Field Marketing is More Effective
Field Marketing is more effective than any other form of advertising because it can measurably impact sales in a very direct and accountable way.
“Half of my advertising budget is wasted away. Unfortunately I don’t know which half” is the quote attributed to John Wanamaker, Philadelphia retailer and marketing pioneer. Even with the advent of digital advertising it is difficult to account how ads exposure and clicks translate into actual unit sales.
Difference Between Solid ROI and Lost Sales
“Per our study (Adweek), in the U.S. 39 percent decide brand choice inside the store and that decision is most frequently triggered by a product demo versus other activities. Twenty-nine percent of shoppers buy products impulsively in-store. How would you rework your marketing if you had this information about your brands?
Activating brands in-store is the single biggest investment most manufacturers should make today, and using a shopper insight-based approach will be the difference between solid ROI and lost sales.”
In Store Demo Campaign
Any field marketing manager can easily figure out the complete cost of in store demo campaign. Understanding factors that contribute to return on this investment is a little more challenging. Most brand builders realize that the product sales during in store demo are only one piece of this puzzle. While it is easy to measure it is only the tip of the proverbial value iceberg.
Another contributor to in store demo profitability is the product residual sales uplift that often lasts weeks after initial event. You need help from the grocer’s POS data or your distributor”s sales reporting to detect and measure it. Keep in mind that grocers benefit greatly from your in store demo investment, as these events lift sales of an entire product category and promote more traffic in their stores. Your demo reports data also has value to both grocers and distributors, and can be used to incentivise them to pool your information resources together as it enhance the value of this information for all.
Brand Awareness contribution of In Store Demo
Lastly, the brand awareness contribution to profitability of in store demo is often targeted, but rarely measured. We have borrowed a methodology from CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) calculations as it is commonly used in digital marketing to simplify brand awareness contribution estimates and incorporated it into the Demo ROI Calculator available free of charge.
To build this Calculator, we analyzed data collected during thousands of in store demos, including sales numbers for demonstrated products, day of the week variations of foot traffic during the events, and number of shoppers who tasted a product without purchasing it. We also looked at follow-on sales of these items for four-five weeks after the events. This data is a critical asset in your drive to secure more and better shelf space in the stores.
Retail transactions done online afford customers, wholesalers, retailers and even the manufacturers, the luxury of conducting business anywhere at their own convenience. With speed and accuracy, operations can be carried out smoothly - one can therefore see the dilemma traditional independent grocers face. The concerns about falling traffic in your stores are very real as over 71% of consumers trust that they can find better prices online.
So how do you as a traditional retailer survive and most importantly thrive amidst the disruption and turbulence caused by ecommerce? Below are some ideas to increase sale in retail stores.
The first key to survival is to retain and increase foot traffic in your store - this is one of most important grocery store marketing strategies. The good news is that 94% of retail sales are still conducted in brick and mortar stores. Even with the ease of ecommerce, people still prefer a physical experience, a relationship, an interaction with the product or the retailer. This is what defines us as humans - our desire to interact.
The Major Keys to Survival in this Volatile Retail Environment
One of the best strategies to boost number of customer visits in your stores is to leverage this human desire to interact and to discover new experiences. Try to re-imagine your store as an event space which your customers see as being a fun place to visit - not just the place they need to go for weekly provisioning. Promoting limited time price discounts (TPR) on popular and well known products only leads to erosion of margin.
“If consumers come to expect price cuts as the rule rather than the exception, then price promotions lose their ability to boost sales and become unprofitable. “
Consequently, one of the major keys to survival in this volatile retail environment is the creation of exceptional customer experience in your stores. Retail leaders realize that customers now have a plethora of choices available to them. Surely, the store that provides the best experience is certainly where the customers will throng to. In essence, the traditional grocers have the advantage over ecommerce giants in providing quality customer experience through in store demo and other event based marketing strategies.
According to a survey of 1,786 US grocery shoppers conducted by Food Marketing Institute.
