Tag Archives: business

Marketing ‘Health’ In the Age of Additive

This post was
originally published on Kelton
Global’s blog.
Looking around at health and wellness messages across
industries, I’m struck by how much our perspective on ‘healthy’ has shifted.
After all, it wasn’t that long ago when Richard Simmons had us Sweatin’ to the
Oldies, and The Beverly Hills Diet recommended cutting out nearly all the
major food groups in the crusade for a lean physique.
Fewer consumers are aspiring for the ‘ideal body’.
Deprivation and ‘no pain, no gain’ health messaging is still
out there, but a rising trend is rendering these tried-and-true tactics less
effective. The focus of the conversation around health has gone from
subtraction (minimizing calories, dropping pounds), to addition (benefits,
rewards, and how much one has to gain). In a nod to Positive Psychology, it’s
no longer solely about making improvements in terms of better physical health,
but about achieving a more balanced, healthy outlook on diet and fitness. The
shift in thinking is so prevalent that Kelton’s Cultural Insights team is
calling it out as a full-blown movement around Additive Health.
As the pursuit of ‘healthy’ moves away from fixing what’s wrong and
toward optimizing health and wellbeing as a lifestyle, brands need to
reposition and speak to these changing perceptions. After a thorough analysis
of emerging trends in Additive Health, Kelton uncovered three impactful brand
messaging principles that brands can use to speak to this new ethos. Every
health-related brand should incorporate the below tenets into their messaging
toolkit in order to stay relevant in the face of this new trend:
Emphasize potential
gains, and avoid highlighting opportunities for ‘loss’.

Once an omnipresent message pervading all things health and
fitness, weight loss-centered marketing has lost its luster in recent years.
Sure, people still want to drop some pounds. But at the same time, more
consumers are realizing that a mindset of deprivation and negativity is a
barrier to achieving health-related goals. They’re turning instead to proven
techniques like rewards and affirmative statements. Focus your messaging on the
advantageous outcomes of getting fit and healthy’like increased energy,
confidence, and strength, and position physical and superficial benefits as
secondary byproducts. This will inspire shoppers to incorporate your product
into their daily routines.
Double down on social

Think about ways that your product or service can bring
people together in the name of wellness, whether it’s offering a traditional exercise course, run club, or something else that caters to
. Offer a means of entertainment, social connectivity, or even a
little indulgence, in order to cultivate a sense of community among your
brand’s biggest advocates.
This tactic can work both online and off. Consider
integrating elements of positive reinforcement’ including social and personal
payoffs’ into the digital consumer experience, to help consumers internalize
progress and transform sense of self. Programs like Vitality and Fitocracy link
elements of gaming, rewards, and digital coaching to engage users and maintain
Be inclusive. Recognize the broad-spectrum audience that
aspires to behave and feel healthier.
Instead of using actors and models for your next marketing
campaign, look to incorporate people who resemble and think like your broader
consumer base. Fewer consumers are aspiring for the ‘ideal body,’ thanks at
least in part to an increase in candid body positive messages from high profile celebrities.
This trend of body acceptance has reached a crescendo, with Barbie now
available in four different body types and the first ever plus size model
featured on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.
Showing unrepresentatively fit or thin individuals is not
nearly as impactful to today’s audience as featuring people and situations that
the average person can relate to. Leverage social listening to find out the
broader goals that your audience is striving for, and design your messaging to
speak to those ambitions.
 The Additive Health Movement has positive potential
for consumers and brands alike, and is an incredible opportunity for companies
to highlight the role of their products and services within a holistically
healthy lifestyle. While no one can say for sure how long this movement will
last, it’s no mistake that the most relevant fitness brands broadcast the
high-level benefits of wellness and downplay the role of aesthetics.

