One Blog |May 2, 2012 | Point-of-Sale Marketing

The Retail Store — Where POS Marketing Works Best

Mark Fullerton

This blog will certainly offer a familiar message, although with a twist — especially to anyone who has visited our site more than once.  There’s a surprise at the end.

The Point-of-Purchase - Where Shoppers Become Buyers

The individual store has become the most effective place to connect to consumers. Leading-edge consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers are partnering effectively to deliver "in-store commercials" that significantly increase sales and enhance brand equity.

As this trend endures it most certainly represents an important opportunity for the beverage alcohol business.

What's Driving the Change?

Traditional advertising has become increasingly ineffective. While it once played a major role in the success of many CPG companies this focus is changing quickly and dramatically.

Three main factors are driving in-store marketing changes.

  • Consumers spend 50 percent less time watching network TV; 22 percent less time reading magazines, and 21 percent less time reading newspapers than they did five years ago.
  • Advertising on network TV no longer guarantees widespread exposure to a brand message. In 1995, marketers could reach 80 percent of 18 to 49 year-old women in the US with only three TV commercials. By the year 2000, they needed 97 TV commercials to reach the same group
  • Technology (DVR) enables consumers to record and fast-forward through TV commercials

This means that CPG manufacturers — including beverage companies — are spending their money in the wrong place.

Retailers are Reinventing their Value Propositions

Traditionally, retailers could compete on things like prices, categories, clean stores, freshness and in-store services. Today, they're working hard to create and replicate an experience through in-store marketing and in-store events and generate a competitive advantage. While they may not own a category, they can own the consumer experience. The store becomes the marketing platform for retailers and marketers to effectively reach consumers.

What Does This Mean?

If the store is the marketing platform, then beverage and other marketers must develop strong brand messages that create tangible sales results at the point-of-purchase.

There is definitely an emerging trend toward "in-store commercials" created by forward-thinking retailers and brand marketers. One marketing services company leading the evolution of "in-store commercials" is Mass Connections, based in Cerritos, California. Caroline Nakken, a founding principal of Mass Connections, said in a keynote address at the POP Show in New York:

"Today, the store has the potential to become the most effective and efficient marketing platform. Shoppers — as much as they would like to — can't fast-forward through the aisles.”

What are "in-store commercials?"

The stage is a department within a store that has been temporarily designed for an event with the appropriate point-of-purchase (POP) materials. (Wine departments have become a favorite for events.)

The actors are the event personnel, and their props are the wine brands they're promoting.

The audience is made up of previously bored, hard-to-target shoppers who want to be entertained.

The script is the theme of the event.

The theater is the store.

"In-store commercials" provide a break from the routine of shopping and a chance to tell consumers about a new product or reinforce a brand message. These events drive sales and influence shoppers in a positive way because they present new usage opportunities for products. For example: Shoppers can experience a new brand or something new from an existing brand by sampling a new product. Or, they can learn how to use an existing product differently, such as trying an ingredient in a different recipe resulting in a repeat purchase.

Effective in-store POP influences consumer purchases by reinforcing brand identity, supporting the media message, and creating product awareness. This message, in one form or another, has been making the rounds at least for the past 10 years. Perhaps it’s time you step up your point-of-purchase game for those thousands or hundreds of thousands of beer, wine and spirit labels you and your distributors represent.

Now, the “Reveal”

With only a small amount of editing, the above article was taken almost verbatim from Wine Business Monthly’s March, 2003 edition.

You can read the entire unedited version at:

When I first came across the article, the only clue to the age of the article hit me when I read about the keynote address given by Ms. Nakken — in 2002 — I removed the date from the above copy in order to not give away anything until the end.

Although nearly 10 years old, this article is as relevant today — perhaps even more so — as it was when it was first published.

To learn more about OnTrak Software can help you track, measure and manage your in-store commercials, click this button:


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