“Among all regular food shoppers, brick-and-mortar supermarkets continue to enjoy a clear edge over online grocery retail in perceived performance on key evaluation criteria, especially in providing fresher produce (a top store-selection driver) and better customer service,”
According To a Survey
With the ever dynamic nature of retail today, there is no way you can talk about improving customer experience without including in store demos. This refined tactic helps to draw customers, boost sales of demonstrated products and also improve the sales of other products in that category. To withstand the barrage of online competitors, you have to think of an in-store demo as a network of events rather than one elaborate show. Knowing the right product to demo, duration of each demo and location for the demo are very crucial to your stores survival. In order to measure the impact of in store demos on your stores’ Sales Per Customer Transaction, you have to consider
Understanding return on investment for these promotional strategies can go a long way in attracting the sponsors for them. Analysis of data, collected effortlessly by your POS, holds the key to leveraging vendor’s promotional budgets for increasing foot traffic in your stores. Any quality in store demo agency or vendor’s field marketing organization collects valuable data specific to the demo events they conduct. Cross referencing POS with demo data can produce empirical evidence, that would entice vendors to demos in your stores all day long, and that will lift:
In retrospect, arming yourself with the right information and tactics will give you sufficient leverage in the unstable 'waters' of retail. Reaching out to your customers, giving them the very best and improving on your operations are essential tips for relieving the pressure of online competitors.
There are several write ups about Amazon acquisition of Whole Food Markets with everyone attempting to clearly state their own opinion. This is seen from different sectors including pundit specification from industries which is channeled towards an unavoidable disruption of the grocery industry. This is with the primary aim of having an analysis of the Whole Foods price reductions. Joining the choir was my own way of offering my opinion and observation from an industry ecosystem participant perspective.
Whole Foods Stores
Over the years, there have been a scale up in the traffic seen with Whole Foods stores. This was noticed only after the acquisition as well as lower pricing of some selected items. However, vendors, distributors and brokers have sent no reports showing that they are dissatisfied with the internal operational changes. Complaints about the availability and quality of organic produce on the store shelves are becoming quite disturbing and these complaints are received mainly from the Whole Foods shoppers.
Whole Foods Management
There is currently no evidence to indicate a positive change from the perspectives of shoppers or the grocery ecosystem. There are only indications to show that a hands off approach to Whole Foods management was adopted by Amazon as they continue with the implementation of operational initiatives even before acquisition takes place.
Major grocery retailers are already announcing their significant investments into technology. This is with the aim of combating Amazon’s scour for food to their territory. The likes of Kroger have already started to court smaller, regional product brands threatened by Whole Foods abandonment. This may be a good development for nonindustrial food manufacturers, when and if it materializes.
Analysis you would find are only focused on the impact of the Whole Foods changes on publicly traded companies. There are only few write ups about how the food brokers, independent groceries, demo agencies, small batch product manufacturers and merchandisers are affected by the changes. In fact, there are only evidence to show that there is lower foot traffic as well brand promotional activities on the store floors of the aforementioned. However, many grocers we spoke to are in denial that a small grocery eco-system will be materially affected. And that is a mistake.
Thanks to Jeff Bezos's relentless focus on the quality of customer experience, i.e. long term sustainability of Amazon business, everyone assumes that the acquisition will produce some magical result and force a major change in how we buy our food. So far this "earthquake" is yet to produce a tsunami of change. Amazon does not always succeed, but it succeeds most of the time. Change now. Before you have to.
The small and independent grocers can obviously not compete with bigger technological investments, rather they can mobilize partners within their ecosystem to provide a better and more personal experience to their shoppers. This should be their prime focus because Whole Foods sidelines their trade partners who helped them to become successful, independent grocers could use this opportunity to forge closer alliances to provide more engaging shopping experience in their stores.
In recent years, retail has evolved into a business where proficiency, versatility and creativity are all needed to become very successful. Brands no longer market products just to make profit alone. You might be wondering where I am going with this, but humor me a bit. Brands now strive to appeal to the customers emotions. They want them to feel attached to the brand or product or even the store. This spurs the people to get the product at any cost. There are various techniques through which brands make this happen and one of those strategies is a successful in store demo. The best way to get to your audience is by capturing their attention and what better way to go about that than giving the people a feel of your amazing product.
In store demos are ways brands and retailers engage with the shoppers directly, fostering human connection that will help them in experiencing the product. You may wonder whether in store sampling are necessary for all stores - well, they are, especially if the area of specialization is very competitive like food products in grocery stores and supermarkets. These demonstrations are cheap investments in making sure you stand out among the rest.
