In-store media is big. Rated number one by marketers as a promotional tool and advertising display in 2008 - this media category continues to be a major priority this year.
At a recent Marketing Mix conference, brand marketers, retailers, POP and ad agencies confirmed that retail marketing is the way to go. And digital TV appears to be the ‘G-spot' in the retail environment. Chris Day, MD of Moving Tactics, an alternative media company, says, “Digital media advertising changes people's minds and increases sales.”
Marketing Mix describes the point where the brand comes into contact with the consumer as the 'moment of truth' and the conversion to a brand at this point as first prize. Which is what brand managers utilising retail digital media are discovering, to their collective delight.
110 screens in 45 Picardi Rebel outlets deliver critical information to trigger buying decisions and, of course, entertain. Day says the addition of audio and customer interaction has meant an exponential increase in immediate customer interaction. “The short SMS service, with flash voice-overs, means there is a call to action for customers via promotions, competitions and price incentives. We can also harness the power of instant redemption via coupons. The audio helps bring the message to life. The medium becomes an in-store salesperson, able to inform customers about what is on offer and any specials.”
Bite-sized regularly-updated lifestyle content covering live news, weather, and sports headlines, from News 24, as well as entertaining and informative snippets of information ensures that customer attention is captivated.
After celebrating an extremely successful first ‘in-store birthday' at 100 Midas stores last month, Moving Tactics' plasma screens have been live in Picardi Rebel stores for three months. “There has been nothing but positive feedback from the retailers and the brand managers,” says Day.
The concept of in-house digital TV in Picardi Rebel has had the buy-in from big brands like Distell, Brandhouse and SAB and informal feedback has been extremely positive. “Feedback and measurability is king,” says Day. “The next step is in-store research which has been commissioned for the end of March.”
Darron Swersky, Joint Managing Director of the Picardi Rebel Group, states: “Correctly utilised digital TV has the ability to communicate to every customer in our stores the unique selling proposition of each brand on display - throughout the hours that we trade. It is not reliant on an in-store promoter who is only there a few hours per month. We have no doubt this medium will grow from strength to strength as our supporting brands realise the full potential of touch point customer communication. It's a no-brainer. High quality, moving picture and tailor-made audio communication via multiple screens, has the desired effect, the opportunity to turn every screen into a digital brand ambassador and digital salesman. In-store digital TV works, and it's not going away, at least not in Picardi Rebel.”
Day maintains that for this medium to work for a brand, it needs to be used correctly. “The perception that if an ad works on TV it will work in-store is a common misconception,” he says. “The medium is results driven and it is our job to make sure that the advertisers get the best value from it, even if it means creating or adapting existing advertising material.” To this end, Moving Tactics has in-house facilities to ensure that the material has maximum efficacy in the digital retail space.
Moving Tactics takes into account the fact that brands have different objectives when putting a campaign together. It is not just a blanket solution for everyone. “We work closely with retailers and brands to make sure the shopper and environment is understood and targeted appropriately and offer customised solutions,” says Day. “The optimum ad length should be between 10 and 15 seconds, incorporating a five-second pricing tail.”
As marketing budgets shrink and disposable income diminishes, the inexorable movement away from the traditional advertising medium continues. And retail digital TV seems to be maintaining the number one spot. “The proof,” says Day “is the in-store sales conversion.”
Moving Tactics is an alternative media owner. Based in Cape Town, it has offices in Johannesburg as well as a national technical team. The company provides customised digital solutions for the retail environment along with alternative signage solutions. The approach is pro-active: facilitating direct interaction, on screen, with customers at the place of purchase - a turnkey solution for in-store marketing. Moving Tactics utilises on site interaction through coupons, sums and intermittent audio.