DIY retailers are gearing up for the crucial Easter trading period with a series of high-profile marketing campaigns, but trade could be hit by changeable weather.

B&Q this week launched a brand ad campaign, which will again star the retailer’s employees.

The TV ad will appear across all ITV regions and for the first time on TV in Ireland. The campaign, including national and regional press, and digital outdoor ads, carries the strapline “It’s all do-able”.

B&Q marketing director Warren Scarr said: “In these tricky times customers are choosing brands that are confident, reassuring and that they can trust. B&Q people provide that confidence and reassurance.”

Rival Wickes will launch an Easter marketing campaign, which marketing director Rob Murray said will have a “strong emphasis on Wickes being outstanding value for home improvement projects at a time when people will be refreshing their homes and gardens”.

Homebase’s Easter campaign covers TV, press, radio, direct mail and door drops. Its marketing and strategy director Ajay Kavan said the campaign has a “very strong value stance”.

Meanwhile, Focus is sponsoring ITV1’s 60 Minute Makeover for two months, beginning April 20. The retailer said the sponsorship will provide it with a national presence “during key spring months”, which it dubs the golden period for DIY retailers, when sales of decorating products are traditionally lifted.

Easter is a major trading period for DIY retailers, but sales are led by the weather. According to business weather analysis company Planalytics, the Easter weekend will be changeable, with some rain and the best of the weather in the Southeast.

In the second half of this year B&Q will introduce more personalised marketing to customers in order to better target specific segments such as older shoppers.

The retailer is analysing customer data from tools such as its Trade Discount Card to work out customer behaviour. It invested in a data mining tool from SPSS last year, which is allowing it to analyse this data and create predictive models of customer behaviour. The insight will allow B&Q to create one-to-one marketing programmes and maybe dynamically generated web content.

Separately, B&Q has hired Halfords head of trading, leisure, and head of business services Neil Smith as category manager for plumbing, heating and cooling, and tools.
He will lead product development and buying teams.