You will recognise it traditionally from the adverts in classic print media such as ADAC-Motorwelt (a car magazine of the General German Automobile Association) or Prisma, the TV supplement. The Lifta stairlift makes the life of senior citizens better and more independent, so says the message of the Liftstar manufacturer. However, as with many other products, the internet has long been the most important lead generating channel for the German market leader for stairlifts. Reason enough for Liftstar to now direct the focus of its marketing activities increasingly on digital touchpoints. The particular challenge: to create a consistent customer journey via all channels and at the same time address two different target groups – the users and their family members – with differing messages. To achieve this new positioning of the brand an integrated team from Creation (digital and classic), Strategy and Media is working together at Plan.Net und Serviceplan.
“My life, my Lifta.” So runs the tagline of the current campaign. The idea for this came into being during the pitch. The aim: to take away the stigma of the last resort from the stairlift. Awareness should be increased among potential users and their family members that a stairlift helps provide more autonomy and quality of life in older age.
When marketing stairlifts, the company is focusing on a “direct to consumer” approach. This makes customised communication geared to the target group absolutely essential across all channels. Admittedly, a stairlift is not a classic e-commerce product. People do not view stairlifts on the website, place their favourite product in the basket and press “Buy now”; rather they prefer to come to a decision based on qualitative tests and experiences. So, just as with conventional staircases, there is no standard for stairlifts. When deciding upon a product, the issue of financing also plays an important role. The most important aspects of the pricing should be made clearer to interested parties via a configurator. First the aim should be to inform potential customers, understand their requirements and show them a specific solution to a problem. Those who are inclined to buy should be able to get a better idea of the added value of the product.
An important focus of the customer journey lies in the digital touchpoints. However, the new campaign pursues a 360°-cross-channel approach including TV spots, print adverts, POS, advertising material (info packages, brochures, campaign cards), SEA, social media, landing pages and websites. An important requirement is therefore to create smart transitions from one channel to the next. Users should find themselves in the campaign, regardless of which touchpoint they are on. The newly created imagery and the positive tonality of communication that conveys authenticity through real quotations extend across all touchpoints and create trust on the part of the customers.
Communication geared to the target group
A further challenge for Lifta communication: it addresses two different target groups. Both groups – users and their family members or those who share in making the decisions – are distinct in terms of the age structure alone. Whilst the users are mostly well above 65 years of age, the family members are as a rule at least a generation lower. Customer data indicates that the daughter or daughter-in-law very frequently brings up the issue of a stairlift.
For both target groups different issues and questions have priority. Therefore, the persona of the person sharing in making the decision also has to be addressed differently to that of the users. Whilst the latter are interested in fast implementation, family members are more strongly concerned with the issue of financing and the application for grants. As they cannot always be on the spot themselves, the issue of customer service also plays an important role. In addition, the argument supporting the advantages and thus the role of the brand is another. For persons sharing in making the decision, Lifta becomes supporter, partner and companion. They would like to know their loved one is safe and continues to have better control over their life in their own four walls. For the users the stairlift is a solution for their problem that is also communicated in a correspondingly specific way. This is reflected in the imagery as well as in the various SEA adverts and landing pages.
Approaching of personas also varies in the way information is processed and its depth. Text and narrative content play a greater role in the communication with family members than with the users. Here minimalism and conveying information in the form of bullet point lists are the focus.
One problem that becomes apparent when analysing target groups on digital touchpoints is segmentation. Both Google Analytics and Facebook Ads cannot make a further segmentation within the target group of people aged 65+. And this, although people aged 65 and over are active on the web in a different way than the generation of 80-year-olds and older. With the demographic development towards a society that is becoming ever older, the problem continues to increase. Lifta is trying to counteract this problem, for example with two separate landing pages for the respective target groups.
Social media as part of the customer journey
In social media communication, Lifta relies on the Pinterest and Facebook channels with special emphasis on Facebook. It is also possible to approach both target groups there via Facebooks Ads; however, this is not so on Lifta’s own Facebook channel. Here the addressing of both groups would amount to a break in communication as the messages differ considerably. That is why the Lifta channel only addresses users. Brand-related topics work especially well here. Reference to the product and the pointing out of its benefits – such as a safety belt or the single-handed control – are especially popular.
A look into the future
In the future, Liftstar wants to rely even more on new formats such as Facebook Experience Manager. Target groups should be able to approach the sensitive issue on social media in the most relaxed way possible and with humour. Local proximity is also important for persons sharing in making the decision as well as users. This is why the topic of regionality will in future also play a greater role in digital touchpoints.
Defining the target groups and their needs and serving the touchpoints with the correct solutions will also be the focus of the integrated agency team in the coming year. To do this, a team of data experience specialists will work together, analyse the qualitative and quantitative data and in this way reach conclusions to increase enquiries. An ideal mix of personas, user journeys, user research and visual data analyses should optimise conversion on the digital channels. The aim: to convince potential users at an early stage that a stairlift truly enables them to have better control of their life.