Stage Stores: Stage Stores’ ’90s-Themed Back-to-School Mobile Campaign


Campaign Summary

By generating a creative Back-to-School Trivia campaign that utilized fun '90s-themed images, graphics, and trivia questions, Stage Stores drove engagement for its mobile marketing program and successfully connected with consumers through nostalgia.


Objective and Context:

Stage Stores, a department store company, set out to increase engagement for its mobile marketing program. Since launching, Stage Stores had seen a steady increase of opt-ins, but it wanted to continue strengthening relationships with customers. With the increase of marketing messaging, its challenge was finding the best way to engage with customers. Along with Vibes, Stage Stores identified opportunities to surprise and delight customers by leveraging MMS content including graphics, GIFs, and animations on Vibes' mobile engagement platform.

By generating a creative Back-to-School Trivia campaign that utilized fun '90s-themed images, graphics, and trivia questions, Stage drove engagement and successfully connected with consumers through nostalgia and inspired them to interact.

Stage leveraged a combination of MMS, social media, email, and sweepstakes to further increase engagement and encourage opt-ins to multiple programs. Stage hoped that through cross-promotion its social media followers would opt in to text, text recipients would opt in to email, and vice versa. Key performance indicators included trivia participation rate, click-through rate, opt-ins, and email sign-ups measured on Vibes' platform.

Target Audience:

Stage hoped to increase engagement with moms, one of its key audience segments, and more specifically moms who shop at Stage Stores.

Creative Strategy:

Stage wanted to meet audiences where they already were. The Back-to-School Trivia campaign was promoted through Stage Stores' email, social media channels, and Vibes SMS mobile subscriber lists. Social media was leveraged to encourage followers to opt in to the mobile program to play the trivia game. Stage also sent kickoff broadcast messages to its SMS database lists to push customers to join the trivia database and play.

The social media team created a page for sweepstakes entry, which was shared via MMS messages and on social media. By having people enter the sweepstakes through the trivia campaign, Stage was able to boost opt-ins and capture 154,125 email addresses for future marketing programs.

Stage promoted the trivia campaign to the master mobile programs list, which drove customers to opt in to a separate trivia list. This ensured compliant messaging while improving tracking for the campaign. At the end of the trivia campaign, any new members to the program were given an acquisition prompt to stay in touch with Stage.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Working with Vibes, Stage Stores executed the Trivia MMS campaign, driving and measuring engagement across the database. Stage Stores utilized Vibes' mobile engagement platform to create more than 184 campaigns, including 68 acquisition campaigns, 27 info campaigns, and 89 broadcasts. Through Vibes, Stage sent more than 1.7 million MMS messages. Vibes' easy-to-use mobile database provided Stage the ability to segment the trivia lists by brand, link the different lists to designated keywords and track click-through rate, opt-ins, participation, and trivia response.

Stage developed separate identities for Stage Stores brands and Gordman's. While the two brands both launched the trivia campaigns, Stage Stores brands ran the campaign from July 29 to August 10, 2019, with 12 trivia questions, sent once a day. Gordman's ran the campaign from July 29 to August 31, 2019, allowing a few days in between the 15 trivia questions it sent out. Both brands utilized similar calls-to-action and social media campaigns in tandem with the MMS trivia campaign.

Mobile Execution:

The campaign leveraged MMS messaging rather than traditional SMS messaging. In addition to using MMS, the campaign required extensive creative to last the entire duration of the campaign. Twelve trivia questions from Stage Stores and 15 questions from Gordman's all required high-quality, optimized images, graphics, GIFs and/or animation. Stage Stores also utilized the info campaign and broadcast campaign capabilities to launch a trivia messaging campaign, which featured more than 30 keywords.

The delivery of trivia questions directly to a customer's phone enabled Stage to drive more engagement, and faster, than other marketing channels which can be more easily ignored by the consumer. Stage Stores sought to bond with consumers over nostalgia, and segmented mobile messaging aided in meeting its demographic.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The campaign succeeded in increasing engagement and cross-channel sign ups, including text and email. For Stage Stores brands, the average opt-in rate from the SMS audience was between 7 and 10 percent, with a 9 percent opt-in rate across all brands and totaling 63,571 trivia subscribers. In terms of engagement, the total unique trivia response across all brands was 61,415, with a trivia campaign participation rate of 96.6 percent.

As for Gordman's, the total SMS participants signed up for trivia was 10,091 with a 6 percent opt-in rate. The total unique trivia response was 9,905, with a participation rate of 98.1 percent.

With a participation rate of 96.6 percent and an opt-in rate of 9 percent across brands, the MMS trivia campaign was well received by consumers. The participation stayed steady throughout the campaign as each day brought a new question and a new MMS.

Categories: Messaging | Industries: Retail, Apparel, Footwear | Objectives: Messaging | Awards: NA Bronze Winner, X Bronze Winner