Creating value through the marketing mix An Aldi case study
Page 5: Below-the-line promotion
Below-the-line promotion uses different ways to engage with customers. These methods can be more easily targeted to specific audiences than above-the-line methods. They offer organisations a greater level of control over their communications. Aldi uses a range of below-the-line methods. These include:
targeted e-mails to customers
3rd party endorsement and awards
public relations and media relations.
Aldi’s Facebook and Twitter pages encourage two-way communication with customers. These social media channels provide a platform through which Aldi can interact with customers. It can then assess their opinions about the brand. One objective of this form of promotion is to create ‘Aldi Advocates’. These are consumers who recommend Aldi to others, through stimulating interactions about the high quality and low prices of Aldi products. For example, the ‘I Love Aldi’ campaign asked fans to send a virtual Aldi Valentines card to a Facebook friend. This was encouraged by providing rewards. The campaign gave consumers the chance to win a £10 voucher. They could also win a box of Aldi chocolates for their Valentine. The campaign also encouraged consumers to complete the sentence ‘I love Aldi because...’ directly onto Aldi’s Facebook page to encourage positive brand feedback.
Aldi also uses direct e-mails. These e-mails allow Aldi to communicate a variety of messages to target customers. For example, they can convey the ‘Swap and Save’ message as well as promote seasonal messages such as products associated with Pancake Day.
Aldi’s website is an integral part of its below-the-line promotion. It features all of Aldi’s key promotional messages as well as additional content to engage consumers. Examples include recipe ideas and weekly offers. Aldi developed the www.likealdi.co.uk micro-website to further encourage brand engagement with the ‘Like Brands’ TV campaign. The site provides consumers with the opportunity to upload their ideas for the next Aldi TV campaign. Aldi also uses a dedicated recruitment website to promote its employer brand messages and career opportunities.
A further below-the-line method used to highlight the quality of Aldi’s products is positive 3rd party endorsements. Aldi has entered over 1,000 of its products into awards such as Grocer Golds, Pizza and Pasta Awards (PAPA) and the British Frozen Food Federation Awards. In 2012 Aldi was awarded ‘Best Supermarket’ by consumer Watchdog Which? It beat competition from Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. Further positive endorsements for products on TV and in the press reaffirm the message that Aldi products are of the highest quality as well as being great value for money. For example, Aldi’s Christmas pudding was awarded runner-up and acknowledged as a ‘bargain’ in a taste test comparison in Good Housekeeping magazine.
Effective public and media relations help to create positive press exposure. Aldi has secured record coverage through hard working and innovative media relations. Journalists from newspapers such as The Grocer, The Financial Times and The Times were invited for exclusive interviews with Aldi’s Group Managing Directors. They discussed record breaking sales results.
Further coverage was gained through targeting key media at specific times with seasonal promotional messages. The ‘Swap & Save’ campaign highlighted the savings available through shopping at Aldi at times when value for money is high on the agenda. This was particularly relevant with its ‘Back to School’ and Christmas products.