Every day, more and more customers are opting to shop online, choose curbside pickup, and home delivery rather than visiting stores. This leaves impulse purchases driven by new products, line extensions and in-store promotions virtually untouched by many consumers.

If a customer does shop the old-fashioned way, fierce competition for their attention begins immediately once they cross the threshold. With CPG brands spending up to $1.7 trillion on influencing shoppers in-store, a trade dollar dilemma is occurring in the marketplace. According to Nielsen, an estimated of 72% of in-store CPG trade spending is unprofitable.

Marketing platforms that introduce brands to consumers “near-store” instead of “in-store” is an effective way to influence shoppers. Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, drive store traffic, or promote in-store promotions, near-store market activation platforms seamlessly do all three before they even enter a retailer.

Near-store market activation brings unique brand experiences to consumers within proximity to stores where consumers can purchase the products. Through both personal and digital experiences, a company drives awareness of brands, key in-store promotions, and where the products are sold, all through near store activation platforms.

Experiential Activation

For example, Farmers Market, one of ArchPoint’s leading client brands, makes use of our own experiential platform, holding events at community events near stores and hosting parking lot events. While allowing pets to try Farmers Market pet food, pet owners are educated on the brand’s features and benefits and offered coupons to use in-store. Farmers Market continually uses a trial mechanism to motivate buyers by harnessing the power of their gratification.

According to 80% of event attendees, live demonstrations and free samples significantly help define their purchase decision.*

If events are memorable and engaging, consumers are more inclined to post about the event on social media. This positive feedback only further promotes the product, cultivating buzz about brands and what they have to offer through word of mouth. 33% of users said they would take photos or videos during an experiential event, according to an online survey.*

This combination of sampling and providing consumers with a promotional offer has a greater impact on their decision to buy in a today’s world where online, curbside pickup and home delivery are continually decreasing store trips.

Digital Activation

Another way to support in-store promotions is through the use of near-store market activation digital platforms. For instance, IP-targeting is a method that uses IP addresses to target specific consumer demographics within a 3-to-5-mile vicinity of the stores where products are sold. This allows businesses and marketers to take on a new approach to online advertising in order to connect and engage directly with their targeted consumers. By matching physical addresses with data that is compiled offline, and marketers can deliver relevant display ads to consumers who match the targeted profile, with precision efforts.

For example, a customer that matches the brand targeted profile, within proximity to a store that the brand in distribution, would receive display ads on their mobile phones, desktops, tablets inviting them to learn more about the product, available promotions, and where the product is available.

Tim Hortons, a leader in the K-Cup Coffee industry, used IP-targeted display ads to drive awareness and promote in-store offers to drive sales and trial. By serving ads to a specific consumer within proximity to store locations, Tim Horton was able to distribute over 2.7 million relevant ads over the course of the 2-weeks and reach 100,000 households in a 3-mile vicinity of their grocery store distribution. Not only did IP-targeting succeed to raise awareness for the Tim Hortons brand, but it also was able to achieve a sales rate 30% higher than any previous promotional period.

In-Home Activation

Many think direct mail may be outdated or too low-tech, but research suggests otherwise. According to Forbes, while email achieves a 0.12% response rate, direct mail brings in 4.4%.**** Direct mail builds an emotional connection to a brand because of its tangible nature. Consumers pick it up, try it and form a deeper connection – very similar to what is achieved with near-store activation events.

Curoxen uses direct mail campaigns to educate and provoke trial of its all-natural first aid ointment. Their strategy is to communicate to mothers who currently use national antibiotic-based brands that there is a natural, non-antibiotics alternative that heals five times faster and reduces long-term antibiotic resistance. Curoxen sends small sample packets and coupons to their target consumers within a 3-mile proximity of distribution. This campaign allows consumers to try the product, informs them on where the products are available to purchase and creates a call to action through special-offer couponing. Simply said, direct mail cuts through the clutter, offering the opportunity to put your products and advertising right in your customer’s hand.

Near-store market activation platforms prove to be essential to drive more sales and raise brand awareness by creating novel experiences for customers to experience brands and form strong relationships.

ArchPoint is a leader in near-store market activation, regularly bringing innovative solutions to increase brand awareness and drive consumers to purchase for our clients. Contact Patrick Muskivitch for more information.

**DMR Report http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/10-print-marketing-statistics-know/
***Canada Post https://www.canadapost.ca/web/en/home.page