Monday, October 30, 2006

RetailWire asks: What do consumers want from in-store media?

All too often, we wonder what do retailers, or advertisers, or CPGs, or media buyers, or a whole host of other groups, want from in-store media. However, as Adrian Weidmann asks in a recent RetailWire BrainTrust Query, what's in it for the consumers? More specifically, he asks:

In today's media cacophony, what the consumer wants is helpful and enlightening filtration. Surprise and delight them and you'll begin to gain their trust! Digital media networks are inherently multi-channel (in both marketing and technical terms) but must first be architected in environmental context and implemented to help the consumer (and retail associates). Upon that foundation, trust is built one brick, click and clip at a time. Having established this ecosystem, the consumer will then allow commerce on their terms.
As usual, the responses, from a wide range of media professionals, are excellent and demonstrates multiple distinct points of view. Here's the interesting challenge with asking (and answering) this question, though. As noted, everybody who answered works in advertising or marketing. Sure, we're all consumers, but in the context of such a discussion, we're marketers first. Compounding this problem is the fact that whenever we do a survey or a questionnaire or a customer intercept, we don't get genuinely useful data. Sure, somebody might do an intercept outside of a Wal-Mart and ask, "what did you think of the in-store TVs?" If the person answers that he didn't like the system, that's something valuable. The media registered enough to cause a genuine reaction. But most people, due to simple human nature, will offer some kind of noncommittal response which doesn't help the marketer improve things at all.

And forget about asking people what they'd like to see. A marketing firm can't expect the average consumer to spend enough time really thinking about what kind of ephemeral in-store technologies might improve the shopping experience, at least not where in-store media is concerned. If it doesn't impact pricing or the speed at which a shopper can navigate the store, most shoppers are going to have a very hard time offering any useful suggestions about the retail media landscape.

Tags: retail media, in-store TV, in-store radio, retail tv, retail television, digital signage, store media

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