What Ranfurlie Centers are doing to bring community engagement to life digitally


Building community engagement and loyalty through gamification, mixed reality activations and bespoke communications is the name of the game for Ranfurlie malls after investing in a new digital platform.

Ranfurlie Shopping Centers has been around for almost 10 years and has several large format centers in the western and southern suburbs of Melbourne in Victoria: Burnside Park, Cranborne, Tarneit and Manor Lakes. The shopping center group is a subsidiary of Dennis Family Homes, an iconic property and property development giant in Victoria, with locations serving as retail and business additions to core housing estates.

Having had her fair share of experience building digital and mobile applications in the retail space, Ranfurlie GM’s marketer Lisa Charter said Marketing director she was looking for a way to connect customers and retailers digitally that was cost effective and offered optimal agility and time to market.

“Being sub-regional and with a smaller asset class size, we wanted to find a digital solution given the way the world follows, but very importantly, which led us to greater engagement with the community” , she said.

“Community is a buzzword – every mall is community based. We wanted to transmit from the heart to activate this community engagement. We are fortunate that our centers are widely adopted by the community. They think it’s their mall, which is fantastic from a marketing standpoint. So there is already a strong attachment to our centers. We wanted to take advantage of that.

Credit: Ranfurlie

To do this, Ranfurlie has partnered with marketing technology startup, Komo Digital, on a new digital platform designed to empower users to create user-focused interactive digital campaigns and activations through tools of integrated engagement. Dubbed HQ, the platform provides centralized capacity and toolbox for Ranfurlie as well as a data collection and reporting dashboard. It then allows the Charter team to customize front-ends, activities, campaigns, and other gamification capabilities by location. The HQ debuts in July.

Facilitate interaction

Charter said the platform ticks all the boxes with its microsite and module capabilities, delivering speed to market, cost efficiency and flexibility.

“The really important thing is that the product is designed to facilitate interaction and engagement at the community level. It’s not just focused on retail and things like coupons or deals, but from a gamification standpoint, ”she explained.

For example, one ability that Ranfurlie plans to use from the start is live virtual quiz sessions. Fun facts and polls are also on the program.

“We are not asking people to come to the center to do it. It also has the ability to promote local sponsorship, ”Charter said. “For example, with the local football teams, we can upload a video for last week’s game, ask people to guess how many goals John could score this week and that can go viral around the base. data from this club. Then you have the friends, family, and the club sharing and participating. The viral capacity of the content is therefore enormous. ”

Another key use case is the ability to offer instant coupons, replacing physical gift cards with digital vouchers that go directly to a registered customer’s mobile phone. This allows for instant exchange at the point of sale without the need for additional software at the retailer.

Behind HQ’s front-end is a dashboard and analytics platform to analyze data collected through the new digital platform. When Ranfurlie chooses to conduct polls, surveys, or ask people for their favorite coffee or milk, this data can be collected and then used to target customers based on their preferences or choices. For example, consumers who noted a preference for almond milk might be offered free almond coffee with breakfast purchased at their local Ranfurlie center. Likewise, the distinct demographics of each location could be used to tailor activities, loyalty offerings and more.

“The reporting dashboard provided is not only very easy to read and interpret, but can be used as part of the information we send back to the retailer who has participated in an activity or special offer through headquarters,” said declared Charter. “We give them information beyond the general statistics typically provided to retailers in a mall environment. ”

Another key use case for Charter is the ability to run augmented reality (AR) activations directly through the platform. Ranfurlie is now planning an activation during the September-October school holidays.

“School vacation entertainment is very different due to the pandemic. We can’t cheer on the crowds, but that way we invite people to the centers at their own pace, rather than for specific show times, ”Charter said. “Using HQ, consumers can scan QR codes, participate in AR interactions, or interact with an on-site display.

“It gives us this ability to invite people to the center, at their own pace, and to interact with our retailers, but also at the community level, rather than on a strict commercial basis. It’s a good mix of real community and the business element we need for retail.

To register, consumers scan a QR code or go directly to the dedicated URL of the head office. Each time they then use a QR code or the link, they go straight to the site and can access everything that is currently available in that center that day.

While the initial use cases are focused on marketing, Charter saw the potential for HQ to expand into services like click-and-collect and things that can serve other parts of the business. Ranfurlie.

“We can also use the data collected for rental and conduct targeted surveys in a fun way to drive participation,” Charter said.

Initially, the three months focus on retailing and bringing people into the platform through exclusive, value-added offers, as well as live trivia and a themed Spotify playlist.

“These are funny things that people will see as a little different and funny. There are again some gamification activations planned around stimulating fun engagement, as well as promoting new retailers and general information about the center. For example, a center has started a community center, and it’s a perfect platform to educate people about it, ”Charter said.

With data capture and use, Charter said the data is as good as how it can be tapped.

“We are aware that what we need to collect must be relevant and correspond to the actions we can take,” she said. “The first thing for us will be to consolidate the data to tailor it to retailers and find out what is useful to them.

“At the end of the day, it’s about providing them with real value in return. It’s not a game and forgetting, it’s really living and breathing the evolution of this platform every day and every week. We treat it as a much more flexible and agile customer retention opportunity.

When it comes to driving customer buy-in, there is a plethora of marketing activities starting. Charter said the team is “soaking the centers in marketing materials.”

“We used very vivid colors that appeal to the multicultural communities in which our centers are located. We have a communications plan that includes buses, mailboxes and a press, and we are also lobbying the retailers and community groups that we are linked to, who will promote, ”Charter said.

“We already have a high participation rate on Facebook, so we will be doing a lot of promotion there, and we will have competitors to join now. ”

The proof will also be in the taking over by the retailers. “We have had great feedback from community groups that we are linked with, who want to share their databases and share content. For example, football during activations and local housing estates, ”added Charter.

“Over the past 12 months, everyone, both consumers and retailers, has become a digital expert. The QR code has helped tremendously – across age groups people are more gracious. The world and the landscape have changed considerably, which made for an easier foray into this offering. ”

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