By Jules Smith, Innovations Manager at bluetouch, shopper marketing agency at bezier
In an increasingly competitive market it is imperative to stay ahead of the game.
At bluetouch, and within the wider bezier group, we pride ourselves on taking a proactive, innovative approach to our business and are always looking at ways to improve our service, which is why I was pleased to attend GlobalShop 2007.
The event was extremely interesting and an invaluable experience. A major factor that became immediately apparent was that increased focus is being driven through below-the-line marketing activity rather than the above-the-line, which we have traditionally seen.
An interesting trend has been the increase in temporary POP, especially when compared to digital media solutions.
A couple of years ago, we predicted that digital media was the future trend that would be leading the game and would be the biggest threat to temporary card POP displays.
Today, however, it’s a very different story. We are seeing temporary POP working harder than ever to complement the lesser use of digital media solutions, as brands and retailers start to qualify the importance of incorporating and delivering the two alongside each other.
Another important expansion in POP is utilising consumer’s senses. We rely on sight to read messaging and appreciate the visual impact of a piece of communication.
However, our habits and actions are governed by four other very powerful senses.
Many recent POP solutions have incorporated activity such as scent, sound or touch sensitive elements, which has proved to be a great way to create a secondary or even tertiary opportunity to reach and persuade the customer using more than one stimulus.
On a global scale, one area of in-store marketing I believe the US excel at is larger areas of footprint’, that is, space where POP units have the potential to be placed. Increased floor space in American retailers means POP has free reign to up its theatrical presence, often leading to spectacular displays.
In the UK our brands are constantly fighting for floor space, which is both costly and rare, particularly in the multiple grocery sector, meaning brand presence is often restricted or units are simply not used.
The question of whether marketeers fully understand and appreciate how effective POP is also resonates throughout the point of purchase world. The return on investment on POP solutions is immense with in-store fixtures able to deliver an average of 160 per cent ROI.
But to achieve this, the campaign must be executed accurately and appropriately and not simply left at the back of the stock room.
Having realised the importance of solid data in this area, inroads are now being made by industry bodies to invest in comprehensive research which can back up initial, smaller research projects detailing measurable ROI.
There are consultancies that can offer a hands on approach to evaluating POP campaigns however, which can be further enhanced using RFID - a unique chip that can be placed on the POP, which will help identify when it’s despatched, when it’s implemented, how long it was kept in store, how long on average a consumer stands at a particular display and when stock needs replenishing.
I believe it’s vital that marketeers invest more time in evaluating the effectiveness of their POP campaigns in order for the discipline to be fully appreciated.
As shopper behaviour becomes ever more complex, global research in retail is becoming increasingly important in order to identify opportunities and developments in the sector and learn from them.
The rise of interactivity and social media is continuing to shape the decisions of consumers and with this trend set to grow, it’s becoming more and more difficult to grab and retain the attention of shoppers.
Therefore the need for innovation, brand experiences and impressive in-store ideas has never been more important. By capitalising on new ideas across the globe, bezier hopes to remain at the forefront of leading in-store trends.
To summarise, I would say that the key to being innovative is to work with the space that is available to you.
Make sure design maximises floor space and remember –innovation doesn’t have to be ‘new’ to be innovative, it’s how solutions are applied that make POP innovative, even if this is a new way of using an existing idea.
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