Opinion: Uncovering the value of in-store campaigns

In the last decade digital media has begun to change embedded attitudes that used to see conflict occur when design and marketing professionals could not prove the value of their work. CPA, ROI or CPT are all fantastic acronyms to help forge links between accountants and the more creative disciplines.

If I can sit down with my finance team and report that it cost me £0.59 to acquire each new customer, they leave the meeting with a smile on their face. It's tangible. More importantly, they are likely to give me a healthy budget to do the same next year.

But what about in-store marketing? How can we achieve the same results, or generate any tangible figures at all?

In-store marketing can be seen as a murky backwater, with little in the way of innovation, aside from an LED here or a fancy motor there. Static print cannot, by its very nature, do the same things that a website can. Investment in this area has always been held back as it's difficult to prove if campaign X was more or less effective than campaign Y. My own conversations with executives have revolved around the notion that one element is too difficult to extract from the cumulative influence of the campaign as a whole. How can I prove that any one piece of point of sale was responsible for the sale of an item or a ticket? Truth was, you couldn't. Not with any degree of accuracy.

Today, the world is a very different place. Google recently installed a window display at the Tottenham Court Road Currys PC World using NFC as an access point to additional content. Blippar has created a way for print to become dynamic and engaging. Apple has thrown a lot of its eggs into a beacon shaped basket that enables consumers to be actively targeted, once they have downloaded the relevant retailer’s app onto their device.

It’s easy to get carried away and excited by these new possibilities. These new methods of communication are simply that – new ways to talk to the consumer. We still need something interesting to say and the innovation we use must be appropriate to the message itself. Just because something can be done does not mean it should be done.

There are a growing number of ways in which a brand can connect with a customer when they are in store, waiting for a bus or even just walking down the street. Innovation is all around us and there's one element that all of these things have in common - they reveal how well a campaign is performing. Critically, we can report all of this back to our colleagues with spreadsheets and calculators, opening the door to a new possibility. Perhaps marketing and finance can finally get along?

Bobbie Andrews is group director for innovation and technology at Lick Creative


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