When general manager Denise Robidoux and marketing coordinator Brandi Morgenthau developed a new promotional plan for The Shoppes at Farmington Valley, they knew that only one media company in Connecticut could meet their needs: CT1 Media. Their intent was to reach different age groups, draw shoppers from beyond the town of Canton where The Shoppes are located, and monitor who picked up on the advertising.
Since opening in 2004, The Shoppes had spent marketing dollars on print ads in The Courant, but Robidoux and Morgenthau wanted to do more. CT1 Media’s integrated approach – The Courant, FOX CT television, courant.com and ctnow.com, all under one umbrella – gave them that opportunity. “For us, that’s what makes CT1 Media so important,” Morgenthau says. “They are able to offer us three basic media that we want to hit but in a package.”
“If we went out to buy these three things separately, it would cost a lot more,” Robidoux adds. “By using CT1 Media, we get bang for our buck. I know that I am hitting my audience, young to old, and hitting my neighborhood and beyond.” Through regional zoning in The Courant and on the web sites, The Shoppes can target prospective shoppers in other areas and neighborhoods. “What we offer is a nice shopping experience, but we have to let customers know that we are here and get them to drive here,” Robidoux says.
Traffic to The Shoppes, particularly during the holiday season, increased when Robidoux and Morgenthau took advantage of the CT1 Media offerings. In addition to advertising in the special publication, Connecticut Holiday Wishes, The Shoppes hosted television reporters Rachel Lutzger and Joe Furey for a shopping spree at its specialty stores. The shopping segment aired on the Connecticut Holiday Wishes television show on FOX CT.
The Shoppes also have used Mixpo – a “mini-movie” of photographs of the shopping center with background music – on CT1 Media’s web sites. Online options for ads, such as Mixpo, drive users to The Shoppes’ own web site – and Morgenthau can track the traffic in real numbers. Ctnow.com ads, which generated the most hits, is The Shoppes’ No. 1 tool to bring folks to its web site, Robidoux says.
“Coordinating this type of campaign can be very difficult when you have three separate media,” Morgenthau says. The account executives from CT1 Media specialize in one medium – print, online or television – but one person is the point person for the account. “The way they’ve structured it makes it easy to make one phone call,” she says. “We’re lucky to have our sales rep. She doesn’t just watch our print ads; she keeps an eye on every aspect of the campaign. And we meet with all of the account people. We feel like they are all communicating.”
In talking with her counterparts at shopping centers in other parts of New England, Morgenthau finds them surprised by the wealth of services CT1 Media offers. “They don’t have a media outlet that can offer what CT1 Media does.”