Through the Retail Looking Glass -

Through the Retail Looking Glass

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By David Keene
Executive Editor

As we delve deeper and deeper into the issues at the heart of the new marketing shift to the retail space, it keeps getting "curiouser and curiouser". And I get that feeling, like Alice, that "I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was. Good-bye, feet."
Goodbye feet, indeed. I think we're all feeling that solid ground is receding as we attempt to navigate a new retail environment with changing rules.
New rule #1: in this issue, David Sommer explains that consumers no longer have targets painted on their foreheads, and the usual marketing weapons miss the mark. With the demise of the Target Consumer, we now have a new, Opt-In Consumer. And the old model where revenue was driven by turning "consumer targets" into buyers has given way to a world where consumers control the who, what, when and where of "being reached." But even as the consumer enters the store and becomes a shopper, retailers are not really media moguls. Their first priority is to sell more product, to more people, more often, not to monetize their stores as true media. The solution? Marketing executives need to reshape their organizations to create teams based on what is called variously "shopper marketing, FMOT (First Moment Of Truth marketing), Red Zone, category management, collaborative marketing". Sommer and his team at MEC Retail call it Marketing@Retail.
New Rule #2: Nothing less than " reshaping organizations" is needed for success in Marketing@Retail. Laura Davis-Taylor, also, reminds us of this in her column in this issue.
Good team-building might sound like a trite prescription from a thousand conference PowerPoints, but it's important to focus on the details of this message: It is not a lack of new tools or new techniques, in metrics or anything else, that is holding back the evolution of new models for marketing at retail. The larger problem is the lack of marketing teams that work together, drawing expertise from mass media, Internet, Out-of-Home, and at-retail. (Who should run these teams? Not an easy question to answer. And it's the key question.)
New Rule #3: As the marketing teams addressing the retail space are changed, it's going to wreak some havoc with Intellectual Property rights. The question of "who owns what" in this wild west of disrupted media, and new media, and burgeoning retail media, is going to shake things up this year and beyond. (And spill over to the older, traditional, part of the market. There is some controversy in the retail world as some players attempt to change the rules of the game regarding intellectual property rights, with producers of traditional in-store POP displays being asked to sign off all rights to concepts as well as design-the byproduct of this new confusion of changing marketing teams. In our next issue we'll examine IP issues in detail.)
All the new rules have one thing in common: the changing nature of the marketing team, with players from disciplines that heretofore had no direct working relationship now scoping each other across the retail landscape, all of them having lost site of their feet and lost their footing in mass media, and in retail, and all asking the same question: Who owns the retail space?


Marketing@Retail: the Demise of the Target Consumer

By: David Sommer, MEC Retail/Mediaedge:cia Advertising executives used to talk obsessively about “reaching” consumers.  “Who is our target?  How do we reach them as efficiently and effectively as possible with a differentiated and relevant message about our product?” Technology has now created a world where consumers no longer have targets painted on their foreheads and the usual marketing weapons miss the mark.

The Changing Retail Dynamic

By Matt Baker, AMD I think we've all had our share of look alike trends reports–usually very topical and statistic-heavy but generally leaving us with more questions than we had when we started reading. Going forward from the crossroads in this disruptive time in marketing, where we're seeing a shift to at retail marketing, and a concurrent shift from organizing supply to organizing demand, we need to

Retail–at the Crossroads

By Laura Davis-Taylor At new year’s beginning, I’ll cut to the chase. Numbers are being crunched,  and budgets are being honed for 08. What will happen, or should happen, if the writing on the wall or in the books points toward tougher going  in 2008 due to economic fluctuations and spending cuts? Will new at-retail tools, including in-store digital media, make further progress against stumbling older tools? Or will they too become budget cut victims? The retail outlook and 2008 budgets As we are being hit by some analysts with a panic-laced outlook on retail spending and the 2008 economy, many are concerned about the impact on our industry and what has appeared to be steady progress towards strategic innovation. It doesn’t help that 2007 is not panning out as a banner sales year for most retailers, the holiday quarter is being viewed with some trepidation and the effects of the 2008 election year are upon us. A Co

MEC Retail Taps McGrath

MEC Retail, a division of Mediaedge:cia (MEC), a leading media communications specialist company, announced July 26th that it has named Ann McGrath, Client Services Director. McGrath will be responsible for managing existing clients Colgate-Palmolive, Cadbury Schweppes, and Pepperidge Farm and will focus on building business for MEC Retail and Retail Media Link. She will report to David Sommer, Managing Partner of MEC Retail. Prior to joining MEC Retail, McGrath managed customer marketing agency J. Brown, developing customer-specific initiatives such as menu marketing, co-equity media and top customer planning and programming for clients including FTD, Fort James, Nabisco/Kraft Foods, Dannon and Irving...

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Bringing Research to Retail

Economists define a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative growth of Gross Domestic Product. Before this officially occurs, it can sure feel like a recession. Like right now. Our economist friends won’t officially pronounce that the  U.S. economy is in a recession for another couple of months. But putting lipstick on a pig does not alter the fact that it is a pig, or a recession.    You might now inquire as to how we managed to find our way into this (or, as stated by two other noted economists in 1930 “this is another fine mess you have gotten me into,” MGM Films). The next logical question is, of course, how deep and how long? At the Platt Retail Institute, we like going out on a limb, because economic forecasting is not our day job, and we can’t get fired if we are wrong. Hey, at least we take a position. In any case, our response is a very straight forward: not very deep and not very long. Here is why to both.

Mobile Phone as Key to Digital Retail

By David Keene The Digital Retailing Expo changed its name this year to the Digital Signage Expo, to take advantage of the growing concern for anything digital signage in retail, transportation, education, and corporate environments. But in Chicago this week, the city that arguably gave rise to the modern retail industry, the Digital Signage Expo kicked off under its new moniker with perhaps more buzz about things retail than any other vertical market. On Wednesday, one of the most compelling panels was "Going Mobile". Moderator/Presenter Stephen Randall, CEO of LocaModa, led a discussion with Matt Lindley, SVP and executive creative director at Arnold One (an ad agency); Brian Ardinger, SVP and marketing officer at Nanonation; and Mike Brown of Artisan Live to explore how mobile phone technologies are enabling "the next wave" in digital signage interactivity and place-based communications at retail particularly...

Retail, and the Healthy Child

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