Marcel Duy, Product Director, Digital Business Planning at IKEA
Thalia provides complete visibility to all employees across all bookstores, increasing the effectiveness of promotions
Thalia is the market leader and most important family-run bookselling company in the German-speaking world. Following a merger in 2019, the Thalia Group now comprises more the 350 bookstores throughout Germany and Austria. An early adopter of multichannel marketing, customers may also order or reserve books online or by phone. Thalia also deals in e-books and have launched their own e-book reader. The company employs approximately 6000 people and generates approximately $100 million in sales.
“The Uptempo system is user-friendly and highly customizable, making our planning process significantly less complex and reducing our time-to-market. The Marketing Planner brings us a single platform for the transparent distribution of information and action plans, increasing the return from each individual promotion and the marketing calendar as a whole.”
active users in bookstores or online
bookstores use the solution
for implementation and acceptance
marketing campaigns throughout the year
Thalia’s marketing supports retail bookstores of all sizes and in all locations, as well as a robust online operation. Marketing supports new book releases and a wide range of non-book merchandise with promotions that are genre-specific, such as cookbooks and wellness, age-specific, such as children’s, and season-specific, such as Easter and Christmas. The promotions must also consider the different sizes, locations, and personalities of each store, as well as its unique clientele. Timely communication with the stores and the involvement of its employees has been expensive, errorprone and time-consuming.
Thalia prepares a centralized marketing calendar of all planned promotions and strives to keep its bookstores informed and involved. In addition, they must distribute the marketing and point-of-purchase materials as well as the instructions on how the promotions work and where the materials should be placed. In the past, the calendars were manually prepared on Excel and sent to the stores monthly, which involved considerable effort and cost. The process was also found to be error-prone, which, if everyone does not have the correct information, can negatively affect the performance of a campaign.
In 2018 Thalia decided to implement the Uptempo Marketing planner to centralize the marketing planning and distribution process on a single platform, and to provide visibility to that central marketing calendar to all employees to ensure the quality of implementation.
A small team, comprised of marketing, purchasing, and merchandising, now uses the Uptempo Marketing Planner as the single digital promotion calendar for all stores. All employees in all stores are given access, and the system only displays the promotions that are relevant to their stores, or to Thalia’s online store. A few clicks gives them complete visibility to promotion prices, logistics, materials, and visuals of how and where the materials are to be placed. This digital planning tool, and its inherent transparency, has significantly increased the efficiency of the entire promotion process.
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Uptempo Marketing Planner is easy to access and easy to use – employees do not require additional training on how to effectively use the system. These users simply receive a link and gain visibility to everything they need to know. The interface is intuitive. Moreover, Uptempo provides superb technical support so that no internal resources need to be trained or involved.
Realizing the potential complexity of implementing a new business system companywide, Thalia paid special attention to change management from the start. The preparation phase, including internal coordination and concept development, included an examination of existing workflows and identified what needed to change and how. Uptempo Consulting’s Smart Launch methodology was a tremendous help in gaining user involvement and early acceptance, enabling the introduction and implementation to be completed quickly and smoothly (2 – 3 months). Employee reaction to the digital campaign calendar was immediate. With over a hundred promotions a year, the digital calendar made work easier for the employees, more effective for the bookstores, and resulted in significant cost and resource savings for Thalia.
Next, Thalia plans to further expand its use of Uptempo’s Marketing Resource Management (MRM) solutions to continue to optimize its marketing processes. Specifically, Thalia is considering incorporating the Reporting Center, and conducting its budget planning on the Uptempo platform.
“Uptempo is a strong partner, providing insightful technical expertise and support throughout the adoption and rollout of Marketing Planner. It is simply a good fit. We are saving a tremendous amount of time and resources because of the precision automation that Uptempo brings. It’s a real value-add.”