Each year between January and May, Purina retailers host Chick Days, a collection of fun, educational events that celebrate backyard flocks and the people who love them—especially those who are just getting started. During Chick Days, a retailer might host events on topics such as preparing for your flock, caring for chicks, coop tips, nutrition, seasonal tips, preparing for first eggs, and kids and chickens.
"Most of the people who are starting backyard flocks don't have a background in farming," says Michael Van Handel, customer marketing business manager. "These people are hungry for knowledge."
Purina Chick Days is also a great opportunity for our retailers to win. And in 2016, we were able to show just how big of a win. Retailers participating in Chick Days events sold 26 times more feed than those who opted out. Pretty impressive results.
Chick Days is good for business—and we can prove it
Before the start of each Chick Days campaign, sales representatives provide retailers with kits that include promotional items such as chick boxes, management brochures, banners, posters and more. Purina also supports the campaign with website banner ads, Facebook posts and a Chick Days website, where people can find a local event near them, watch videos and sign up for email tips.
A lot goes into making Chick Days good for business—and now we have the measurement tools to show just how successful it is.
"We now have the ability to leverage all of our tools, including Salesforce," says Jamie Kinnear, marketing director. "It raises expectations of how we're going to understand the promotions we execute."
Having the metrics also means we can show non-participating retailers how Chick Days and related events can boost business.
"We still have a large percentage of retailers that don't host Chick Days events," says Jamie. "These retailers are sitting on a growth opportunity, but they might be on the fence. We can now show them that by putting more attention to backyard flocks, they can increase their sales as other retailers have."
These are some of the metrics a sales representative might share with a retailer to get them on board:
Email click through rates—i.e. when someone clicks a hyperlink within an email—for Chick Days in 2016 were 4.2 percent (the industry average for click rates is 3.2 percent).
Chick Days digital banner ads from Feb. 1 to March 31, 2016 resulted in 2.7 million impressions (impressions are the number of times your content is displayed to users).
77 percent of people surveyed via email after their retailer's Chick Days event said they would start using Purina feed.
We've had a strong year for flock: Sales volume is up 13 percent year-over-year on flock starter product lines.
The message is loud and clear: When retailers participate in Chick Days events, it's better for their businesses. And when retailers succeed, our feed business succeeds.
Making Chick Days even more prosperous
With another successful year behind them, the Chick Days cross-functional team is looking ahead to 2017. Ideas include increasing the number of Chick Days events to three per sales representative and offering a digital Chick Days option for people who can't make it to a retailer.
"The most important part is how we work with customer marketing and sales to reinforce the importance of Chick Days and related events to our retailers," says Jamie.
Sales, customer marketing, supply chain, integrated marketing communications, transportation, customer service, customer care—people from all of these teams are the ones who help retailers make Chick Days a success year after year.
"It really does take a village—and we are a big village," says Michael.