Cyclical Campaigns in Convenience Retail

Campaigns in Convenience Retail

Advancing and simplifying cyclical campaigns

Cyclical campaign work places a heavy burden on marketers operating in the convenience retail space. As a ‘constantly on’ workstream, it demands such planning, organization and administration that it can easily become a black hole, pulling focus from other strategically important facets of the marketing function. At SGK (formerly IDL), we lift that burden, leveraging decades of experience in managing complexity to sell marketing teams sleep and free them up to do what they do best.

What makes the process so complex?
As an organization that partners with marketing teams, we hear their pain when other business functions misunderstand the complexity involved in cyclical campaigns. Far from ‘printing a few signs’, the process is formidable: multi-faceted, process-driven and reliant on meticulous project and change management.

Our clients’ networks often comprise thousands of locations with different layouts, features and requirements. Their marketing teams work with category managers to devise promotions and messages, which are displayed at various touchpoints, from gas pumps and store fronts to shelves and displays. A single window sign, for example, will require multiple variants to cover the entire network. Once produced, they must be stocked, packed in custom kits that meet the specific needs of the destination store (along with all of the other promotional materials) and shipped to arrive on time. And that’s just one promotion (of hundreds) run each cycle.

When every touchpoint of every store and every variant of every message is fully considered, the magnitude of the process reveals itself and the need for an agile, experienced partner becomes clear.

Managing Millions of Signs for EG America
EG America owns and operates 1600+ convenience stores and fuel retailers across the US, with 10 banners in 30 states. Last year, as their point of purchase (POP) partner, we produced 2,273,759 signs and shipped 9,893 kits for the retailer.

How does SGK manage the process?
On a bi-monthly basis, we work with a number of clients – from national heavyweights like BP and Chevron to fast-moving disruptors like Sheetz – to deliver complex cyclical campaigns. The process differs for each client, but there are a number of important, recurring steps:

1.  After working with our clients’ marketing teams to develop new messages for the upcoming cycle, we calculate distribution based on store profiles, aligning the stores’ specific needs to strategy.

2.  Where required, we create digital assets and imagery, taking brand guidelines into account, and bring promotions to life.

3.  We physically produce thousands of deliverables on various substrates using a variety of print techniques, all while ensuring color targets are consistently met across all media/elements.

4.  We sort, pack and label individual kits, along with site-specific execution directives to ensure graphics are displayed compliantly and as intended.

5.  We handle logistics to each and every store, engineering right sized cartons so they arrive safely with the lowest footprint and cost.

6.  We manage inventory to handle store-specific residual orders through our north American based call-center and e-commerce platform.

Shipping Kits to 6,500+ Sites for BP
British multinational oil and gas company bp owns a range of convenience brands across the US, including Amoco, bp, ampm and Thorntons. We handle bi-monthly POP printing and fulfilment for bp’s c-stores, shipping 26,236 kits annually to over 6500 sites at a combined weight of 643,335 lbs.

What does SGK do differently?
As a partner we offer intelligent project management: overseeing communications, timeline, budget, change management and activation. Clients value our ability to accurately calculate the distribution for their marketing strategies as well as our willingness to recalibrate and manage the chaos. While we partner with clients to develop an overall schedule that outlines key commitments – we know things can change on a dime in retail. So we anticipate last-minute changes across promotions, price points and markets. We strive to be a ‘yes’ team, making up time when things take an unexpected turn, so you never miss a launch date.

Beyond being on time, we also take pride in getting things right – from data integrity to color calibration. With our ISO certification against quality, we have validation and QA check points that ensure quality delivery.

Ultimately, we focus our attention on our clients’ needs and goals, partnering to design, engineer, and orchestrate the distribution of flawless marketing campaigns. We work as an extension of your team, so the complex feels simple, the usual seems special, and your inbox becomes manageable.

Creating Fun Feature Walls for Sheetz
Family-owned convenience store chain Sheetz, known for its made-to-order food and drinks, has amassed a significant following of loyal fans – and we’re proud to be one of them. SGK has grown with Sheetz from less than 100 stores to over 700. In additional to producing specialized permanent fixture panels for the retailer, we regularly work on fun and impactful graphics, including their fantastic feature walls. Each store’s feature wall is unique, designed to reflect the locality, tell a story, and convey Sheetz’ family culture.


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