Pre-store

BEYOND SHOWROOMING, MOBILE POWERS SHOPPING

Smartphones improve shopping experienceNikki Baird wrote in Retailwire this week that  almost every shopping behavior is being shortened by mobile technology.

The behavior that most immediately comes to mind is showrooming. Buying a new TV used to mean driving to Circuit City, Best Buy, Sears and the local shops to compare prices during an afternoon. Now the same exercise (with different retailers) takes minutes.

There are other areas where mobile is faster, cheaper, and better. For most retailers, it’s about better service. But to monetize the moments, most insert promotions or transaction opportunities.

Indoor Mapping. The last year has seen a shift in retailers from being slightly aware to acutely aware of wayfinding, according to Patrick Connolly, senior analyst at ABI Research in London. He notes that Walgreens has already Continue reading

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WHERE IS RELEVANCE? EXACTLY.

Relevance marketing is one of those terms that is hard to disagree with. Joel Rubinson recently made a great case for it.

The words themselves sound unassailable. Who would argue that marketing shouldn’t be relevant? Of course it makes sense to tailor marketing  to be more appropriate, and now we have better tools than ever before to do it. But there are more effective and less effective ways to be relevant in shopper marketing. Let’s look at Who, What and Where.

Who

Media buying often focuses attention on relevant individuals.  Marketing  lingo is replete with “audiences,” “segments,” “target markets” and the like. Continue reading

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THE RIGHT QUESTIONS ABOUT SOCIAL ROI

Retail and CPG marketers are scratching their heads about measuring social media. The main reasons are that it comes so many forms and we know so little about them.

It can be an ad network. Facebook is now the #1 display ad network, delivering 31% of impressions.

It can be a PR vehicle. The number of PR firms receiving more than 15% of their revenues from social media activities is up 50%+.

It can be a market research source. Over 75% of respondents to a survey by Valued Opinions said they use social media to share thoughts on a product or service. Continue reading

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GENERAL MILLS: THE SCOOP ON GROUPON

What was General Mills thinking?

The marketer offered a $40 sampler kit and coupon book for $20 to consumers in Minneapolis/St. Paul and San Francisco. The offer included delivery of product to consumers’ homes.

Let’s look at that again: a 50% discount, plus up to 50% of the net revenue shared with Groupon, plus free shipping.

At first glance, this would be a nonstarter in most CPG marketing plans. But taking a second look at the idea, General Mills did 8 things right:

1. Being creative about “value.” Continue reading

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SHOPPER MARKETING: MEDIA, NOT TRADE

I’ve attended the Shopper Marketing Summit (formerly In-store Marketing Summit) for the last 3 years. Each year I find that shopper marketing is looking less like trade and more like media. Here are 5 observations:

1. Shopper marketing is growing. Shopper marketing is the fastest growing category of marketing, according to Ad Age figures quoted by Greg Murtaugh of Triad.

2. Stores are powerful reach vehicles. Pete LaFond of Walmart noted Walmart.com reaches 53MM uniques per month and Smart Network reaches 150MM per week. Together they reach 1/3 to 1/2 of US shoppers each week. Continue reading

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HEAVY LIFTING IN MOBILE SHOPPING

Today, 90% of Americans between 18 and 64 have a mobile phone, according to Arc Worldwide. Half of those are using their phones to shop. Of this half, 20% are driving the majority of mobile shopping behavior.

Translation: 10% of US adults are the mobile shopping heavies.

How do you compel more consumers to join this base of heavies? Arc looked at segments of shopper activity and suggests 5% of the 40% of casual users may be convinced to be heavy. Continue reading

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AVOIDING A SOCIAL MEDIA DOWNER

To know the road ahead, ask those on the way back. That’s a proverb worth heeding by retailers and manufacturers engaged in social media marketing.

Doug Stephens of Retail Prophet recently asked a full auditorium of marketers how many were engaged in social media.  Most of the hands went up.  Then he asked how many were disappointed. The hands stayed raised.

Many social media marketers have been disappointed because they lacked clarity in two areas: (1) purpose for their brands and (2) expectations about their audience. Continue reading

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CONTINUING A TRADITION OF INNOVATION

Independent retailers such as coops, family grocers, and regionals have long been among the first to embrace innovations.

 At the National Grocers Association’s convention last month, where 50 retailers participated in a session about growing sales and margins through digital marketing, this trend shows signs of persisting.

Roche Bros, an 18-store chain in New England, has employed personalized website offers and search engine marketing. The incremental revenue can generate the equivalent of new store additions—without the overhead. Continue reading

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IN SEARCH OF TRUST

The New York Timesrecently revealed that J.C. Penney, via SEO vendors, was found guilty of cheating Google results to “win” top rankings. Concurrently, Overstock.com was caught manipulating search rankings by soliciting universities to provide links to students, professors, and administrators.

In both cases, Google responded, driving down both J.C. Penney’s and Overstock’s rankings in its search results.

This is another installment in a saga that also includes BMW, Forbes, and many other properties. There are enormous incentives to subvert organic search. The opportunities in internet search are larger than past borderline practices within telemarketing, direct mail, and email. Continue reading

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DIGITAL CATALYSTS FOR CPG PROMOTIONS

Consumers are looking for deals. They are clipping coupons at an increasing rate. So why are retailers not getting the same sales lift they once did?

“We do believe there’s a level of promotion fatigue out there,” Susan Viamari, editor of SymphonyIRI’s Times and Trends, told Ad Age.”Promotion has been very high in the industry over the past couple of years, even though we did see a moderation in the growth. CPG manufacturers need to evaluate everyday pricing strategies.”

Sales lift per promotion has fallen, and everyday pricing may be one of the reasons. But a bigger factor is untargeted, mass discounts.  Marketers need to better tailor their shopper messages, employ digital capabilities, and rely less on broad programs like TPRs. To offset promotion fatigue with smart tailoring we need to ask a few questions: Continue reading

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