in equivalent ad value


increase in social media mentions

Empathica provides Customer Experience Management (CEM) programs to well-respected multi-unit enterprises. Its rich analysis of survey data using state-of-the-art surveying and dashboard reporting software allows for performance improvement solutions, evidence-based marketing insights and customer experience management consulting.

The Challenge

Empathica wanted to expand its thought leadership and lead generation activities within the big box retail industry. Leveraging its strong research capabilities, Empathica’s vision was to help brands better understand big box store customers and their brand experiences.

The Solution 

Walker Sands knew that Empathica could highlight its deep CEM expertise while simultaneously producing great data for PR purposes. To target big box retail executives, Walker Sands worked with Empathica to survey 6,500 U.S. consumers on shopping behaviors, spending intentions and other timely topics related to big box retail experiences in the U.S.

After coordinating the execution of the survey and analyzing results alongside the Empathica Consumer Insights team, Walker Sands pulled together four press releases announcing different aspects of the survey research. These releases addressed the key findings in specific categories that included consumer spending, consumer feedback behaviors, retail social media engagement and perceived shortcomings in the big box retail experience.

The research revealed a number of rich insights: 

  • Nearly all U.S. consumers (93 percent) visited a big box retailer in a one month period, with seven out of 10 consumers visiting more than three times.
  • The most important factors in choosing a big box retailer were price (61 percent), followed by location convenience (12 percent) and a wide selection of products (10 percent).
  • Seventy-one percent of customers indicated that they preferred to visit big box retailers who offered a "one-stop" shopping experience, with all essential products at one store.
  • Two in five consumers reported that their big box shopping experience did not feel personalized.
  • One in five survey respondents reported that big box employees did not provide accurate answers to questions in their areas of expertise, and only 39 percent of customer believed employees listened when approached with a question.
  • While nearly all U.S. consumers visit big box retailers in a given month due to price and convenience, one in five reported that they do not have a consistent experience across various locations.

Walker Sands also developed an infographic of key findings. After rolling out the releases according to a carefully choreographed schedule, the infographic was offered and accepted as an exclusive with Mashable. The Mashable story and infographic were extremely successful and resulted in more than 2,800 social shares.

Following distributions of the press releases and infographic, Walker Sands generated an executive summary that doubled as a resource for reporters and analysts, as well as a lead generation tool for the Empathica business development team.

The Results

As a result of the emphasis dedicated to the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel big box retail survey, Walker Sands achieved more than 100 unique placements based on survey data, which translated into around 100 million impressions and an equivalent ad value of approximately $430K.

Walker Sands’ PR campaign for the Consumer Insights Panel survey data not only led to a direct increase in Empathica web traffic – generating overwhelming interest in the Consumer Insights Panel landing page – but also drove a direct improvement in the brand’s social media presence. As a result of Walker Sands' efforts, Empathica’s social media mentions increased by 350 percent over the course of the campaign.