actual engagement Tag

This groundbreaking patent should have both retailers and manufacturers losing sleep at night

Last month, Amazon was granted a patent for a technology described this way: “The technology can identify price comparisons, coupons, special offers, interest within a second location, and availability of the products. It can then counter offer the in-store visitor a lower price or incentive in the form of a coupon or offer through text message, email, or push notification.”  In layman’s terms, this means your retail store and product’s appeal better be more than just price alone.

By now we all know that Amazon is trying to own and sell the world, not only with dry goods, but with fashion and groceries as well. Furthermore, their introduction of a Hispanic Amazon site as well as discounts on Amazon Prime membership for low-income members are expanding its reach toward retail domination. However, this new technology, if introduced, takes things up a notch. Or two. It would immediately redirect shoppers to their site, no matter where they shop.

You can’t compete on price alone!

Why should I go to your store rather than shop online?

  • You have fashion advisors. Does everyone know that?
  • You have classes in photographing children at home. Who did you tell?
  • You have a deli that makes the freshest sandwiches. Is that clearly noted outside your store and in your ads?
  • You sell exclusive, imported ice cream. How would ice cream devotees know this?

These enticements could mean extra visits and increased spending in your store.

Do you really believe in your product? Why? How do you communicate these features to your intended shoppers?  Your packaging should do more than just be “noted” on the shelf. It must instantly portray superiority (better taste, higher quality ingredients, better cleaning capabilities, longer lasting, etc.)  on critical attributes. If this is only portrayed in copy on the package, then unless your consumer is engaged enough to pick it up and study your claims, you are just more expensive than the Amazon-hyped brand.

What is your image in your advertising and marketing? Are you “cool”? Are you what everyone should be looking for? While the shelf (or computer screen) might be the last second of decision, personal product biases are well-established before the “moment of truth.” It’s not just whether they recall your ads, it’s whether they were impacted by your message regardless of ad zapping, ad clutter, streaming video, and competing pop-up ads.

Don’t wait for the train to hit. Move the tracks now.

As a retailer or manufacturer, you have the power to make your stores and/or products fun, unique, and desirable. But you have to do the homework now, before it’s too late.

I can be reached at 201.569.4800 or dan.morris@pretesting.com.

Report from the Amazon and Walmart war – the secret to success in the new battleground.

Let’s face it: It’s time to stop focusing on what you want your consumers to see and time to start focusing on what actually engages them in the real world.  Your Consumers’ Perceptions – not your own – are your brand’s reality.

Enough of the ancient metrics to measure performance!

In today’s world, why focus on unaided brand recall, tagline playback, and illustration recognition? With today’s e-commerce shoppers, nearly all brands are present before them. What do they see in your brand that engages them and separates you from your competition?

Recalling your ad or your tagline doesn’t mean consumers will buy your product. Seeing your product on the shelf is worthless if it stays on shelf. You need to generate positive engagement if you want to convert consumers. Our studies have found that an engaging e-commerce package presentation can increase its purchase by as much as 40 percent!

Seeing is not enough; you need engagement!

Had enough of paying for endcap headers that aren’t seen, POSM materials that are ignored, and free-standing displays that aren’t restocked? PTG’s nondescript truVu glasses have revealed that while certain display elements engage shoppers, most are noted, but promptly ignored. In fact, too often consumers can’t even recall why they purchased one brand over another.

Our data has shown that spring-loaded product displays discourage over 25 percent of shoppers from picking up and considering the product, simply because they don’t want the bother of having to put the packaging back! On the other hand, we’ve found that samplers and immediate tie-in discounts nearly double shopper engagement.

Measure ad engagement, not GRPs!

Have you wondered why traditional commercial skipping rates haven’t climbed? The answer is simple—because millennials and Gen-Xers don’t even bother with the remote control. They go straight to their smartphones when forced commercial breaks appear. However, over 92 percent of them will skip ad pre-rolls when given the opportunity. Their attention span for advertising hovers around six seconds.  If you haven’t engaged them by then, they’re lost, as are your ad dollars…

Stop pretending the world is perfect!

Most package testing research is simply unrealistic. Using ideal planograms, perfectly aligned product placement, and exposures with all labels clearly on display is just not how it appears in the real world. And with the test product placed in the center of the display, at eye level, and with full SKU counts?!

We’ve found that these planogram displays can seriously mislead clients and give them a false impression as to what they can expect in the real world of shopping. Only engaging packages can compete in cluttered environments, with incomplete SKU displays and placed in unfavorable shelf locations.

Knowing what really engages shoppers in real-world environments can stretch your marketing dollars multifold! Ignoring real-world consumer shifts can result in significant loss in market share. The choice is yours.

I can be reached at 201.569.4800 or dan.morris@pretesting.com.

