Invest in Layers for Maximum Return on Investment
You need Growth BUT you also need ROI…
1.Accelerate growth by gaining additional stores, facings and ranging
2.Accelerate growth by building shopper/consumer awareness and standout all the way to the pack
The closer you invest to the shelf and the store the closer the relationship to sales, the greater the immediate ROI and the easiest to measure. The further you get away from the pack, the more people you can reach, but the less direct the impact on sales. Obviously stage 1 before you embark on any other support is to check PULSE Profit to make sure you are getting all the sales you should be from your negotiated space, identify where your core is, and build as much store space, stock and ranging as possible. You would be surprised how much additional support simple actions taken here will pay for.
(The internet is also close to the shelf for on line purchases and increasingly used for in store purchases)
Layer 1 – Pack and Shelf Based Advertising
Closest to the pack is the pack itself – this needs to shout pick me up against the other packs around. So use NEW if you can. If not deliver other benefits. A send away price offer on pack can deliver the same impact as a 60p drop in price – for significantly less than 1p per pack. It’s your pack, and what it says is wholly under your control. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Shelf based signage makes sure that your space is only filled with your product – this is a huge issue in the UK where space is negotiated but not guaranteed. This placement can often be achieved by simple discussion with store managers. You need to be sure, though, that material can be easily removed if shelf locations change.
We have developed a type of sign not typically used centrally-the shelf adder – that is very acceptable to the store. This could easily incorporate a QR code giving access to review sites, or the advertisement. Holding space – and keeping it filled is your number one priority. This is vital in you core areas. Core areas are those where more of your shoppers buy than the average. The shelves run out sooner and all your marketing effort will give you better return – but only if you make sure you get better supply there. And yes, it is entirely possible to focus sales, supply chain, and marketing effort on specific stores. While QR codes are touted as having a relatively small usage at the moment, our recent research with the Retail Bulletin revealed that 40% of what will by 2017 be over 40 million people are currently using it. So the most powerful way to add value in a small space available to you. Interestingly, while it is always felt that all people are interested in is price, this is far from the truth. Sure, price comparison web sites are important, but reviews are growing in importance almost as fast.
Lastly off shelf display is typically by central negotiation. In the most stores, however, these can also be negotiated at store level. So absolutely no excuse.
Layer 2 – Path to Purchase near the store.
This is vital for building sales and awareness where you have localised distribution or in your core areas. There are many types of local support such as local internet, outdoor, sampling, leaflets, coupons of various types. RVS have measured the impact of most channels.
This layer can be structured so you have impact on the Head Office, the store and the shopper. Buyers are comfortable to give you more if you demonstrate (and they can see) you will be investing alongside them.
The most effective short term use of posters is close to store, and in conjunction with specific in store activity. There are a number of studies we have done, this is the most recent;
Although the primary objective of the 6 sheet posters was to introduce the NPD lines, it also increased awareness of the brand name in general which in turn increased the average sales of all the brands products in these stores
This level can give real interaction with the brand – as an example a link to a site with the commercial on, or to a competition. This can be achieved through the use of a QR code – and this can be augmented with a direct click through link (try it and see). This links to a current promotion in store redeemed through our research/reward site yousay. QR codes have a much higher penetration to the under 35’s.
The graph shows the difference between control and poster stores. The content was in support of NPD and a promotion in the store BUT the impact was seen on all associated products
Layer 3 – National media.
Here you can have a national reach if the market is right with social media, or through smartphones. We have conducted extensive research into the value of smartphones you can access here. The value of interactive content to the 43 million people who will own them by 2017 cannot be underestimated. Click here for our industry white paper with the Retail Bulletin > showrooming in stores
However, National TV in local areas can be purchased within a budget of £20-40,000. If content already exists this “National Equivalent” can be very effective in giving a national profile to buyers, for a young brand. With more limited distribution it is important to tell people where exactly they can buy the product – view this.
Posters can, in their own right, also deliver national impact. As with this 48 sheet poster as part of the pet food campaign alongside small format posters above.
Balanced marketing is a mix between the three areas – you need to remind people on their Path to Purchase to get their full attention. However you must keep all three layers in place, and in proportion as you grow to get the benefit.
Spending on digital advertising is expected to comprise more than half of total advertising expenditure in the UK this year. However, while there are clear opportunities to drive brand engagement in stores with the huge number of smartphones, it is still important to remember line of sight whenever, and wherever, this can be leveraged.
Where Should you direct your investment for ROI today?
Every brand has a core user base. The type of people that want to hear what you have to say. These people tend to cluster together, and to shop in the same stores. Waitrose core shoppers enjoy house price rises where a new one opens up – it’s that important to them. You need to identify who your core customer is, and where in the country they cluster together the most. Investment there will get you the greatest return. List in new outlets to make their managers and shoppers happy. Combine the two actions for guaranteed short, and long term, growth.
The latest census, that we use, is the most insightful yet. Combined with store by store sales data you can identify your strengths, and measure the return from your carefully targeted activity.
You will hear people tell you the contrary – you should work hardest where you are weakest. However, you are weak there for a reason. If you spend your budget talking to people who are not that interested in hearing, you will need to invest much more to convert them. Wait until you can afford national advertising to build here. There is a direct relationship between the more people who buy your product, and the more loyalists you have. Build first where it is easiest – and don’t just relay on discounts to do this. See why here
Refine your Message
If you want to deliver impact AND ROI it is vital you understand the media to use, and the kind of message that appeals to your target market. Here RVS is working with the British Population survey and redemption data from the largest handling houses in the UK in an initiative we call PULSE Promotion. Not only can we tell you where your core customers live, but we can also tell you which media they are most in touch with, and the appeal they are most likely to respond to.
The IPA say that “Advertising and Promotions are a match made in Heaven” based on analysis they carried out of the most successful campaigns since their records began. This, naturally, agrees with the principle of not letting one channel carry the load on its own.
We identify 3 major groups of people – in terms of their general response to appeals – broken into 20 UK subcategories of people. The largest two sections we call face to face and face to screen. There is a huge divide between them. The former keep their friends close, they prefer to talk to them, and have little interaction on social media. However, they can be extensive users of the commercial internet. The latter use all aspects of the internet heavily, but they are still a small proportion of the UK population. There are a crossover group that use ALL appeals heavily.
If you know who you are talking to, you will get cut through. Click for Case Studies