the pandemic with updates to their digital advertising programs earlier this year.

“Fortunately, we haven’t had to pivot our digital advertising strategy too much as a result of COVID,” said Jenne Ross, director of marketing, Karndean. “We take a multi-tier approach across PPC and social media campaigns to help drive consumer traffic to our network of retailers.”

Transitioning its traditional co-op advertising program to digital by partnering with Promoboxx, a retail marketing platform, powered by brands, that connects and aligns national manufacturing brands with independent, specialty retailers in early 2020, Karndean is providing its retailers the flexibility to choose Karndean-developed social media content that’s most relevant to their market.

“Our variety of digital tools, including our Floorstyle visualizer, allows our retailers offering Shop at Home consultations to seamlessly transition from a showroom setting to a remote or at-home setting; ultimately, making them more appealing to the consumer and enabling them to close the sale quickly and easily,” Ross added.

Similarly, Mohawk relaunched its Neighborhood Ad Manager digital advertising program earlier this year to stay abreast of growth in the program’s participating pool, market changes and digital marketing evolution. A program that was developed about five years ago, Neighborhood Ad Manager serves as a strategy to help Mohawk’s Edge retail partners attract consumers to their stores and generate leads for their business.

“The market has changed for digital media and what that looks like, and so we felt like it was time to really sink some teeth into it and build it up on its own,” said Austin Messerman, channel marketing manager, Mohawk.

With Neighborhood Ad Manager, the work is practically done for Mohawk’s Edge retailers, allowing them to work smarter, not harder. Those utilizing the digital resource can build a customized ad plan with an ad specialist and their advertising spend is managed for them.

“So it’s taking all of the DIY—trying to figure out keyword strategy, trying to set up landing pages, trying to optimize your spend—all of those tactics we leave to the experts, that way [retailers] can focus on managing their business,” said Messerman.

Messerman points out that unlike traditional advertising, where you can actually see your advertisement on paper, TV or billboard, for example, digital advertising is somewhat of an ambiguous space, however the science behind it proves that it is incredibly important in today’s market. And for a retailer’s advertising budget to work for them, especially on a local level, having the right partner to monitor that spend is key and an “art and a science”.