5 Tips to Keep Your Marketing Wits in a Topsy-turvy Consumer World

YouTube is launching a 40-channel network, while traditional TV viewing keeps falling. The use of ad blockers has reached the 47 percent level worldwide, while Google admits that 92 percent of viewers skip pre-rolls when they can. Long-leading brands are seeing huge brand share erosion, while “natural,” “organic,” and imported brands are taking over store shelves. Coke and Pepsi are out, water and club soda are in. Beer and Craft drinks are out, wine and whisky are in.

What’s a marketer to do? 

1. Forget what was. Look to what’s next
Hoping for the return of the past—high TV show ratings, newspapers, retail stores, and respect for “authority figures” endorsing your brands—is pointless. Instead, look for the next trends, and reshape your marketing plans and new products. Be quick and take risks, because the former trial time lines don’t exist anymore.

2. Don’t use the “standard” metrics for measuring success
Brand recall isn’t as important for online ad performance because there are no commercial pods to break through. Instead, engagement is the key, because if you don’t capture consumers’ attention within the first few seconds, you have lost your audience. Likewise, stop testing package designs strictly for in-store, on-shelf performance. More and more products are being purchased online, without high SKU visuals. If your individual package doesn’t have high engagement on the eCommerce page, you lose the sale.

3. Think about new ways to reach your audience
Advertisers are experimenting with ways of directly delivering discounts, coupons, and information through signals embedded in standard content—TV, radio, online, in-store, and so on. These signals are inaudible and don’t require the phone owner to activate their apps or WIFI. The messages are customized to the phone owner and the offers are “invited in” instead of being pushed on them. This will be the future of engaging target audiences if the old advertising model starts to fail.

4. Understand how consumers really shop and interact with your brand
Using nondescript glasses, advertisers are learning exactly what engages or turns off shoppers as they go through stores or surf the Internet. Small changes have been found to make substantial differences in product sales.

5. Stop partnering with suppliers who cling to the “old world”
You are fighting a new marketing war with new rules. Using suppliers who are fighting with outdated weapons will prevent you from achieving your goals. Focus groups cannot tell you how your audience will react in the real world or to real media. Likewise, “forced exposure” testing systems are providing “ideal” results, not what will happen in a competitive world.

If you are going to try to understand the new marketing world, align yourself with partners who share your goals and have tools to engage.

I can be reached at 201.569.4800 or dan.morris@pretesting.com.

Product noting is important, but actual engagement is required to predict true success.

There are a variety of methodologies available in the marketplace that record eye movement and note when products have been seen on shelf. And, as a result, clients often come to PTG looking for us to assist them in measuring how successful their product is at being distinguished among the competition.

As part of these conversations, we explain to our clients that on average 7,000 packages are noted during a simple supermarket trip, yet only 17 items are actually purchased. Often, noting of a product is just required to find the desired product usually placed alongside it. What this means is capturing noting does offer some valuable information; however, evaluating noting in the absence of actual consumer engagement can lead to false results.

Here’s an example that we often share to illustrate our point. Our research has found that noting increases dramatically when a key brand like Kleenex is removed from the shelves. In the absence of additional data points around consumer behavior, this increase in noting would lead one to believe that there was sustained interest in other facial tissue brands; but the reality is, the uptick in noting was the result of consumers searching the shelf for the missing category leader.

When the same scenario was tested using PTG’s truShelf simulated store environment, our patented Saccadic Eye Movement Recorder measured actual consumer engagement and product interaction which provided a much more comprehensive understanding of respondent involvement. For example, we were able to report the degree to which respondents zoomed in on a product, examined a specific section on a shelf and read ingredients on a package – line by line. This level of information not only provides the tactics and recommendations needed for improvement on the shelf, and at the component level, but it also serves as the critical information needed to prove or disprove the noting data. In the example above, our simulated shopping methodology rightly concluded that something was amiss on the facial tissue shelf when noting was up but consumer engagement was nil.

Why is measuring Saccadic eye movement so important? Saccadic eye movement is a biometric indicator that objectively measures cognitive processing. In order for the brain to gain a visual picture of a stimulus, the eye must vibrate and provide constant streams of information to the center of the retina called the fovea. The more visual information the brain wants, the more actively the eye vibrates. These mini-movements are known as macro-saccades. In order for the brain to remember a specific visual, the eye fixates and stops moving for a fraction of a second. These macro-saccades and fixations reflect an empirical level of respondent behavioral engagement that is uniquely recorded by PTG’s patented Saccadic Eye Movement Recording system.

Interested in learning how measuring engagement with Saccadic eye movement is more effective than noting and more indicative of future sales success? Let’s talk. I can be reached at dan.morris@pretesting.com.

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