We can say to an extent that your performance as a grocery store lies in the success or failure of your marketing strategy. Thankfully, positivity is one of the tenets of retail and that's why we'll look at the essentials of having a memorable in store demo.
PROMOTE PRODUCTS ON THE STORE FLOOR
This is an essential tip for you to have a successful marketing strategy. However, this depends on the effectiveness of such promotion techniques - Let me explain. You are not just going to attack the customer or force him or her to try the product. NO! People like it when you approach them calmly and speak confidently about the product. Most likely, they might have heard of similar products but your job is to give them a feel of that they have never heard before. This will give them the impetus to want to try the product. Furthermore, successful in store demo programs are done with care and precision. They are well planned and coordinated because in the end it is your reputation and revenue that is at stake. You would not want to see one of your customers going to another store to get the product elsewhere. Brands promote products on the store floor because of the lower customer acquisition costs which is preferable to the conventional or digital advertising.
THE BEST BRAND AMBASSADOR
It is important to have an experienced brand ambassador in your corner as he or she is a major stakeholder when it comes to in store sampling. In addition to recruiting a certified influencer, you will need to find a profitable location where you know your products are going to thrive; a place where traffic is just right for you and your store. Let's look at these two extremes to get a clearer picture of why location is important to you and the brand ambassador. If your store is situated in a place with low traffic not even the best and most creative packaging will save the product demonstration there. On the other hand, if there is too much traffic, your brand ambassador might be swamped and end up giving out too many samples that do not turn into sales. Double bummer if you ask me. In essence, find your product niche and settle there.
SUCCESSFUL IN STORE DEMO
There are a lot of intricacies when planning for a successful in store demo. You have to be able to combine these steps to get positive results. First of all, you need to consider the shoppers demographics of the store. Make adequate research on the type of people that come into the store on a regular basis, know the age range, sex, religion, background of some of these people. In store sampling will be easier this way. You then have an idea of how to plan for subsequent demos with the information you already have. Plan a frequency with which you can schedule a series of demos in that store. You already have an edge with the information gathered from the research. What some smart brands do is to invest in a small number of stores instead of wasting money on many stores in a bid to cover the whole market.
LATEST RESEARCH TO MEASURE DEMO PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS
All that has been said are all key elements in achieving a successful in store marketing strategy. However, without understanding how to measure the effectiveness of the program, you might get stuck. Let's look at some metrics that are apt in measuring in store demo effectiveness.
Traffic management: This explains the percentage of shoppers who stop to taste the product in the store.
Product engagement: It represents the amount of time the shopper spends at the demo table, which may include interacting during the product demonstration
Conversion rate: This is more like a combination of the previous metrics. It is the percentage of shoppers who tasted the product and went on to make a purchase.
NPS ( Net Promoter Score): It is a management tool used to gauge the loyalty of shoppers or customers relationships.
Conclusively, There are a few other tips that were not examined but are also essential for a successful in store demo. You need to come early for the setup preferably at least 30 minutes to meet with the demo coordinator . Also, have every employee or majority of the employees in the store try your product. This will help in promoting the product even more. Another tip is to bring flavors the store doesn't have.
It is very important to note that an in store demo program cannot happen without a quality product. Hence, before you think about all the elaborate marketing strategies to captivate the people, you need to make sure that you have the right product. Bearing that in mind, you need to understand that times have changed, customers have evolved and you need to join the wagon in improving your product and profit making strategies.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
Some brand activation managers find it hard to get a quality brand ambassador for their product as this is a very crucial aspect of their business. Firstly, recruit a professional. Someone that is experienced and reliable; who would invest time in learning about your product. Secondly, take out some time to train the ambassador, provide him or her with the primary source of information about the product. Another point is to select an ambassador with the relevant personality, someone who can stand by his or her word. Finally, maintain strong relationships with the person, get to know each other and take it up from there.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE A PRODUCT TO A CUSTOMER?
You can ask the employees of the store to try out the product. Surely, they will get employee discount but understand that this will work in your favor. The employees of the store will have better rapport with the customers and no matter how much research you do, the employees will know them better. Also, during product demonstration, you have to give the customers facts, especially things they haven't heard about. It is a good way of promoting a product to the customers.
