New white paper offers DS How-To primer for retail

February 23, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Industry veteran Bill Collins, who these days runs the research consultancy DecisionPoint Media Insights, is releasing a white paper today that gives a theoretical overview for why in-store digital media is needed in retail.
The paper, co-authored with Dorothy Allan of Dallas-area ad agency TracyLocke, also lays out a practical step-by-step approach to developing these kinds of networks.   

In-Store Digital Media: How to Reestablish Retail’s Role as a Mass Consumer Medium (click that link to go to downlaoad page) explains “how retailers can leverage shopper-friendly digital media technologies that deliver marketing and branding messages to consumers inside the store, at or near the point of sale.”
Collins sent me a copy last week and I had a chance to read the 33-pager on my flight to LV. It’s not surprisingly a solid piece of work that represents aout 18 months of planning, thinking and compiling. There’s a fair amount of borrowed material from Paco Underhill’s book and the Lighting Up The Aisle book written by Laura Davis-Taylor and Adrian Weidmann, but there’s no shortage of original thinking and more so, guidance.
As you might expect, the paper comes out strongly in favor in-store digital media networks, concluding they “can provide shoppers with the kind of effective digital media experience they have come to expect from online marketing.”
Among the key findings:
  • do pilots first, 90 days, 10 stores, two markets
  • the Chief Marketing Officer should own the project
  • create a brand/style plan for the network that dovetails with the retailer’s overall brand and style plan
  • hire competent creative people
  • evaluate the pilot through proper research, asking shoppers what they like and dislike
  • zone the stores and tune content appropriately
  • don’t let the IT guys make the software decision
  • retailers need to think long and hard before handing off DS creative  production to their regular agency
  • you’ve got three to five seconds to make a point with your content, not 15 or 30
Now most of this stuff is forehead-slappingly evident to people around this space, but remember industry vets are not the audience for this.
I like this passage in the report:
Retailers need to understand that they are no longer in the business of simply selling products; they are now in a business of theatrics. They must leverage their space to provide the best experience and the most relevant products for their customers, making their stores a unique experience and highly “shoppable” for their clientele with the right assortment of merchandise based on segmentation.
Somewhere between the first word of this paper and the press release, Reflect Systems (disclaimer: a competitor) went from paper sponsor to co-author, which is kind of funny.
Anything that provides more guidance for retailers is a good thing in space. There are still not enough examples of good stuff in the retail marketplace, and no end of stuff that wasn’t thought through ands doesn’t really work.
The report is free and the authors don’t even make you go through so monkey business leaving your name and email, etc.
Thanks for the hard work guys, and decision to get it out there, instead of trying to squeeze $900 a pop out of people who wanted it. 

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