Level Up: The Possibilities Brought to Life by Pok??mon GO

By Zoe Dowling, Lead
Research Strategist, FocusVision
In the few weeks since Pok??mon GO’s US release, it’s become
a hands down winner for this summer’s ‘craze’. Future generations will likely reflect
on these times with the same fondness as with the hula-hoop or (more recently)
the ice bucket challenge ‘ but for smartphones the needle has forever been
A Friday evening walk on Los Angeles’ Redondo Beach Pier
mirrored many landmark locations around the country ‘ a majority of visitors on
the Pok??mon hunt, many of whom came furnished with mobile battery packs and
chargers. Beyond the volume of active players, it was striking to note how
inclusive the game is ‘ from tweens to grandpas; from individuals and couples
to groups, everyone wanted to catch ‘em all.
What drove Pok??mon
GO’s unprecedented popularity?
Given the inclusive fan base of the game, its popularity
isn’t just a result of the 90′s kids eagerly reliving their youth, nor is it simply
techies delighting in the technological convergence and execution. While these
are contributing factors, there’s more going on.
Pok??mon GO is
The internet, social media and smartphones facilitate a
connectivity and global reach to the extent that memes and trends spread almost
instantaneously. News about the game swept across the country and the globe.
People want to be part of the newest trend.
At the same time, the game’s easy (and free) entry allows
anyone with a smartphone to participate themselves. Within minutes of opening
the app, you experience the wonder of being virtually positioned within your
physical location and catch your very first Pok??mon where Augmented Reality
delights. Perhaps also Pok??mon GO highlights the universal popularity of mobile
casual gaming, although maybe for the first time it becomes a visible, in fact
public, activity.
Pok??mon GO merges
technologies in a way that its predecessors didn’t succeed
Maps aren’t new to gamers but location-based gaming appears
to have gone mainstream. The use of GPS and walking your virtual character
around your physical world is very neat.

Aside from tracking your movements on the map, your physical and virtual
location are also linked by Pok??stops. Here you pick up Pok??Balls and other
items to add to your stash while learning about the micro-landmarks in your
immediate vicinity. During my first walk I discovered that my local diner is 40
years old and that the town library gardens are home to a small remembrance
fountain. Not to mention countless, hitherto undetected, Pok??mon to add to my
The inclusion of Augmented Reality (AR), which some rightly
say is a limited aspect of the game appearing only when you encounter a Pok??mon
and attempt to catch it, nevertheless delivers one of the most ‘wow’ moments,
being the final convincing glue between your physical and virtual worlds. These
technologies, coupled with classic game elements of a mission based activity
where you are awarded experience points, level ups and engage in traditional
video-game combat, deliver a compelling experience.
Pok??mon GO allows
users to concurrently escape and explore their world
Finally, it’s possible that the game brings a welcome relief
from this year’s bleak newsrooms. It provides a moment of escapism that you can
share, even just with slight smiles and nods, with the people around you.
Bringing us together, albeit for a brief moment, in an increasingly fragmented
 The branded advantage
Whatever the reasons for Pok??mon GO immense success, it has given
us a glimpse of possibilities with geo-location and AR that up until now have
felt more like a futuristic hyperbole. The opportunities extend well beyond the
gaming world. For brands, the race is on to capitalize upon people’s engagement
with the game and drive traffic to their retail environments. Furthermore,
well-considered partnerships can also help position the brand as a player
within the cultural conversation.
McDonald’s Japan became the first official brand partner
with 400 restaurants as ‘gyms’ and the remaining 2,500 sponsored Pok??stops but
there’s also been many instances of unofficial linkage with signs on shop
windows offering ’10% discount for any Pok??mon captured here’ and countless
social media posts by brands all eager to be part of the moment.
Will Pok??mon GO
impact market research?
It’s hard not to start considering the implications for
research. From an immediate perspective the smartphone message, which should
already be loud and clear, is booming. People have smartphones. People are
using smartphones. This is where we’ll find them.
The willingness to use GPS and having your movements mapped
is an interesting one. In many ways, people already give out this information
freely with check-ins on various social media and review sites but perhaps this
takes it to a new level.
What would a shopper journey look like using an app with a
map overlay? What if there were virtual items within the retail environment
that people found during their journey to signal a feedback loop? What if we
could use AR to have people select items from a set of features and overlay
them to create a view of the environment as they’d like to see it?
In matter of few short weeks, this type of interaction with
research respondents feels entirely possible rather than a pipe dream. The
challenge now ‘ turning the potential into a reality.
Happy hunting!
About the Author: Zo?? Dowling
is the Lead Research Strategist for FocusVision, the global leader in research
technology. Her extensive background includes quantitative and qualitative
research design, data collection, analysis and report writing. She is an expert
in internet and mobile research, specializing in respondent engagement, as well
as online and offline qualitative approaches, including interviews, focus
groups and usability testing. For more information, visit FocusVision.com.

