Drug stores might not be able to be everything to everyone, but they sure are trying. Hitting up the closest local pharmacy often can solve many less urgent types of emergencies, like the last roll of toilet paper, a missed menstrual cycle, or running out of wine.
For those drugs stores trying to connect with customers, the market is tough. Many of the same items are available at grocery and big-box stores. To see how two of these drug stores approach local branding, digital marketing company Brandify hosted a competition between CVS and Walgreens in the October Brand Battle.
Brandify calculated brand scores for each company, basing the final tallies on data evaluating six branding “pillars:” data quality, local SEO, reviews, local advertising, engagement, and competition. Each pillar speaks to how the companies perform in local markets, and scores can be updated every week as marketing strategies are analyzed and modified.
Walgreens took home October’s Brand Battle champion title with a final brand score of 704 compared to CVS’ final brand score of 661. Both companies showed true commitment to their local marketing strategies, but fell short in the same area where many other companies in different industries also are struggling: local advertising.
CVS scored 84 out of 115 possible points in the local advertising pillar, and Brandify noted that the company’s website structure could improve with more focus on local marketing. Most of CVS’ current location-related ads stop at the state level, and many ads with location information share the same corporate URL. According to SEMrush, CVS is spending nearly $150,000 per month on local ads, but that’s not enough to compete with Walgreens’ $458,000 per month.
The competition took a turn in the social engagement pillar, where CVS pulled ahead of Walgreens with a score of 111 out of 125 possible points. CVS gained 57 points for amplification, which happens when followers share content with other consumers, and 54.4 engagement points for local relevancy. Walgreens nearly tied CVS for amplification with 56.3 points, but lost the round with only 45.8 points for local relevancy. Brandify noted that CVS was succeeding with its focused engagement strategy with the two social media giants, Facebook and Twitter.
Comparisons between the companies’ websites, locators, local pages, and page rank via search engines created the closest-scoring round, in the local SEO pillar. Both companies did well: Out of a possible 180 points, Walgreens emerged as the winner with 142 vs. CVS’ 138.
Data quality was another pillar where Walgreens KO’d its competition. The company scored 81.5 points for its NAP (name, address, phone number) data and 78.5 points for claimed online listings, bringing its total score for the data quality pillar to 160. CVS scored fewer points in both categories and lost this round with a score of 138.
Google data shows that consumers respond well to search ads that are customized to their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings, and that 60% of consumers have used location information in ads. Both CVS and Walgreens could extend their reach in local communities with a more hyperlocal approach, especially with advertising.
View all the findings on the Brand Battle page.
Brandify is transforming the way businesses connect to consumers by leveraging location technology and offering unrivaled personal service. Brandify has helped hundreds of brands understand and improve their local presence. Current and past clients include In-N-Out Burger, True Value, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Applebee’s, Black & Decker, and more. For more information about Brandify, go to brandify.com.