Once a customer steps through a retail door, brands want their products to capture their attention and dollars. In-store marketing (ISM) is the most useful tool available to achieve both. ISM is the not-so-secret tactic that retail marketers can use to stand out from the competition and maximize conversions at the point of sale. 70% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale.
What is In-Store Marketing?
In-store marketing is no different. From the moment a customer walks into a retailer, your brand has a unique opportunity to capture their attention and convert it into a sale.
Unlike digital marketing or outdoor marketing, in-store marketing takes place solely within… you guessed it… the retail location. ISM is effective because customers are in front of your product and in the purchase decision process.
Examples of in-store marketing tactics include:
- Eye-Catching Graphics
- On-shelf displays
- FAQ Tags
- Instant Redeemable Coupons (IRCs)
- Promotional Display locations
Of course, these are only a few examples. The only limit on what you can do with your in-store marketing campaign is your own creativity and any restrictions the retailer places on it.
Why In-Store Marketing?
The secret to any successful marketing campaign is meeting customers where they’re at in their buying journey, educating them about your product, and then persuading them to purchase your product. In-store marketing is the perfect opportunity to do this for three reasons.
Reason 1: In-store shoppers are engaged
They came to the store ready to buy something. It might not be your product but they walked through those doors, money in hand, and ready to spend. This rarely happens in the marketing world, so it is crucial that brands capitalize on this moment by employing strategic in-store marketing tactics.
Reason 2: Not all brands market in-store
What are you more likely to purchase:
- A shampoo bottle tucked away on the top shelf in the middle of an aisle or…
- A shampoo bottle on an endcap that’s brightly colored and telling customers that it promotes hair health?
Unless you are loyal to a particular brand, you’re much more likely to purchase the stand-out item. We can’t help it, it’s human nature. We’re not too different from birds: we like shiny things.
Be the shiny thing your target customer grabs by investing in visually appealing and educational marketing materials. 64% of shoppers say the in-store experience has the greatest influence on what they choose to purchase.
Reason 3: It’s an opportunity to differentiate your product
Let’s go back to the shampoo example for a moment. Brand loyalty is real and hard to break. So for new brands especially, in-store marketing is the perfect opportunity to educate shoppers about:
- Who you are
- Why your products are different
- How your products will benefit them
Long-standing brands like Coca-Cola employ in-store marketing strategies for a reason: they work. Jumpstart your sales by following in the path of the greats but don’t be afraid to put your own spin on things.
How to Launch a Successful In-Store Marketing Campaign
Deploying a successful in-store marketing campaign requires careful attention to detail at every step.
Step 1: Strategize
Any successful marketing campaign begins with two things:
- A solid understanding of your target customer.
- Sales goals rooted in research and data.
When you understand your customer on a deep level, you’ll be able to better choose colors, messaging, and features that will resonate with them. Using the same marketing strategy to sell to Gen Z and their grandparents probably won’t be effective for either. But narrowing your messaging and speaking to one audience at a time will increase sales within that market segment.
Start your strategy session by looking at past years’ performances, diving into who your customers currently are and where there are market opportunities to grow. Then, choose what type of in-store marketing you’ll use, identify key roles, and start working on the budget.
Finally, work with your retail partners to craft a plan to execute it to perfection.
Step 2: Plan
Planning is a separate stage from strategy. This is where the rubber meets the road and your team gets into the nitty-gritty details. Be sure to include:
A well-thought-out timeline – when will the campaign launch? What steps are needed before the launch to make sure it happens on time? How does your campaign fit within your retailers’ calendar and strategies?
A detailed budget – be sure to account for the additional expense of in-store marketing. Most retailers will charge a premium for promotional display locations and other signage. Then, you’ll need to budget for the development of graphics and text, and materials for the campaign.
On a budget? Revisit your product’s branding. Will the packaging stand out from others on the shelf? Is it informational enough? Are the colors popping?
Identify the roles needed – there will be many moving parts in this campaign. Be sure to task internal team members with specific duties and identify any third-party vendors, like retail merchandisers, you will want on your team.
Don’t forget the planogram – your planogram is your in-store blueprint. If it’s not clear, all your hard work is at risk.
Step 3: Execute
Once you have all the dominoes lined up, it’s time to push them over. Make sure you give thought to who will be executing each step of your in-store marketing plan. From visuals to the actual inventory setup in the retailer, you’ll want tabs on each stage to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.
Tip: Partner with an expert third-party retail merchandiser to execute your in-store marketing campaign. They’re experts in following planograms and working within a retail location. Even better? They’ll help you refresh your campaign to make sure it looks as perfect on day 30 as it did on day 1.
Step 4: Analyze
Perhaps the most critical part of any in-store marketing (ISM) initiative is the analysis. There are two stages of this.
During the Campaign – you need to know how your product is performing at store level. Retail audits can help with this to maintain strong sales throughout.
After the Campaign – you’ll also want to stop and reflect once the campaign finishes. Did it meet or exceed your goals? What didn’t go well? What will need to change to ensure your next strong sales season is even stronger?
ISM Initiatives are a crucial strategy to increase sales and expand a brand’s market share. Third-party retail merchandisers, like us, can help make sure your hard work is executed to perfection and that it stays perfect all the way until the campaign ends.
Schedule a free consultation today to discover how RMS can take your ISM initiative to the next level.