Sunday, November 22, 2009

In-Store Marketing Beats Traditional Ads

Oct 20, 2009

In-store marketing is more effective than traditional ads, according to “The Elements Report” released today (Tuesday). Nearly a third (32 percent) of the 999 shoppers polled online in March said that in-store marketing is "very effective." Only 27 percent said the same about ads living outside of the store.

The report, which is part three of the “Gone in 2.3 Seconds: Capturing Shoppers with Effective In-Store Triggers Series,” found that the shopping experience is crucial for marketers. Sixty-nine percent of those polled called the in-store experience a “make or break” scenario. While 65 percent of shoppers are making lists, brand decisions are still being made at the store, according to 60 percent of respondents.

End-aisle displays are the most engaging according to 70 percent of those polled, followed by merchandising displays (62 percent), and department signage (58 percent). Ceiling banners and overhead mobiles have the least impact.

Shelf strips (55 percent) and shelf blades (50 percent) have become more important, especially among the Gen X and Gen Y crowds, who feel the more information the better, per the report. Overall, women and Gen Y consumers were most influenced by in-store marketing efforts.

“Understanding high potential shopper strike zones has become increasingly critical given the intensified battle for consumer loyalty and share of mind in-store,” said D’Anna Hawthorne, strategy director at Miller Zell, a retail consultancy. The report was conducted by the National Research Network on Miller Zell’s behalf.

While price is always a driving factor, so is messaging about product quality. Nearly half (46 percent) of those polled would like to see more in-store product comparisons, 43 percent would like more details, and 42 percent would like more product quality information.

Among all of the retail channels, consumers at drug stores were most influenced by in-store signage. According to the report, this was likely due to the fact that purchasing medication and first aid items is a more complex process.

Jordan Brand: an America's Hottest Brands Case Study

Jordan Brand
Tony Pettinato
To hear Jordan Brand President Keith Houlemard tell it, the Nike unit he runs is just like a small family business. After all, it's contained in one building amid Nike's sprawling, Beaverton, Ore., campus, and the guy whose name is on the door is still around the place all the time.
"It definitely has a family feel," he said.

Well, for a mom-and-pop operation, Jordan has amassed a pretty imposing scale. Since making the decision to drop Nike's trademark Swoosh from its sneakers during the 1990s, the brand has gone on to dominate the high end of the basketball market, with a scale in the U.S. footwear market eclipsed only by its parent.

Jordan is now bigger than Nike's merged rivals, Adidas and Reebok, combined, despite a selective distribution strategy that deliberately makes the shoes hard to find.

"Jordan has established itself as the premiere designer brand in athletic footwear," said veteran footwear analyst Matt Powell, who estimates that the brand is available in only about 10% of locations that carry Nikes. "This is the top-end, conspicuous-consumption brand."

Of course, most brands described that way are seeing sales declines now –like the U.S. footwear market in general—but Jordan has defied that gravity with double-digit gains this year.
How has the brand achieved that? Mr. Powell credits a pricing strategy that's kept the shoes even with other teen status symbols such as iPods.

Also vital is Nike's typically inspired marketing machine, which has, through the "Become Legendary" campaign, managed to simultaneously bask in Mr. Jordan's stardom while centering its efforts on contemporary stars like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, who recently dumped Nike sibling Converse to enlist with Jordan. The basketball-centric brand has also aligned with elite athletes in other sports, such as Derek Jeter and Roy Jones Jr., which Mr. Houlemard said added a sense of prestige, as well as a sense of independence from the larger Nike brand.

Many of Jordan's top efforts have come online, like a buzz-heavy microsite for a fictitious motivational speaker named Leroy Smith, who took the high-school team roster spot that famously eluded Mr. Jordan, motivating him to become a superstar. That effort coincided with the buildup to Mr. Jordan's induction into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame this summer.

Other efforts riff off Mr. Jordan's wealth and lifestyle: A photo of "Team Jordan" on the brand's website eschews customary action shots for a group picture of the endorser roster in business attire, with Mr. Jordan posing, chairman-like, at the picture's center.

JetBlue: an America's Hottest Brands Case Study

In the airline industry, few have been as progressive with their use of the web and social media as JetBlue. The Forest Hills, N.Y.-based budget carrier has always relied heavily on the web for customer bookings, and has been ahead of the curve with its use of e-mail and social-media venues such as Twitter for informing customers on everything from delays to fare prices.

But with the launch of its JetBlue Cheeps, designed solely for the purpose of tweeting limited-time offer deals, JetBlue has made Twitter a significant weapon.

With 1.4 million followers on its original Twitter page, JetBlue has more followers than any other airline. And in just over three months, JetBlue Cheeps has more than 38,000 followers. "We noticed that our main Twitter page was working very well," said Tara Carson, manager-consumer promotions at JetBlue. "And we wanted to evolve that account into a Cheeps page where we could really communicate special deals and offers."

The company is seeking ways to "refresh" its marketing tactics and expand its footprint in the social-media realm. "For our business model, it just makes sense being that we continue to focus on driving traffic to," she said.

Ms. Carson wouldn't divulge the number of ticket sales the site has helped generate but she said, "We are absolutely selling tickets" through the Cheeps page. You don't have to be a follower to take advantage of the offers, which they post once a week on Tuesdays and are available until 6 P.M. that day or until all of the available tickets are sold. The offers link to a landing page that highlights exactly where the Cheeps are located within the route system and on what dates.

Cheeps is also serving as a customer- service tool designed to give customers a voice. "That's the unique aspect of Cheeps," Ms. Carson said. "Consumers tell us what they're looking for and what they like. We pay attention and try to deliver back to the consumer deals that are the most attractive."
Ms. Carson isn't sure where Cheeps will go but definitely sees it playing a bigger role. "Cheeps is growing and it's important for us to continue to play with it," she said.