One Blog |August 29, 2012 | POS Tracking Software

Spending Money on 'Traditional' Advertising for Beverage Alcohol

Mark Fullerton

Should You Spend Money on Newspaper and TV Advertising for Beverage Alcohol?

All types of advertising and marketing have some value. However, as time has passed, especially over the last two decades - Everything you know may be wrong! What used to work may not work as well as it once did, or what used to work may be too expensive.

‘Traditional’ Advertising

It’s no secret - Newspapers are in trouble. In fact, most ‘traditional’ advertising media are in trouble – thanks to the fractionalization of broadcast media (hundreds of channels), the invention of DVR's, and the most recent super-smart DVR called ‘The Hopper’.

It was so simple when there was only ABC, NBC and CBS to advertise on. It was much easier, too, when every city or metropolitan area had ‘dominant force’ newspaper outlets. And of course it was taking-candy-from-a-baby simple when our only social media was email.

Today, advertising is either opt-in or opt-out. I can subscribe to a digital version of my local newspaper and see the same ads on-line as in the printed form. But now I can swipe my finger across the screen and zip right past the ads. I can hit the ‘advance 30 seconds’ button on my DVR 6 or 7 times and completely skip all the ads. Virtually every place there is an ad, I can hop over it, so to speak – and believe me: most folks (over 40% and growing) are ‘opting out’ or skipping advertisements.

Except one place!

At the Point-of-Sale (POS)

Studies have shown that once a consumer goes into shopping mode – in this instance for an Adult Beverage – they actually seek product and price information when they are at the point-of-sale (POS). This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. When shoppers enter the retail domain, generally they are looking to buy something. Typically they begin looking for the promotional/advertising messages that relate to the category they were looking for in the first place - be it beer, wine, spirits, or anything else that might pass as an Adult Beverage.

The shopper looks for the category (beer, for instance) in the aisle, then the sub-category, (imported beer, perhaps), and then – seeing many choices – 5% of the time will go for the same ol' same ol'. This means that 95% of the shoppers who enter the retail store planning to buy an imported beer have not decided on the brand they will buy.

POS Marketing Materials

Enter the point-of-sale marketing materials which will inform, entertain and ultimately persuade the shopper to convert to buyer because the shopper is literally at the moment of truth – ready, willing and able to buy.

Do not confuse point-of-sale marketing materials with other advertising. Indeed, newspaper advertising is also POS, but it means ‘point-of-sofa’, where the consumer is not able to shop and where it is impossible for him or her to buy.

Assuming you agree with the preceding points, and you have sufficient budget, I do suggest that you keep your marketing mix in mind. Here's why: you will, as you grow your brand, want and need to have some ‘reminder’ advertising that is not seen at the point-of-sale, such as ‘traditional’ print and/or broadcast media advertising.

But if your advertising budget cannot yet support a mixed media approach, you will achieve the greatest return-on-investment if you spend what budget you do have on point-of-sale marketing or shopper marketing as some call it.

Want to Know Why?

Well, according to a recent 2012 POPAI Study, 76% of the decisions to buy consumer packaged goods, such as Adult Beverages, are made at the point-of-sale. Doesn’t it make sense to spend a similar percentage of your marketing budget at the point-of-sale?

That would leave you 24% of your marketing budget to spend on building Brand Equity, through ‘traditional’ marketing outlets.  

Bottom-line, if you only have a very small budget, the best ROI will be realized if you spend it wisely on POS advertising. And even if your budget is very large, POS marketing is still well worth the investment.

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