Understanding Field Marketing, Written by NOP World
In a recent interview a successful UK retailer was asked to describe his ‘ideal’ customer. His response was immediate: ‘My ideal customer is someone who makes a purchase, who is sufficiently satisfied to then come back again, and who recommends my store to friends and family’. The response also revealed why the retailer was successful: his business strategy was long-term and focused on using the in-store experience to generate repeat business.
Recent consumer research conducted in the USA confirms the critical importance to customers of their in-store experience:
• In some categories, over 70% of buying decisions are made in-store. This emphasises the importance of merchandising activities.
• Up to 60% of customer defections are due to poor interactions with staff in-store. This emphasises the importance of assisted selling.
Consumers have an ever-widening choice of products, many with a daunting array of features and functions. As a consequence, retailers increasingly rely on below-the-line activities to promote products at the point of sale. The effectiveness of these promotional efforts is determined not by how well they are designed, or how good they look when presented to the marketing director, but by how well they are implemented in the only place that matters – in front of the customer.
A recent audit revealed that only half the UK retail outlets supplied with POS materials by a global media company had implemented them correctly. The company estimated that half of its investment in the POS campaign was wasted. The same audit revealed that, in a majority of outlets, retailers’ knowledge about the product being promoted was, at best, poor and, in many cases, simply wrong.
Statistics such as these emphasise the power and influence of a well-executed in-store merchandising programme. Such programmes inevitably require significant investment – an investment that, in many cases, is wasted because of poor implementation.
In contrast, and as a direct result of a programme conducted by NOP Field Marketing on behalf of a company manufacturing PDAs, month-on-month retail sales in the UK leapt by 107%.
Our successful UK retailer realised that he could better manage the in-store customer experience if he broke it down into two stages: merchandising, assisted selling. Merchandising is about getting the customer’s attention and generating their interest in a product once in-store. Assisted selling is designed to turn this interest into purchase.
NOP Field Marketing programmes focus on effective implementation, so helping to ensure that merchandising activity generates maximum consumer interest – at the point of purchase – in a product’s benefits, and ensure that assisted selling converts that interest into sales.
Merchandising includes both strategic and tactical projects, such as:
?• Auditing and Visual Display Checks Auditing is an essential element of compliance and covers:
- Recording OSA
- Recording facings
- Ensuring 100% outlet compliance, such as for POS installation or stock change
- Ensuring equipment is working
- Ensuring availability of literature and other materials
- Ensuring compliance with price changes, special offers and promotions
- Ensuring brand standards are implemented Visual display checks are used to ensure legal and code of practice requirements for POS materials are met
?• Promotions and Sampling NOP Field Marketing expertise includes the planning, execution and management of promotional and sampling activities, from one-off leaflet drops to nation-wide customer recruitment drives.
?• Distribution and Warehousing The late delivery of product and other materials to point-of-sale can cause delays to promotional and merchandising activities. NOP Field Marketing provides the logistics support to ensure 100% in-store availability.
Assisted Selling includes: • Staff Training The launch of new or enhanced products often needs to be supported by a sales training campaign. NOP Field Marketing staff can provide the expert temporary resource needed to cover the features, benefits, and sometimes the mechanics, of the product.
Whether it’s an expensive advertising campaign or simple curiosity that brings consumers to your door, once in-store, it’s the impact of merchandising and knowledgeable, helpful staff that converts awareness or interest into a purchase decision. If you would like to know more about how NOP Field Marketing can support your in-store merchandising and assisted selling activities, please contact:
Alan Holliday – Managing Director
King Charles House,
Park End Street,
Oxford OX1 1JD
? NOP Field Marketing 2005