Imagine going on a date with a person whom you have met online or through a friend. At the time of the meeting, you discover that this person has a poker face. A certain unsolvable mystery. Do you intend to invest time and emotion with this person? The answer is easy. Never!
This what a person feels when he/she tries to buy a product off the shelf. To decide and choose are the most critical and confusing decisions a person faces. This is the time when they are most vulnerable.
Providing the right assistance at that specific moment opens up a window for an interaction and might convert that person into a consumer.
This is why POP advertising remains integral to any marketing mix. But it is also important to understand the dynamics of POP advertising. The role and function vary for different categories. For example, a confectionary brand which is driven by impulse purchase behaviour, needs to have eye-catching POP advertising. While on the other hand, an electronics brand will have more functional POP with details about the product; and large ticket items will have a more personal sales persuasion.
Decoding the path to purchase of a consumer is the key for marketers to plan where and how to infuse their brand before the sale is closed. So let’s take a step back and observe the different stages of purchase:
Definition - This is where a person defines the need for a product.
Investigation & Exploration - Investigating the available products to solve that need is the next step. This can happen online or offline. Reviews play a key role at this moment.
Identify - Collecting knowledge and experiencing the product follows.
Consider & Purchase - This is the step where the final purchase is made.
Each stage poses a potential for the marketers to influence the consumer. From creating the need for a specific product, to providing information and influencing decisions, POP becomes one of the critical parts of the marketing mix. A POP program can vary from displays, packaging, in-store advertising and on-ground sales push. The tough task is to choose the program which fits into the larger plan.
At the definition stage, other mediums such as television, radio and print advertising play an important role. However, the exploration stage is where a consumer partially makes a decision. In the past few decades, we have seen the introduction and growth of digital as the medium. While people like to explore to gain knowledge about a specific product on the internet, POP still remains a promising and effective medium for the marketers to attract and influence the consumers.
Apart from helping the consumer, POP helps bridge the gap between the understanding of the retailers and the consumers. With a growing number of platforms from where a consumer can derive information regarding a product, it becomes critical to maintain consistency of messaging throughout retail stores. It will help diminish confusion and contradictions.
POP advertising helps consumers make decisions or influences them to change one. It is the science of knowing what the consumer wants and the art of how to influence.
Let’s take a look at how POP helps a marketer to influence the consumer.
Reinforce - A well planned POP program helps reinforce the message and acts as a reminder medium for the consumer. It aids other media vehicles to drive the message. POP helps influence and convert a consumer who has been exposed to a certain kind of advertising before she enters the store.
Direct - A million options to buy under the sun and huge shopping infrastructures, can sometime be intimidating. It’s all about utilizing your consumer’s time. Either let them find the product that they are looking for or guide them in the right direction. This gives an edge to the brands to have more quality time with the consumer. You’ll be talking to a more focused person who wants to buy.
Stand-out - With so many options on shelves and a small on-ground sales force, sometimes brands go unnoticed. On some occasions, retailers have their favourites. In such cases, it become vital for brands to have eye catching, attention grabbing POP with key information.
Target - As compared to mainline media vehicles, POP is more targeted. It helps marketers reach a specific demographic consumer without announcing it to the whole world. It allows marketers to map the demographics with product needs and create a customized POP plan, which is a lot cheaper than other mediums.
The Details - While we advertise our products as a revolution in human history, the fact is, product sells only on key attributes. It is imperative to understand your consumer’s needs; what are the issues? Why did the need arise? Use this understanding to create the apt POP - which appeals to the needs of the consumer, and not to the whims and fancies of the art director and the brand manager ;) Providing the right details will help the consumer to make a choice.
Low-cost - Developing and implementing a POP campaign is a lot more cost effective than other mediums like TV and radio. Also, marketers can keep the excitement buzzing in regular intervals by developing new POP, at a very low cost, which is not possible to do on other media vehicles.
Offers and Promotions - Who doesn’t like a sale? Surprise your consumers with a coupon, sample or an interesting sales promo. POP advertising gives marketers the advantage of advertising such sales promos personally in-store which leads to quicker closure on sales.
The goal of POP is to create a sense of urgency. It creates an impact, just as a television commercial does. Disruption is key.
With changing dynamics of the market and consumer buying behaviour, it is essential for brands to think out of the box and come up with new ways to catch the consumer's attention. The consumer is getting smarter with accessible information and has a plethora of options to choose from.
These are tips for healthy dating and creating new relationships. If you think we can help, contact us.
Because at BTI, we don’t just create brands, we help you create meaningful relationships… of course with your consumer ;)
Below are some samples of POP programs that we've developed for our clients.
Interactive POP can engage customers and create a memorable brand experience.
On shelf POP or displays with simple messaging will help your product stand out amongst the clutter.
Customers love discounts! Ongoing promotional based POP can help a customer make a purchase decision, and help sales associates close sales.
On-product POP is effective in educating customers on features and benefits that are important to them.