4 Signs You Need an In-Store Marketing Platform

In-store marketing programs have a lot of moving pieces. To be successful, you and your marketing team have to juggle deadlines, vendors, budgets, and more, often for multiple locations.

But there’s a difference between being busy and overwhelmed.

If you’re starting to see signs of the latter—things like overspent budgets, missed deadlines, or incorrect orders—it could mean you need to take a hard look at the tools you are using to manage it all.

It may be time to upgrade to an in-store marketing platform.

You may be wondering, “What exactly is an in-store marketing platform?”

The sophisticated platforms give you a centralized system for ordering visual merchandising assets, field distribution, verification, and reporting on your in-store programs. They offer insight into every aspect of your visual merchandising, provide control of your campaigns from start to finish, and allow you to run more efficient campaigns.

All great benefits, but how do you know if it’s the right time to switch over?

To help you decide, here are four surefire signs you need to adopt an in-store marketing platform.

Sign #1: You don’t have (or can’t rely on) information about your locations’ needs.

The Frustration

To execute a successful in-store marketing campaign, you need reliable and accurate data about the specific needs of each location—size, configuration, number of specific fixtures, localization needs, pricing variations, and more.

Right now, though, you either don’t have that data or what you’ve got just isn’t very reliable. The result is that you send your stores signage and displays they can’t or won’t actually use.

Wasted effort, wasted money.

The Cause

If you don’t have the data you need, it could be a problem of processes. Do you have a standard way to record information or does everyone do things their own way? The root cause could boil down to processes being used to record information or the way you go about storing data.

Without a single, accessible source of truth teams are at the mercy of getting lucky to find what they are looking for.

How a Platform Can Help

An effective in-store marketing platform is designed to make it easy and intuitive to keep your location data updated and easily accessed. A platform allows you to quickly view or update store profiles, number of fixtures, planograms, templates, and other data critical to planning a successful campaign.

Having access to this information within a reliable system ensures you always send the right materials to the right locations, eliminating waste and ensuring campaign adoption.

Creating store profiles and planograms can require tracking hundreds of data points. Need to improve your in-store marketing audits? We've got you covered.

Sign #2: You’re struggling to coordinate multiple vendors.

The Frustration

Even at the best of times, vendor coordination can feel like a game of whack-a-mole.

But when you’re coordinating multiple assets, information, workflows, and timelines between print and digital vendors, all that back and forth can lead to miscommunication, missed opportunities, and costly mistakes.

The Cause

Misalignments happen when communication starts to break down. You might think everyone is on the same page, but often it turns out that you and your vendors aren’t working from t­­­he same information.

And the more complex your in-store marketing campaign, the harder it is for any one single person to keep every party informed.

How a Platform Can Help

An in-store marketing platform doesn’t just provide your team with a single source of truth—it can do the same for your vendors.

You can use a platform to ensure everyone has access to the most up-to-date information, progress is tracked, and completion is verified all within the same system. This functionality enables your vendors to get the information they need without you chasing them down.

Sign #3: Your catalog of in-store assets and budgets makes the Wild West look calm and well-organized.

The Frustration

Whether you’re evaluating your in-store assets, or you want to review your campaign’s current budget, you’re after some very specific information. The problem is that the answers you need are scattered or buried, difficult to find or lost in a sea of data.

The Cause

This one’s simple: Disorganization.

If you’ve got data stored across email, spreadsheets, and various forms of cloud storage, you’re going to be stuck in a constant scavenger whenever you need information.

How a Platform Can Help

An effective in-store marketing platform maintains centralized control of things like asset catalogs, templates, and budgets. It can also be set to provide tailored access to the precise information a user needs—no more or less than what is relevant—all in real-time.

Instead of data being scattered throughout multiple folders and files, a good platform will house everything you need in one place and enlist automation to take away many of the day-to-day tasks you struggle with.

New data reveals how top brands are leveraging technology to bolster in-store marketing efforts.

We surveyed company leaders across retail, grocery, c-store, and food service segments to better understand the new and nimble strategies they are using and the role technology is playing.

Sign #4: Inefficiencies are killing your ROI.

The Frustration

Your marketing team has meticulously crafted a killer omnichannel marketing strategy across a variety of mediums: in-store programs, digital marketing (such as email marketing and social media), advertising, and more. The in-store marketing portion of the strategy is a significant investment of time and resources.

But right now, inefficiencies in your operations are eating away your returns.

Wasted time and wasted opportunities are wreaking havoc on your campaign goals, but there’s no clear way to do better.

The Cause

Redundant efforts, ineffective processes, poor communication—there are many reasons you may be struggling with inefficiency. Often it boils down to a lack of clarity about what’s being done, who’s doing it, and how to keep the project on track.

How a Platform Can Help

Campaigns move fast.

A good in-store marketing platform is nimble enough to keep up, but also easy for you to control. It should be customizable, too, so that you can tailor the platform to the specific needs of your organization.

For maximum impact, don’t simply look at the platform: Seek out a provider who can optimize the platform precisely to you and your goals, while also offering best practices and guidance to help boost your growth.

The best platforms should evolve with your business, and a good provider can help show you how.

Want to dive even deeper? We've outlined 4 ways an in-store marketing platform can help you and your business.

Read the article →

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