What can digital in-store do?

 
Nov. 14, 2011 | by Ben Stagg

Digital in-store mediums, such as digital signage and kiosks, are changing the way brands and retailers are able to communicate with shoppers. Digital signage utilizes technology to provide captivating and informative marketing messaging to shoppers. Digital in-store applications are enhancing the relevance of marketing messaging, fostering engagement with shoppers and strengthening the influence of marketing initiatives utilizing two-way communication.

So given what digital in-store can do, what does that mean it can be? It can be an advocate, it can be a point of reference, it can be a trusted advisor and it can be an educational tool. Essentially it can be a full-time virtual salesperson. A stark reality of our current financial environment is that everyone, brands and retailers included, are trying to do more with less. A well-executed digital in-store program can bridge the gap in brand stewardship in the retail environment because it doesn't take breaks, doesn't get sick, has the most current product information, and doesn't get spiffed by other manufacturers.

According to Al Witteman, TPN, the key question is: Where are decisions made on your brand? And, based on that, how do you align your brand equity plans with your shopper-marketing programs and integrate your trade funds against those marketing plans? That has to include actionable shopper insights, which can be used with strategic customers on a customized and localized basis. It also has to include funding for communicating and connecting with shoppers inside the retail environment. When these initiatives are met, shopper marketing is better aligned with marketing.

This is where a digital integration can really start to produce results. The primary attributes of why digital is affecting the point of purchase (POP) decision-making process are: enhancing relevance, fostering engagement and strengthening influence. Technology is now allowing brands and retailers to tailor marketing communication to shoppers automatically based on shopper insights and environmental factors, deepening that crucial connection to the shopper.

It is clear the path to purchase continues to evolve and informational transactions are the catalyst. Shoppers are better informed than ever, thanks in large part to well-executed multi-channel marketing strategies. Despite the near constant state of flux surrounding the "mediums" through which brand messaging is delivered, the end goal remains the same: Demonstrating to the shopper why Option A is a better purchasing choice than Option B.


Ben Stagg / Digital Signage Certified Expert Ben Stagg, director of R&D for Vital Media Inc., is responsible for the technology solutions and deployment infrastructure for Vital Media’s digital signage solutions. Stagg started his own digital signage company in 2004, before selling it in 2007 and joining Vital Media.
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