One Blog |February 6, 2012 | Point-of-Sale Marketing

Point-of-Sale Marketing — You don’t need a PhD, but it could help.

Mark Fullerton

I suspect very few readers of our Marketing at-Retail blog have PhD’s.

But there are countless PhD’s who spend their talents and time researching Marketing at-Retail related topics like Point-of-Purchase or Point-of-Sale Marketing, Shopper Marketing and Trade Promotions.

Other than on the job training, where do they learn it? Are there any universities that teach it?


Well here’s a few we found:

  • Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Ohio University
  • New York University
  • University of Milan School of Economics
  • University of Venice School of Economics

Plus many others who are very active in research and education regarding Point-of-Sale and Shopper Marketing.


And here’s some of their Marketing at-Retail projects:

  • Developing new at-retail research technologies, including electronic interviewing methods, and video tracking technologies
  • Investigating how shoppers interact with various retailing approaches, technologies and POS types, including optimizing traditional and digital signage, product placement, displays, kiosks, and mobile devices
  • Measuring the influence of the retail context, including aisle, shelf and overall store layout, product organization, merchandising, signage and displays, on shopping behavior


I was also able to find — via Google — a vast array of college level courses devoted to the study of Marketing at-Retail.  Here’s a sample:

Managing Sales Promotion

  • The strategic use of retail promotion: the interaction and integration of retail sales promotion with advertising, distribution, and price; target shoppers and objectives for sales promotion; interactions among trade, retail, and shopper sales promotion
  • Research and testing retail sales promotion programs

Influencing Buyer Behavior: Retail Merchandising—Promotional Strategy

  • Provides a broad understanding of the ways in which products can be promoted within the retail environment. Emphasis is on practical application. Incorporates factors influencing retail promotional planning such as communication theory, retail store image, target shoppers, and competitive marketplace stance with the promotional mix components
  • Research approaches focusing on the behavior of the shopper in the market place


In addition to these college level courses, I was able to find numerous traditional and web publications including case studies and white papers going back to 1994 some using yet another term,  “In-Store Marketing.”

What’s the Point?

The study, publication and teaching about point-of-sale marketing and its influence on shoppers has exploded over a nearly twenty-year period. One of the reasons for POS/POP Marketing becoming a course of study in higher education is that at-retail information has the greatest influence on the final purchasing decisions for most consumer packaged goods — beverages, cosmetics, electronics, sporting goods and many more.  We may have reached a point where traditional media (TV, Print, etc) has dropped out of the top 3 in terms of shopper influence.

PS You don’t need a PhD to learn more about OnTrak.



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