Consumer brand manufacturers depend on brick-and-mortar retailers for the majority of their sales, yet without having a physical location themselves, how do these marketers capture a greater share of in-store revenue where the vast majority of consumer purchases are made?
To better understand the consumer brand
opportunity, let’s first look at the retail sector where the shift to mobile marketing has been quite dramatic. Ninety-one percent of retailers have a mobile strategy in place according to
Forrester Research and Shop.org, and for good reason. Whether at work or at play, the majority of consumers today are always on and always connected via their smartphones and tablets. Retailers have
begun to capitalize on this trend by optimizing ads around out-and-about shoppers physically near the retail advertiser’s store, benefitting from the frictionless opportunity in mobile to guide
shoppers along the path to purchase.
Does this mean that location-based advertising is only relevant to brick-and-mortar retailers, local services businesses and restaurants? Many marketers and agencies seem to share this view, but in fact, any product or service that is purchased locally has a local path to purchase -- an opportunity that brand manufacturers can leverage to drive more sales.
Product inventory completes the path to purchase for consumer brands
Product inventory has been the missing link to optimizing the mobile path to purchase for consumer brands. Consider your own shopping behavior:
· Say you’re a fan of Nike’s latest line of neon-colored running
shoes, and you especially like the green ones. There are a number of retailers in your neighborhood that carry Nike, but do they have the exact model, color, size, fit and style that you want?
· Or you just saw the ad for the new Tide Plus Febreze Freshness Sport, which you think is exactly what your kid’s soccer uniforms need. But does your regular grocery store carry this unique line extension among the dozens of other Tide line extensions? Maybe -- maybe not?
The only way to find out is to try phoning stores to check on their
inventory. You might get a quick and easy answer, or you could get the runaround and waste your time. You can simply go shopping and walk or drive around town trying a number of different stores. But
what if you could immediately be directed to the right store? Or better yet, get that information after you express interest in the product by clicking the ad on your mobile device while you’re
on the go to see several nearby locations that currently have the exact items you’re seeking in stock?
This is a perfect example of how product inventory fills a void. Combining product inventory data with location-based mobile ads creates motivation for consumers to truly engage not only with clicks, but also with physical movement along the path to purchase, benefitting the shopper, the brand and the local retailer. So how does product inventory get integrated into marketing programs? This is where technology comes in.
New technologies and
mobile marketing platforms available today integrate with retailer inventory systems, allowing product marketers to hyperlocal advertise products based on real-time availability and providing a
frictionless path to purchase for consumers. With these innovative new approaches, consumer brands can for the first time develop and implement a truly hyperlocal marketing strategy to increase
product awareness, collect real path-to-purchase metrics and truly drive sales. Access to the real-time availability of products and brands on the shelves and hangers of hundreds-of-thousands of
stores in the U.S. makes this possible -- encompassing everything from clothing to electronics to health products and beverages.
The result is a win for brands, retailers and consumers. Brands benefit from increased local awareness of their existing and new products combined with product availability data that motivates consumers to engage and become customers. Retailers get more local traffic in-store and increase sales. And consumers quickly and easily find exactly what they want at a convenient location where they can buy. If you’re a consumer brand marketer and have yet to develop a local marketing strategy, now is the time to start -- or risk falling behind your competitors.
Local marketing strategy coupled with technology integration is definitely the key for local marketing success. It's exciting -- national brands now have the opportunity to not only capture local demand and increase sales, but to also truly support their local partners. Thanks for the great article--I'm very interested in reading more articles about local mobile and real-time data.
Really nice piece. I agree that product inventory is a huge part of the puzzle. There are a number of solution providers tackling this, including the likes of Retailigence (www.retailigence.com/). It would be great to hear form others to see how this opportunity is being addressed. Thanks for the story.
Great article. We've been successful at driving foot traffic for our retail clients by leveraging Milo's real-time inventory to direct users to the nearest store that has the advertised product in stock.
Thanks for the article. Consumer engagement and targeted marketing based on buying behavior can be the key further connect with those customers.