Infusing Cultural Thinking Into Your Business Strategy

This post was originally
published on Kelton
Global’s blog

Understanding culture is crucial for any business that wants
to stick around long term. But culture is a challenging thing to grasp at the
organizational level because it’s big, amorphous, and ever-changing. To
co-opt an idea popularized by the philosopher Karl Popper, culture
operates more like a cloud than a clock: a swirling and
continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a single
Businesses, on the other hand, have a comparatively ordered
structure. They tend to want to use clock-like approaches to tackle the cloudy
cultural challenges at hand. This yearning for measurement and simplicity comes
through in questions like:
When does a trend ‘officially’ become mainstream? If we decide to adopt this tone of voice or design, will
Millennials buy our products? What color signals ‘edgy’?
Many crucial aspects of business benefit from structure, but
this ordered approach won’t help businesses to solve their most pressing cultural
challenges. In the cloudy reality of cultural phenomena, linear cause and
effect and simple divisions of reality seldom exist outright.

Take, for instance, the ever-changing cultural dialogue
around masculinity. There are literally thousands of new images and messages
being shared every day ‘ some of which challenge the more traditional
assumptions, and some of which reinforce them. In the middle, brands like Target
are incorporating a softer, more fluid, set of cues in a traditional ‘patrizate-friendly’
way. In the world of consumer values and brand perceptions, far more of the
challenges that we face are ‘cloudy’ than we might imagine.
Grasping the deeper cultural dialogues around things like
masculinity, femininity, fun, beauty, style, and the like will be
impossible if you’re looking for machine-like predictability or linear cause
and effect. The best problem-solving approaches blend technical, linear
‘clockwork’ thinking with creative, lateral ‘dynamic’ thinking. While a
thorough initiative is best guided by a bona fide Cultural Insights researcher
(shameless plug), there are some things that an organization can do on its own
to infuse cultural thinking into the strategic mix:
1. Pay attention to
the fringe
If a competitive brand feels fresh and new in the category,
they’re likely tapping into something that we can learn from’ even if they’re
small in comparison. The fresh ideas in the category now are
often candidates for its future, especially in quickly-changing categories like
food and beverage, consumer tech, and retail. 15 years ago, how many of us
brushed off the idea of health(ish) fast food?
Action Step: Include ‘extreme’
consumers in your qualitative research, and look at the edgier elements within
your category, including crowdfunded ideas.
2. Use Cultural
Insights for early and exploratory initiatives
Use Cultural insights early on to challenge some of the
entrenched ideas around how your category or brand is working. Then, explore
these hypotheses in subsequent research. For example, if your brand refresh
involves looking at emergent ideas in beauty, use CI at the outset to
come up with a range of territories, and then use consumer insight and
co-creation work to nail the best iteration for your brand.
Action Step: Incorporate Semiotics and Trend Analysis
into your research mix at the outset, expanding the number of ideas in play.
3. Harness
‘Expectation Transfer’
Consumers grow accustomed to certain norms in one category,
and the expectations for these norms are slowly demanded of, and adopted into,
other categories. This phenomenon, known as Expectation Transfer, can
cause categories to disrupt not only their own verticals, but others that
feel ripe for reconsideration. Leverage expectation transfer for your brand by
staying extra observant of shifts in other verticals, and adopt them before
they become a standard to stay ahead of competitors.
Action Step: Widen your scope (in landscape analysis
& consumer research) to more than just your category. Try to intuit what
these brands have captured about the consumer, and incorporate that into your
4. Find natural
places to impact the conversation
In ways that are often hard to measure, brands have the
potential to influence the wider cultural dialogue just as much as they reflect
it. Don’t wait for a good idea to be fully entrenched in the
mainstream ‘ or your category ‘ before acting on it.
Action Step: Look to make public stances in ways that
bring your brand’s point of view & key equities to life, and be bold in
defending those views.
5. Use social
listening to inform hypotheses
The Internet itself is a highly organized system, but the human
activity that takes place on the Internet is much more of a churn.
Leverage powerful social intelligence platforms to make the cloud-like swarm
seem a little more clock-like.
Action Step: Set up a social listening dashboard
following key sentiments and influencers (but be sure to avoid the pitfall of
seeing it as a measurable stand-in for the complexities of the real cultural
Culture operates more like a cloud than a clock: a
swirling and continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a
single snapshot.

