Monetate DMA Store Location Widget


Channel conflict can be challenging when distributing product through independent brick and mortar franchisees who are often competing for the same customer as your online business channel.

Franchisees are spending their ad dollars locally, but for a nationwide brand name their prospects too often end up on the brand’s website which also served as it’s direct to customer sales channel.

With franchisee becoming increasingly web savvy and pushing more of their ad budgets to local paid search, the complaints that too many Medifast brand name site search results were appearing in local search results and those led to the Medifast Direct website which sold product and programs direct to consumers. Of course, it was simple enough to limit our paid search reach to steer clear of franchisee DMA’s, but that wasn’t enough to deal with organic search results that still returned the Medifast Direct site which sorely lacked mention of the franchisee operated Medifast Weight Loss Centers.

But wait, why didn’t we have much mention or promotion of centers on the Medifast Direct site? Simply put when we once tested promoting all business channels on the Medifast Direct site it proved two things: too many up -front choices was a bad thing, and when it wasn’t it diverted too much traffic away from the direct to consumer sales funnel. That strategy was a win for no one, but what t if we could detect visitors from certain DMA’s and only promote the franchisee centers to them?

I had an idea of how we could accomplish steering site visitors to Medifast Weight Control Center locations in specific DMA’s, so I drafted the wireframe-based proposal shown here.

The proposal looked like this:
Work with Monetate to build a custom Action in the form of a modal “location finder widget” that we could easily integrate into the Medifast Direct site and would display only when a visitor from a franchisee DMA landed on the website.

I obtained a data file containing all franchise locations. Fields included longitude and latitude, address, phone number and a link to each franchisee locations appointment web page located on the main center website or a link to their own website.

I then coded the modal window/widget prototype and sent both to Monetate and they built in the functionality so that the window displayed the list of all locations and plotted them on a map for each franchisee location in a DMA within a 25-mile radius of the visitor.

We then created a Monetate experience using the custom Action which appeared first in the form of a “Find a Weight Loss Center” link within the header navigation of the Medifast Direct site for visitors landing on the site from the franchisee DMA’s.  Upon click, the location finder widget launched, and users could interact with the map, the list or close and exit the window.

The wireframe and requirements for this widget are shown here.

Franchisees were able to recapture a significant amount of traffic to their sites, as well as gained new visitors that had not known that a center was in their area. Also, using Monetate for this project saved many internal and contractor development hours had we built this internally and coded it into our ecommerce website platform.  This method also let us easily update the interface and test various link labels to optimize into a better converting interface. Something that would have been cumbersome, and untimely had we implemented this functionality in a more traditional way.