In marketing, in store demo refers to the demonstration of products in large retail locations such as shopping malls or supermarkets in order to attract potential customers. In store demo is a means of introducing customers to products with the hope of getting them to purchase them.
One of the advantages of in store demo is that it gives customers the opportunity to taste or touch the products before they buy them. A product demo is one of the best sales tools that can be used when you have a high quality product for sale. A product demo is a very effective way to make potential customers know about your new products and the features. One of the important sales demonstration skills is to know your audience. The key is to put together what each customer cares about and make them available.
During in store demo, don’t just show your audience the products, engage them by allowing them touch, feel or hold the product. Also, don’t make a product demo like a sales pitch; spice it up by injecting anecdotes or telling funny stories. Avoid making turning an in store demo to a training session; stick to the basics.
Planned product demos are one of the best ways to introduce a consumer to your products. If well planned, it can get the attention of shoppers and passersby which will in turn increase the sale of your product.
The Objective of the Demonstration
The benefits of in store marketing cannot be overemphasized. It increases the sales rate of the brand because consumers who see the products in the middle of a shopping spree are most likely to buy the products. It also gives customers the opportunity to try something different from the brand that they are used to. Below is some of the key importance of in store demo
1. Creation of Desire
In store demo helps in creating desire of purchasing a product in passersby or shoppers. For instance, in a grocery store where cookies are offered to customers who wait to watch the product demo, the customers may like the product and they may decide to buy more quantities of the product. Or if it a coffee machine, you can invite customers to come up and try out how it works and this in turn may spike up their desire and can lead to an interest in purchasing a coffee machine.
Product demo provides visual aids which enhance the quality of your sales presentation. Some customers prefer to see a product in order to grasp its value and potential. The ability to feel, see or even smell a product can be more appealing than just listening to a sales pitch. In store demo provide potential customers the opportunity to see the features of a product and can strengthen their desire to purchase the product.
2. Brand Positioning
In store demo aids brand positioning which involves differentiating your brand from your competitors’ brand and this helps give a lasting impression on your target audience. A well defined brand position gives your brand several advantages which include providing a conceptual framework for your brand, marketing messages, services and pricing structure.
In store demo aims at communicating to your consumers the unique features of the product you want them to purchase. It gives producers the opportunity for direct communication with consumers about their product and its attributes and the benefits it provides. In store demo helps your brand stand out in competitive retail markets.
3. Consumer Education
In store demo offers potential customers the opportunity to closely inspect products during a product demonstration. Printed information can be given to customers to enable them get a better grasp of the demonstration. The demonstrator should take up the role of a teacher and educate the consumers about the way a product should be used. Consumer education helps improve day to day satisfaction with your product and increases their trust in your brand.
Customers’ satisfaction soars when they are properly educated in the way a product works or how it should be used. During in store demo, customers become engaged in a product demonstration and this in turn increases their likelihood to purchase your product. Increased engagement in a product leads to higher chances of renewal or repurchase of the product.
In sales demo when properly carried out can increase customers’ loyalty to the product as a result of proper customer education.
What is In Store Demo?
In store demo is a form of product demonstration that is usually performed at large retail locations such as shopping malls and supermarkets in order to introduce potential customers to a product. It is an effective way of making sales, if properly done.
In grocery stores, in store demo gives consumers the opportunity to taste a particular product and this in turn increases the likelihood of the consumer purchasing the product if he likes it. In store demo can help sway a consumers’ buying preference and help boost sales and increase brand loyalty.
In store demonstrators must be professionals who can connect with the consumers in a way that will increase their likelihood to purchase the product and they must be knowledgeable about the product and always ready to provide answers to customers’ questions.
Why is Product Demonstration Important?
The importance of product demonstration cannot be overemphasized. It helps boost brand awareness and increases product sales. When customers have a closer, out of the box look of the product that is on demonstration, it affords them the opportunity to touch or feel the product.
It also gives producers the opportunity to tell customers the features of their products and teach them how a product works. Product demonstration gives demonstrators the chance to show their knowledge skill and answer questions about the products. It boosts brand loyalty and helps in swaying the interest of consumers to the products and if they like it, increases the possibility of a repurchase.