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T.J. Maxx relies on targeted mobile ads to drive in-store sales

June 4, 2012

The T.J. Maxx mobile ads

Department store T.J. Maxx is encouraging consumers to save on the latest technology accessories through a new targeted mobile ad campaign that incorporates location.

The mobile campaign promotes the company’s tech products and encourages consumers to check out what is available at their local T.J. Maxx store. The mobile ads are running within’s mobile site.

“It makes sense for T.J. Maxx to focus on one specific product category in their mobile ad campaign given the limited screen real estate and consumer attention spans on mobile devices,”  said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.

“Clearly tech accessories are likely to be relevant to a lot of smartphone users so the relevancy and targeting are high,” he said.

“T. J. Maxx is not especially well known in the tech category so the ads are educational in that regard in associating the brand with that category.”

Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with T.J. Maxx. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

T.J. Maxx did not respond to press inquiries.

Multichannel reach
The copy for the mobile ad encourages users to find low prices on tech accessories at T.J. Maxx. There is also a button that encourages consumers to tap to get directions.

When clicked on, the ad expands into a landing page that promotes the tech products as being up to 70 percent off in-store.

Consumers can then either use their device’s location or type in their ZIP code to find the nearest store.

Users can find nearby stores

The mobile landing page then brings up a map and directions of the nearest store.

What is unique about the T.J. Maxx ads is that the company does not have either an ecommerce or mcommerce site. Products available in-store vary greatly between locations and the company is aimed at encouraging users to visit stores frequently to see what is new.

Although the ads are not commerce-enabled, they work for the company and are effective at driving consumers to the nearest store.

Using location, T.J. Maxx can target the ads at specific groups of users based on location while also reaching a broad demographic.

T.J. Maxx is also promoting the tech products via social media and has an active presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, it might have been beneficial to include links to the company’s social media pages inside the mobile ad.

The ads give directions and contact information for stores

Local first
This is not T.J. Maxx’s first foray in mobile advertising.

Last year, The TJX Companies, which operates T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s and Home Goods, ran a holiday-themed mobile advertising campaign that included video.

The “Share a Carol” campaign let users create a customized Christmas-themed video and share it with friends and  family (see story).

In addition to T.J. Maxx, other retailers are also using mobile advertising to drive in-store traffic that do not necessarily have a direct commerce element.

For example, Pier 1 Imports uses seasonal ads to promote the company’s products.

Most recently, Pier 1 ran a mobile ad campaign on Pandora for spring. Users could view the company’s products on a mobile landing page to search for products and find the nearest location (see story).

However, it is still important to incorporate creative copy into an ad campaign regardless of the goal.

“The splash page and the store locator page with the embedded map are well designed and thought through, but the design of the initial banner ad itself is plain as it doesn’t have any images of the products being offered,” Mr. Buckingham said.

“Tech accessories is a vague term and you only get to see what those products could be once you have entered the secondary full screen splash page – if consumers get that far into the campaign,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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