by: David Polinchock

This new study has been getting quite a lot of attention lately and we think that it's a shame. Now, for full disclosure, we have a business relationship with POPAI, which is developing another study. However, we believe that none of the studied proposed so far go as far as we think they should go.

At a time when the rest of the advertising industry is trying to move beyond CPM and reach & frequency, I think it's a mistake to make that the focus of these in-store studies. Yes, we need to determine how many people are in the store, but that's only one piece of the pie. As I said during the recent At Retail Marketing Expo here in NY, I think that turning in-store marketing into a program of reach & frequency and GRP's and CPM's greatly devalues what in-store can do.

And before we even get to the fancy stuff of measurement, we really need to deal with all of the infrastructure issues of the in-store space first. I mean, when you have to start with questions like "Is there an electrical outlet nearby," it's kinda' hard to get onto more important issues like how are we going to measure in-store advertising.

And don't even get me started on the fact that the industry keeps going to groups with a vested interest in perpetuating the reach & frequency model and then being surprised that measure is always about reach & frequency!

In the media fragmented world in which we live, reaching people in store can be very valuable. Yes, we need a way to measure it but it needs to be on our terms, not trying to shoehorn it in for media planners. We need to create a unique value proposition for what we do. It shouldn’t — in our humble, but deadly accurate opinion — look like what we’ve seen before. Simply throwing up commercials that we’ve already used before is not going to create the kind of dynamic environment that the retail space should be.

Some things that we believe will be critical to the success of in store media:

  • Understanding how in store media can be used to facilitate the Socialization of Place and create a compelling, authentic and relevant brand experience.
  • Understanding what we can do to give the guest some control over their in store media experience. Remember, they now live in a world where they have complete control over media delivery in every other aspect of their lives. Don’t we think it’s going to be very frustrating for them to walk into a store and have no control of their media there?
  • Since sharing media is a critical part of their media experience today, are you giving your consumers a chance to share you media? More importantly, are you giving them a chance to share their media with you?
  • Lastly, how can your in store content create a better experience for the employees? After all, they'll be the ones turning it off after they've listened to it 6000 times!  

    Take a look at some of the stats below from Bill Gerba. People on average look at the screens for 3 seconds! Listen, I've done storytelling for years and I can tell you that there's very little way to tell a compelling story in three seconds. You can say "Hey, I'm on sale" or "Now with improved taste," but you can't really give the audience any more then that. So, is the answer trying to figure out how to craft 3 second commercials or how to create content that people would want to watch for a longer period of time? And to be candid, the answer probably lies in the middle, but it's our TV commercial mentality -- thinking in terms of 30 second spots -- that help us to devalue the in store marketing opportunity.

    You know how we feel about things. Unless you create a total positive experience for your consumer, they’ll simply move onto the next product or service. S0 let’s try to figure out what the real value of in store media should be and stop trying to make it look like all of the other media. Let’s put it on the line and determine what we think it’s worth and let everyone else in the world come to us. We can only truly create the destiny we want by creating the destiny we want!

    Excerpt from the Advertising Age - P&G Wants In-store Marketing Metrics to Match up to TV, Radio article:

    A pilot study released yesterday aimed at bringing measured-media metrics to the in-store marketing space is being touted by organizers as a "game changer" that could "crack the code" and make in-store ads as measurable as TV or radio.

    Some of the marketing world's most powerful players -- Procter & Gamble Co.'s Jim Stengel, Wal-Mart's Stephen Quinn and Laura Desmond of Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group -- announced the results on a shared stage at McCormick Place in Chicago at the In-Store Marketing Institute's annual meeting. P&G is the presenting sponsor of the $1 million study, which took place over four weeks in May and relied on infrared sensors to track store traffic. 

    Here's what Bill Gerba had to say in his Five key lessons from the At-Retail Media Conference and Expo:

    Because they make good food for thought, here are some interesting stats quoted by some of the presenters during the At-Retail Media Conference. I haven't verified any of these, so use them at your own discretion.

  • IBN determined that four of the five largest radio "stations" in the US (including the three largest) are in-store audio networks. (Take a look at Experience Manifesto: Best Buy Experience to see how we feel about in-store radio!)
  • PRN notes that the top 10 US retailers receive 197M unique visitors each month, and these people visit an average of seven times per month, for a total of about 1.4B shopping trips per month.
  • Hispanic shoppers are 70% more likely to watch in-store digital media than non-Hispanics, and have up to six times better brand recall for advertised products.
  • Retail Marketing Services discovered that placing a graphic or visual element on a shelf-mounted sign ("shelf barker") can generate up to a 35% sales lift.
  • And my favorite: Retail Marketing Services also studied the Tesco digital signage deployment. They found that while 42% of individuals looked at the screens, on average they only did so for about three seconds. Among other things, this underscores the importance of using short, to-the-point messages on in-store networks, rather than traditional 30 second spots.
  • UPDATE: Laura Davis Taylor has a good wrap-up and debate on this topic going on at BrainTrust Query: Is it possible, and advisable, to establish a set of industry metrics to gauge in-store media effectiveness? - Retail News. Make sure you check it out and let your thoughts be known!

    Link: Advertising Age - P&G Wants In-store Marketing Metrics to Match up to TV, Radio.

    Link: Infrared Sensors to Change In-Store Marketing.

    Link: Retailers Seeing Infrared, via Sensors to Monitor In-store Shopping Habits.

    Link: Laura Davis-Taylor responds to digital media network article | WireSpring.

    Link: BrainTrust Query: How do we make the ''Store as Media'' opportunity real? - Retail News.

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