Sex, stores and the slow art of sales seduction

Enthusiasm for in-store media (MW last week) is fuelled by the view that 75 per cent of buying decisions are made in store.

Of course, in-store positioning, presentation and, increasingly, advertising are important elements of sales and marketing. And when working well, they can pay great dividends for packaged goods marketers.

But there is a trend to overestimate the importance of in-store decision-making. This ignores the role advertising plays in creating a positive view of a brand and indeed brand consideration, which plays a major part in the decision to buy. This process cannot take place entirely in store.

By way of analogy, it can be said that the decision to make love to a person is actually taken on the bed – but that is to ignore hours, days or weeks of flirtation leading up to the act itself.

Andrew Harrison has been one of the great advocates of supermarkets as the new medium. Yet all those Nestlé ads heralding Kit Kat promotions, featured in The Grocer, have and still do advertise the fact that the campaign is on television! I suspect Harrison knows all too well the value of TV advertising, as do the supermarket buyers who read those press ads.

On top of this, the growth of internet sales will provide a further challenge that cannot be addressed by in-store marketing.

TV advertising and in-store activity are complementary, not competing.

Mike Parker

Head of strategic sales

Channel 4 Television

London SW1P

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