With so much to see, hear, and read, culture is
absolutely fascinating on both an organizational and personal level. By
simply reframing how they think about culture and using the available insight
tools in accordance with this new way of thinking, brands can get ahead of the
curve and fully understand where their consumer is headed.

Insights as a Vehicle for Influence: Every Consumer is a Well-Informed Researcher

By: Amanda Ciccatelli,
Content Marketing & Social Media Strategist, Informa
Insights have become a vehicle for influencing marketing and
ultimately, the world. That’s why next in our Insights as a Vehicle for
Influence series, we sat down with Paul Donagher, Managing Director, Market
Strategies. In our conversation, he shed some light on how omnichannel is
impacting retail, how shoppers are shaping the future of retail, where retail
is going in the next five years, and more.
How has omnichannel
impacted retail positively?
Donagher: From a
consumer perspective it has opened a whole range of researching and buying
opportunities, or ‘instants of intent’. The intent has to be on both sides of the
relationship, where both the consumer has the need and the marketer has the
opportunity to have their brand positioned perfectly with the proper
connections planning. Connections planning is really what omnishopping is all about ‘ furthermore, we
believe that the best outcomes for marketers start with a thorough
understanding of consumers both from a category and brand perspective. This can
only be achieved through properly conducted research that uses all of the
attitudinal, behavioral and neuro approaches at our disposal.
What can retailers do
better to embrace the omnichannel customer journey and experience?
Donagher: Our
research shows that the relationship from the retailer side has to meet 3 key
criteria ‘ Seamlessness, Centricity and Experience. We conducted our own qual
and quant research that really narrowed down the requirements for retailers to
these 3 broad buckets.
How are shoppers
shaping the future of retail?
Donagher: The
information is all on the Omnishopper’s
side. They are better informed than ever before’which in itself poses questions
and provides opportunities to retailers.
What are some shopper
insights lifecycle best practices you can share?
Donagher: We
spend a good deal of time trying to illuminate what we call ‘Day in the Life’.
Of course, depending upon the category, the Omnishopper journey and the
constituent path-to-purchase can be weeks or longer, however we use the notion
of a ‘Day in the Life’ to look for the key sequencing that matters to the
brand. The ‘instants of intent’ I mentioned previously have to be uncovered and
the reasons for those instants (needs, motivations etc.) have to be properly
Why is it important
to link digital and physical shopper marketing?
Donagher: That’s
what the Omnishopper demands ‘ the notion of seamlessness I mentioned. The
Omnishopper loves the research capabilities of digital and the in-store benefits
of in-store (shopping with friends, touching the product etc.). From the
research perspective, understanding digital is the big opportunity. We
continually look for those data sources that are ‘organically’ created for us
and were not necessarily created for market researchers. Whether it be big data
or something else, these data exist and we are uniquely placed to capture,
process and analyze them for marketing purposes
How does omnichannel
customer experience impact customer loyalty?
Donagher: We hear
a lot about the lack of loyalty among Omnishoppers. We think that is premature
but that loyalty may have to be redefined as will associated loyalty programs.
How is digital
reinventing retail?
Donagher: Every
consumer is a well-informed researcher ‘ they know what to look for and where
to look for it.
Where do you see
retail moving in the next 5 years?
Donagher: There
have to be more ways for every party in the transaction to be compensated. If I
research on one site but then buy in-store or vice-versa, each party has
performed a service. We hear a lot of discussion on how to make sure everyone
is compensated for their part in the purchase.

