Connecting with customers on the move

How convenience store brand marketers can maintain loyalty and market share in an uncertain market.
Edited visual for advertising billboard display: Pedestrians walking on moving walkway / travelator in train station. Blank billboards advertising space for mock up purpose; OOH ad placement.

With inflationary pressures on the rise, Canadians are re-evaluating how and where they choose to spend their money. In fact, according to a recent Angus Reid Group survey, 80% of Canadians have reduced their non-essential activities and spending in order to save money since January 2022. Many convenience store brands have already begun offering deals, discounts, and opportunities for customers to save more in light of this trend. While reduced consumer spending for any brand is a challenge, there’s also a big opportunity to better engage with and educate consumers on key product opportunities, and ultimately maintain brand loyalty in a way that’s competitive, creative, and highly measurable.

Enter – digital out-of-home (DOOH). With 98% of consumers visiting at least one DOOH venue each month, the medium is a no-brainer for marketers. More specifically, 83% of consumers notice OOH ads while driving on the highway, presenting an opportunity to advertise for nearby convenience store offers. Further to that, 53% per cent of consumers say DOOH gives them all the information they need to make a purchase decision.

With all of this in mind, here are a couple key trends and benefits that convenience store brand marketers should consider when implementing DOOH into their marketing strategies to sustain customer engagement and brand affinity amid challenging times.

The ability to pivot at moment's notice

In any time of uncertainty – economic, or otherwise – brands must re-assess and evaluate their marketing and advertising efforts. Today’s technology allows brands to use digital screens to reach their customers with the flexibility to pause, shift or reduce at the drop of a hat depending on how the economic, socio-economic or popular culture landscape is fairing. For example, DOOH allows marketers to be agile and run different versions of their messaging — based on varying locations, times, demographics, behaviours, weather conditions or other factors. Brands can even upload assets electronically and schedule, optimize or pause campaigns in just minutes — making changes seamlessly as consumer behaviour, demand and situational contexts evolve.

For convenience store industry brand marketers closely analyzing their advertising spend, DOOH is a strong channel to sustain investment in as it yields strong ROI; can keep up the momentum with your existing customers; attract new customers, and be instantly adjusted depending on consumer behaviour shifts.

Taking advantage of key seasonal moments by implementing geospatial data into location-based strategies

The ability to pivot with DOOH is also what enables brands to tap into seasonal interests in a timely and creative way. Spring holidays are a good example of this: Consumers will likely be out-and-about traveling to visit friends and family, needing to pick up essentials at convenience stores and other retail locations.

The location data available through DOOH allows brands to understand how people move throughout their day, offering marketers an opportunity to reach Canadians with messaging customized to key seasonal times like the holiday season. For example, Vistar Media has leveraged passive location data to identify holiday shoppers around the country, involving activating DOOH and mobile media during important moments throughout the consumers’ day, like while in-transit or in local gyms, to ensure the brand’s messaging remained top-of-mind. For one brand specifically, this targeting strategy led to a 125% lift in foot traffic, showcasing how smart targeting can increase awareness of a brand and ultimately drive customers in-stores.


Scott Mitchell head shot

Scott Mitchell, Managing Director, Canada at Vistar Media, which has built a complete end-to-end programmatic ecosystem to enable data-driven, automated, and measurable DOOH transactions. This allows it to easily activate campaigns with no delays and apply consistent targeting across all DOOH with no manual effort required. This ecosystem has delivered meaningful results for Canadian convenience stores and retailers.

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