By Mark Shaw, chief executive of the bezier group
Faced with an environment of marketing messages all vying for attention, the very nature of retail marketing is being forced to change in order to stand out and survive.
Consumers, who once upon a time, could have been relied upon to simply buy whatever product was being advertised after their favourite TV soap, are now overwhelmed by choice and are becoming increasing savvy shoppers.
Marketers now have a better understanding of consumer shopping habits and expectations. In fact, research shows that although people will be influenced before they purchase, more than 75 per cent of purchasing decisions are made in-store.
Recognising the power of the in store environment and the need for retail marketing to become integrated, bezier has spent the last 18 months developing best in class agencies to provide a seamless retail marketing solution for customers; from brand planning and creative campaign development, through in-store implementation to full evaluation of the campaign.
2008 sees bezier rebranded as the bezier group to reflect that it is now Europe’s leading retail marketing agency. Although now part of a larger integrated group, each agency will continue to retain its individual identity and best in class proposition.
More in depth studies into consumer shopping habits and the ability to measure the ROI on below the line with metric consistency, has resulted in the in store environment beginning to move to the forefront of marketing strategies.
P&G announced last year that they expect to commit more than 50 percent of their marketing budget to the retail environment within the next ten years. Although spend is slowly starting to move from above to below the line, an integrated strategy will be vital to a make a campaign stand out.
Marketing strategies now need to take into account many different forms of communication; advertising, sales promotion, public relations, PoP and direct marketing all play their part in influencing consumer choice.
To remain front of mind, messages must be communicated before entering the shopping environment, within the shopping environment and now online. Online shopping, which is set to hit £40bn this year, is not the only frontier for marketers.
It is becoming increasingly important to have expertise in targeting the newly emerging “parallel universes” such as Second Life, to reach consumers.
No one form of communication can always work- integration can greatly enhance the success of a campaign. The benefit of having an integrated retail marketing strategy is that you can create and maintain profitable relationships with customers by strategically controlling and influencing the communications sent to them.
Integrated campaigns can deliver a single minded and cohesive message through multiple communication channels. The choice of media vehicle when carefully selected, can deliver messages to the targeted audience that are relevant and stand out in an ever increasing and cluttered arena.
By becoming the bezier group, it is believed that truly integrated retail marketing can be achieved, offering cohesive, cost effective campaigns that not only drive people to retail, but inspire them when at the point of purchase.
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