Want more on this topic?
Attend OmniShopper International this November in London, England. Learn more
here: http://bit.ly/2aSfoLS

Virtual Reality in Market Research Today

By: Gina Joseph,
Communication Manager, InContext Solutions

The uses for virtual reality (VR) are growing in leaps and
bounds, and market research is no exception. During their OmniShopper
presentation, InContext
‘ Rich Scamehorn and Amy Hebard proved that VR has a place in
research, today and tomorrow.
Right now, virtual 3D simulations through the computer are a
tried and true way of conducting research. Respondents can stream the in-store
simulations from their own computers and provide behavioral and attitudinal
insights for retailers and manufacturers.
Yet virtual reality headsets, such as Google Cardboard, Gear
VR and HTC Vive are beginning to make a splash in the research and marketing
arenas. Only a small percentage of the population actually owns VR headsets,
but companies can still start to think about ways to utilize the technology to
glean in-store insights like never before. How?
Respondents might use a headset to ‘shop’ a virtual store
while at the same time being asked questions and giving their impressions. They
would be able to pick up products using hand tracking, look at them in 360-degrees,
and decide what they want to buy. This is similar to a typical shopalong IDI
interview, but done in a completely virtual space, which means you could
display items that don’t even exist yet, or products with new designs. It could
also be used to create planograms or collaborate on planogram changes across
Branded experiences were another way companies can measure
and market new products or campaigns. Taking a VR gaming experience that
involves your brand into a store environment could garner interest. Researchers
can use that same VR technology to measure the impact of the VR branded
campaign before it even launches. These types of campaigns could potentially
create a deeper level of consumer engagement, one that will resonate beyond the
experience and into sales.  
The challenge, Rich and Amy said, is to get over the
skepticism and fear of VR, and just try it. The goal is to learn about VR
through experience, and then create experiences that will help you engage with
your shoppers.

Exclusive Interview with Microsoft: New and Emerging Data Sources

At TMRE last year, we
sat down with Reed Cundiff, General Manager of Customer and Market Research at
Microsoft, to discuss the impact of new and emerging data sources.
Here’s a sneak peak of the interview:
Why do we need new or
alternative data sets or data sources these days?

Cundiff: It’s
simply a natural evolution of how our discipline has evolved for decades.
Thinking about what we bring into our stakeholders as we are trying to drive
business impact, and thinking about new data types is just a simple part of the
natural evolution.
As these new data sources are coming online, then the
question is: If we don’t look at how we can incorporate them into the insights
that we bring to our clients and our internal stakeholders, then odds are
somebody else will. So, let’s think about doing that in a more integrated way,
as opposed to having the insights that we bring sit in a silo that then sits
next to another data silo.
What kinds of new and
emerging data sources are capturing your attention?

Cudiff: One that
we’ve been working on for a number of years to try and get our arms around and
make meaning out of has been social data. I don’t think Microsoft is alone in
thinking that the information that exists in social data applies to our
category and a variety of other categories. So that is something that we spent
several years trying to understand in detail. In particular, not just
understand volume metrics, not just what sentiment looks like around a given
theme or category, but really understand how what’s going on in social can
relate to, in fact, ideally predict what happens in the offline world.
The second area is behavioral data. Microsoft has a wealth
of information that comes online, especially as we move into a services world
where we are able to gather data around how people are using our products at a
significant level of depth. Tying that with the perception data that we already
pull together can help us get a much more well-rounded picture of what’s
happening with a customer, a competitor within a marketplace as whole.
To watch the full interview, click here: http://bit.ly/29tceh8
Reed spoke at TMRE: The Market Research Event 2015. TMRE
helps command the boardroom by delivering actionable strategies to leverage
insights as a vehicle for influence. The best in the industry will converge to
talk technology, disruptive trends, professional skill development, hot new
sectors, and the future customer.
Download the brochure
for this year’s agenda: http://bit.ly/29khNzk
Don’t miss out!

