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Retail Engagement

Posted: November 8, 2007, from the November 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Displays are also being customized for specific retailers, possible through advances in digital printing on a wide array of substrates. This also makes short and medium runs cost-effective. “The days of the one size fits all display is dwindling,” said Jim Hauser of Imperial Graphics, Inc., a company that builds displays for POP.

In addition to MMB and complementary to interactive POP, brands can take advantage of cell phone technology to engage consumers and draw them into the retail arena. Smile Reminder, for example, is a program that sends reminders of appointments directly to an email account or cell phone via text message. The technology allows spas, for example, to send out personalized e-newsletters, birthday or holiday greetings, and surveys. This program can also be used to remind consumers to reorder products or invite them to in-store marketing events.

While these efforts may drive consumers into the retail environment, it is the engagement within the bounds of the brick-and-mortar surroundings that drive sales.

Engaging the Consumer

In the age of the Internet and technological advances that have turned cell phones into Web browsers and music players—while also enabling the ability to bypass traditional advertising—marketers have found that traditional 15- and 30-second spots playing on a monitor in the retail arena no longer grab the consumer’s attention. Retail is moving from talking at the consumer to interacting with them, driving both sales and education.

“Truly, the significant advances taking place in the marketplace, especially in retail, fall under the most popular heading: engagement,” said Tony Rizzaro, CEO and founder, Studio IMC, a company that provides interactive multimedia to POP. “It wasn’t long ago that interactive had it’s day, but now the focus is on engagement as the new buzzword.”