Case Detail

Case Summary

Lowe’s Companies, Inc.: Optimizing the Marketing Communications Mix

Case Number: 5-111-010, Year Published: 2011

HBS Number: KEL563

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Authors: Mohanbir Sawhney; Aarti Kumar; Hilary Meyer; Coby Neuenschwander; Sang' ona Oriedo; Mallika Pradhan; Garima Sethi; Pallavi Goodman

Key Concepts

Digital Marketing, New Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Consumer Behavior, Customer Experience Mapping, Social Media, Marketing ROI, Technology


Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement retailer in the world, had launched an ambitious new program in early 2009 and entered the arena of kitchen remodeling service providers. With this decision, Lowe’s was making a concerted effort to move beyond its traditional DIY customer base and capture the attention of the do-it for-me customer. Lowe’s chief competitors were the market leader Home Depot, Sears, Menards, and IKEA along with an assortment of smaller independent service contractors. The case describes the challenges Lowe’s faced as it embarked on this transition to the services sector. It illustrates how consumer insights lead to customer experience mapping which then forms the basis of an integrated marketing communications program. It also illustrates how to build a quantitative framework for allocating marketing investments across the marcomm mix. The Lowe’s marketing team had the task of creating the optimal marketing communication mix and successfully engaging those consumers interested in kitchen remodeling.

Learning Objectives

• How customer experience mapping reveals customer insights that can help to craft an appropriate marketing plan for the target market.
• Illustrate how integrated marketing plans are designed and how traditional and digital media work in tandem to create the right marketing strategy.
• How to build a quantitative model for optimizing the Marcomm mix.

Number of Pages: 26

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing, Technology

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Retail

Organization Name: Lowe's

Organization Department: New Business Development

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: Marketing Manager

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2009