Thursday, May 13, 2010


Marketing introduces and represents companies to consumers, consumers to companies. The key is for marketers to manage touch points where brands and consumers meet. What are these touch points? They fall into one of three categories:

1. Media
2. People
3. Places.

For years, emphasis was placed on mass media. It was seen as a broad and effective way to reach groups of people with messages/promotions. It is quite easy to manage media by way of agencies/vendors who require a significant amount of money for advertising and promotion through major media vehicles (TV/Radio/Newspapers…etc.).

Reaching consumers through people has never been a real strength of marketing. The primary people connections between companies and consumers are field sales representatives and customer service. Neither of these groups fall under the Marketing department.

The third touch point, Place. Initially it was all about– getting products to the market. What we know now about place is that it involves channels of distribution – a mix of retailing and direct marketing through which customers could make purchases.
For example a physical retail store or via online website.

Today’s big Marketing focus is the digital age. Digitization of media, featuring
e-commerce, social media, online and mobile advertising….as a result the forth “P” Place has lost some of its focus but that does not mean that it is being totally ignored. It’s not; Places are becoming more central to marketing practice because of:
•More major retail stores as places where consumers go, not just to buy things, but to have experiences.
•The role of stores as the “new mass media” – providing marketers with enormous reach for varying messages even going as far as interactive messaging which allows customers to actually probe for more information.
•Stores becoming a major part of social communities where customers can interact with one and other.
•Retail stores emerge as the most important place where consumers and brands interact. As marketers we need to comprehend how retail stores have become a major part of consumer brand experiences.
•Retail has more immediate and larger effects on consumers than media.
•Retail is working in cohesion with media, such as digital signage, which can also be measured.
•Retail takes on a stronger role for brand strategy –branding through retail is now common marketing practice.
•Critical brand-related interactions between consumer and brands occur at retail

Organizational Challenges

In addition to environmental factors such as economy, the biggest challenge occurs within organizations themselves. Organizations need to think more about the retail experience and its value with respect to the principals of marketing. A positive or negative retail experience could define whether or not a brand will be successful.


Consolidation Retailing

Many retailers are consolidating and therefore selling a number of products and services in one location which means fewer smaller independently owned retailers.
This affects manufacturers/suppliers as they have fewer larger retailers to sell their items. These larger retailers will be responsible for a significant portion of their brand interaction.

Retail Media and Experiential Marketing

Retail is now a key location for consumers to get information. Although traditional media such as advertising is still relevant and always will be in order to make brands popular. Retail is more suited for customers to make brand choices and learn about products and services. You are seeing more and more interactive areas in stores where customers can view digital screens with relevant information and they can also try before they buy.

Marketing at Retail is no longer seen as a place to increase the likelihood of purchase. It is also a place where a shopper goes to enjoy an experience. Marketing at retail is now including more non traditional entertainment and educational tools giving customers an opportunity to engage and interact with brands, products, and services in sensory ways.

Retail Measurements

•Customer Profitability (Retail revenues and profits)
•Brand Equity: Financial Values of Brands and the role of Marketing Communications in generating brand value.
•Customer Response Analysis : contribution of individual marketing tactics – such as coupons, in-store displays, feature advertising into revenues

Customer Engagement at Retail

Retail is more about engagement, participation and conversations and less about customer management.
Retail is about understanding consumers and speaking with them and providing relevant information. Retail today is about creating social interaction and relevant communications.

Effective strategies for Marketing at Retail

Know Your Customers

Marketing at-retail should be based on market research and consumer insight. The abundance of information available on shopping behavior, brand choice, and customer response to marketing tactics provides extensive information for marketing at-retail. Brand marketers need to understand the underlying motivations that drive shopping behavior. Understand this and we can meet their needs more effectively.

Keep Retail Marketing ‘top of mind’ with the overall Marketing Plan

Retail Marketing should be conducted with the same strategic focus of marketing communication and channel distribution. Think about the shopper experience at point of purchase. Retail should never been seen as an after thought. Keep it top of mind right from the get go.

Media communications need to integrate Marketing at Retail

Integrated marketing communications means that marketing communications through the media and at retail should be driven by the same marketing objectives/strategy.
Retail marketing communications should compliment what is being done with respect to a given campaign in mass media.

Understand How Each Tactic Contributes to the Marketing Plan

Every Retail Marketing tactic makes a contribution to the overall marketing effort.
Every element needs to be looked at how it can contribute.
•Signage/posters reinforce brand messages.
•Coupons allow for exact targeting based on brand purchase.
•Product Display and Packaging provide strategic communications which are not possible through media.

Customize Your Retail Store based on Target

In today’s retail market, smart retailers customize via product assortment, store atmosphere, price and promotions to match customers in narrowly defined geographic markets.
Customization based on details such as geodemographics allows us to offer merchandising mix that suits the needs of local residents.
This is a huge advantage because unlike mass media this allows for countless strategic communications and promotions at retail.


The more we can prove what works at retail, the more we can allocate budget/efforts to retail marketing. Retail is rich in data regarding their customer and customer behaviors, tapping into this information we can strengthen our influence at retail as to how brands reach consumers.

No comments:

Post a Comment