Use exclusive Blog discount
code TMRE16BL for $100 off the current rate. Buy tickets: http://bit.ly/29khNzk

Top Marketing Analytics & Data Science Trends of 2016 (Infographic)

48% of companies surveyed still do not have a dedicated data science team! Learn how to hire and retain top data scientists at the Marketing Analytics and Data Science Conference! 

Insights to Reach Shoppers Where they Plan, Shop & Share at OmniShopper

What does the physical store environment have in common with
a digital shopping cart and a mobile phone?
Even just five years ago it may have been difficult to bring
the pieces together, but in today’s retail landscape, it’s easier to connect
the dots. It’s a connected consumer.
You know that the retail industry has been undergoing a
major transformation. But what are you doing to adapt and keep up with the
changes? Let OmniShopper 2016 be your
partner for success.
OmniShopper has a reputation for attracting the most elite
and sharp-minded retailers in the industry. 
The 2016 event is no exception.
We’re uniting retailers with their brand partners to, collaboratively define
the new retailer/manufacturer partnership and address total store shopability
to create successful omnichannel experiences now and in the future.
Featured sessions include:
Jet.com, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Unliever,
PepsiCo and ConAgra discuss The State of the Industry: The Future of Retail,
including technologies driving retail innovations, complete shopper control,
how the rise of eCommerce/omnichannel mentality has impacted traditional retail
sales and much more.
Mall of America reveals how they used emerging
technologies like robotics, virtual reality, social media and mobile to
Innovate the Physical Retail Space.
Wrigley explores how to Collaborate to Drive
Impulse in an Evolving Retailer Landscape. 
The Hershey Company, Bayer and Campbell Soup
share how to Reach Shoppers Where They Plan, Shop and Share.
Plus, INDUSTRY LEGEND Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize Winner in
Economic Sciences and Best-Selling Author, Thinking, Fast and Slow will take
the keynote stage: A Conversation with Daniel Kahneman to Understand What
Shapes Our Choices, Judgements and Decisions.
As humans, we think we make rational decisions, but the
truth is we are subject to many biases that affect our decision making. Daniel
Kahneman explains the two systems that drive our thinking. Everything from
personal happiness, playing the stock market, making purchasing decisions, and planning
a vacation can be understood by knowing how these systems shape our judgements
and decisions. Should we trust our intuitions?  
Have a question you want Daniel to answer? Tweet it using
hashtag #OmniAsksDaniel and we’ll add it to the schedule!
Download the 2016 agenda: http://bit.ly/1XfAlkG
Use code OMNI16BL for $100 off the current
rate. Buy tickets here:
The future of retail won’t be defined in isolation. Make
your voice heard at OmniShopper this July.
The OmniShopper Team

Research Teams Must Be Bold, Agile and Embrace Change in the Digital Age

Is your research operations team ready for the new face of consumer insights? Today, it’s key
for research teams to remain relevant in the midst of changing digital age and
be able to create a roadmap to success to stay relevant.
Ryan Shell, founder & CEO, The Home T, knows this
better than anyone. He sat down with us in an exclusive interview to shed some
light on how research teams are changing in the digital age and why it’s
important to be agile.
How are research
operations teams changing in the digital age?

I may be one of the few people in the United States that
didn’t watch Mad Men when it was on TV, but I recently started binge watching
it on Netflix. While watching the first few seasons I couldn’t help but notice
that some of the research techniques that were done “back in the day”
are still present in today’s environment.
Things such as focus groups surely serve their purpose,
especially for making billings higher and giving a client something flashy to
see, but there are so many digital tools at our disposal to drastically
increase the research lifecycle. The faster we obtain research to enable
strategic decisions to be made the faster we have an opportunity to positively
impact revenue and performance.

