Tuesday, June 19, 2007

POPAI announces initial results of the Marketing At Retail Initiative (MARI) study

In response to the PRISM study being conducted by the ISMI and VNU/Nielsen In-Store, POPAI announced late last year that they would begin their own study of shopper behavior and media exposure in retail environments, with data to be provided around September or October of 2007. The group just announced the completion of their proof-of-concept study, the details of which are in this press release:

POPAI, The Global Association for Marketing at-Retail announced the first findings from studies pioneered by the Marketing At Retail Initiative (MARI). This first proof of concept study was conducted in the United Kingdom at Morrisons and ASDA/Wal-Mart stores. Initial findings show not only the volume of shoppers visiting the stores but the amount of Marketing at Retail materials to which they were exposed to and what materials actually caught their eye.

"This is a significant initiative which will allow brands and retailers to better understand the important role that POP can play in the marketing mix. We have the chance to establish a new language for the accountability of POP that will allow it to be compared with other media. The MARI study will show how POP compares with above the line means of advertising for the first time and will be able to quantify its effectiveness. The study will hopefully reiterate what people in the POP industry already believe, and educate brands and retailers further about the value of POP compliance," said David Martin, Head of brand marketing, ASDA/Wal-Mart.

MARI outlined a series of tests around the world to study Shopper Engagement to begin measuring the consumer experience at retail. Another study in the US has completed work in the field, with the first analytic results beginning to pour out in July. Additional studies are planned in Europe later this year. The Shopper Engagement Metrics trial is the first in POPAI's multi-step vision to position the at-retail medium for the future. This vision includes the development of a Marketing At Retail Valuation platform (MARV) which offers standardize measurement and analysis of placement, materials and messages used in the retail environment to understand what works best to maximize the investment in this medium and the overall media mix. The results shared today not only provide general quantifiable insights into shopper engagement, but more importantly it provides the vast amounts of data required to understand what works best in specific retail environments and product categories.

Important insights revealed for these United Kingdom stores include:
  1. 534 shoppers enter the store per hour.
  2. Shoppers are exposed the 1.6 pieces of marketing materials per second as they navigate the stores.
  3. Shopper's eyes are drawn to 17.8% of the marketing materials.
  4. Walk around displays, table units and revolving floor displays were the most seen display types.
The ongoing project incorporates the use of cutting edge technology including small cameras and video software to quantify levels of consumer involvement. This technology will be able to count shopper entry, provide gender and age group demographics, and measure shoppers' sustained visual contact with advertisements throughout their store visit. The software will also be used to develop thermal floor maps of shopper pathways illustrating hot and cold spots in the store and its relationship to the various in-store categories.

Early results from the technology show that there are affordable applications on a broader scale. Lessons learned from this study were applied to the US field trial and will provide a comparison and contrast for not only cultural differences, but improvements in the methodology.
While the early results aren't necessarily earth-shattering, they do represent an important first step in the non-profit group's quest for media measurement at retail. With more results promised later in the year, we may actually have the benefit of working with two sets of numbers -- both PRISM's and MARI's -- before long.

Tags: PRISM, MARI, POPAI, retail media

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