Retail digital ‘TV' is growing at 20% per annum, a growth anticipated three years ago by Moving Tactics, an alternative media company based in Cape Town.
MD Chris Day, was spot on in his predictions that retail TV was the future and invested time and money in the dynamic development of in-house digital technology solutions. Communication in the retail sector will never be quite the same again.
“Effective communication has always underpinned a successful business and during, an economic downturn, it is important for retail outlets to pull out all the stops to get a share of the consumer's diminishing disposable income," says Day. “Proactive interaction with customers at the place of purchase is a phenomenally effective marketing tool as you are talking directly to the customers and converting into sales immediately.”
20, 32, 42 or 50 inch Digital HD plasma panels, deliver dynamic visual messages to customers, helping to drive sales or brands. Price discounts are delivered directly to a captive audience. “We provide critical information to trigger buying decisions - and of course to entertain. The addition of wireless technology means that a variety of messages can be communicated any place, any time.”
Apart from delivering the right message at the right time and place, the addition of bite-sized, regularly updated lifestyle content covering live news, weather and sports headlines from New24, means there is a break from hard sell to informative and entertaining, to sustain the customer's attention.
Was it a case of Day being the Nostradamus of the consumer industry or was it just plain business savvy? He says, “The concept of screens in-store is not rocket science. It's the application of the technologies that makes them extraordinary marketing tools. In store is, after all, the most competitive space in terms of brands and buying and also the final area of influence. The real test is combining the advertising content with some call to action. Our aim is to stay one step ahead, technologically. We believe in setting the trends, we don't react to market behaviour. We see what excites us and then we act to make it happen in the moving media spectrum.”
The predictions and vision have certainly paid dividends as Moving Tactics celebrates its first ‘in-store birthday' at 100 Midas stores this month. Not only is it celebrating the success of the existing digital TV's in store as a marketing tool, but also adding two industry firsts to the mix - intermittent audio and customer interaction. Both these value-adds are unique to Moving Tactics.
“The immediate interaction via a short SMS service with flash voice-overs, means we can generate customer participation in promotions and competitions or even harness the power of instant redemption via coupons,” says Day.
“It is always about the customer. There is a vested interest between the retailer, media owner and brand, based on a collective aim to reach, enhance and deliver greater value to the consumer. We are continuously researching and modifying to gain insights into what works and what doesn't - insights which we are happy to share with our partners. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that develops with time and the evolution of marketing solutions.”
Stefan le Roux, marketing director of Midas agrees. “Introducing a digital solution to the Midas shopping environment has enhanced the shopping experience of all our customers. Currently we have screens in 100 stores and are looking at expanding this as soon as possible. It's an excellent way to go.”
The proof, of course, is in the buy-in. The shoppers really like it. In-store surveys indicate that over 67% felt the screens carried relevant information which assisted them in making the correct purchasing decisions. They were quite happy to admit that it influenced their purchasing decisions. Positive consumer feedback? “Absolutely,” says Day, “especially considering this was before the addition of sound and the interactive ‘call to action.' Audio will engage customers more and create an even greater conversion into direct and active interaction with customers. Instant gratification all round.”