Research operations teams in the digital age are faster,
leaner and smarter. And I might also add that they are bolder when it comes to
decision making.
Why is it important
to be an agile market researcher today?

Agile market research can at times be hard for traditional
researchers to get on board with. The train moves at a fast pace and it can
change tracks with ease. 
While this may not have been how things occurred during the
Mad Men era, it’s a required pivot based on today’s consumers buying behavior.
They simply don’t wait months for you to make a decision or to get something
Want to hear more from Ryan? Hear his presentation ‘I Didn’t Get Eaten
by the Sharks’ at TMRE in Focus: The New Face of Consumer Insights later this

From the producers of TMRE: The Market Research Event, The New Face of
Consumer Insights explores how companies are redefining their structures,
processes, skillsets and team composition to ensure future relevance in this
fast changing environment. To learn more about the conference and to
register, click here: http://bit.ly/1Uwdpxk

Growing planned store visits for increased wallet share

By: Sam
Elphinstone, Group Head, the numbers lab, Firefish’s quantitative

Researching retail is fascinating.  Whilst always a dynamic and exciting category
it has recently become even more so, as brands seek to seamlessly join their
digital and non-digital offers.  The ultimate
aim is to present customers with a slick and enjoyable experience, minimising
the opportunities for customers to disengage and maximising share of wallet.
Whilst preventing people from leaving the
purchase funnel is of huge importance, there are some other considerations
identified from research carried out specifically around fashion retail that
can play a significant role in whether or not a sale is achieved.
Chief amongst these considerations is increasing
the likelihood that shoppers will plan a visit. 
Across both digital and physical stores, if a visit is planned, a sale
is 2??x more likely.  Furthermore, planned
visitors are 2 times as likely to visit again in future.  Interestingly, this is irrespective of how
close the shopper is to the brand initially.
Planned visits tend to be in the minority
(around 20% of shoppers), with the majority of decisions around visiting a
particular store or site made on an ad hoc basis, whilst browsing online or
wandering through the mall.  Obviously,
converting these ‘floating’ shoppers with a clever media strategy that
interrupts them at the most opportune time is essential, especially as there is
probably a limit to the number of planned visits that can be achieved.  However, given the role they play in maximising
the aforementioned share of wallet, growing the 20% of planned visits is a
proven way of achieving growth.
So how can we drive shopper planning?  Some of it comes down to old-fashioned top of
mind awareness and saliency in what can be (especially in the world of fashion
retail) a very crowded landscape.  How we
drive those metrics should come as no surprise; traditional ATL and BTL
communications designed to hit a broad audience allied with more tailored
digital and social media campaigns with a more emotional connection in
mind.  CRM can also play a crucial part,
tailoring the engagement and rewarding loyalty.
What may come as a surprise is the extent
to which the ‘basics’ mentioned above aren’t done correctly or often enough,
meaning that awareness is subject to peaks and troughs which, in turn, affect
the extent to which visits are planned. 
In recent conversations with clients, we are also seeing marketing spend
diverted from those ‘basics’ into other areas, such as the blending of digital
and non-digital customer experience mentioned earlier in this article. 
The former issue can be addressed by taking
a slightly more radical view of brand impact marketing, perhaps by adopting an
‘always on’ strategy which substitutes big, infrequent and expensive campaigns
with a cheaper more agile alternative that maintains a more consistent
The latter is
about understanding priorities.  Getting
the customer experience right across all of your properties is essential,
however, it should not come at the cost of driving planned visits impacted by
more traditional metrics like awareness and saliency.  For the health and wellbeing of retail there
needs to be room for both.
Sam Elphinstone is Head of Research at the numbers lab, Firefish’s quantitative
business. His expertise focuses on
understanding how brands
interact with consumers. He is a specialist in consumer experiences, how people
react to them and their subsequent impacts on behavior.