The Signs are watching you

you might glance at them, but they certainly track you

SPY CHIPS TO TRACK DISPLAYS IN 5,000 WALGREEN STORES In what appears to be the most sweeping marketing application yet of radio-frequency identification technology, Walgreens and 15 top package-goods marketers are rolling out a system to track promotional displays throughout the chain’s 5,000-plus stores. The system, touted by one retail expert as potentially the biggest advance in store promotion in decades, uses RFID to electronically track when, how long and where displays are placed in stores. That allows marketers to track results of promotions by store or demographic cluster. It also lets participating manufacturers time local, regional or national advertising according to when displays are in place and send representatives to stores that haven’t put up displays, said Robert Michelson, CEO of privately held Goliath Solutions, the system’s creator. Mr. Michelson declined to identify the marketers involved, but they’re believed by industry executives to include the heaviest hitters, including Procter & Gamble Co. and Altria Group’s Kraft Foods.
RFID holds the promise of making in-store marketing not only a measurable medium, but one that can be measured more reliably and precisely than such mass media as TV and radio, Mr. Michelson said. Adding to its potential is Walgreens’ adoption earlier this year of a new, more sophisticated point-of-sale tracking system from Information Resources Inc. that promises real-time, store-by-store data capability on par with Wal-Mart’s vaunted Retail Link. Being able to get data store-by-store in real time puts package-goods marketing on a similar footing with the customer-relationship-management processes used by direct marketers, Mr. Michelson said. “You find out on a store-by-store basis what displays and promotions work best and on an ongoing basis send the right displays to the right stores.” Getting and tracking compliance of individual stores with national promotions long has been the biggest challenge for in-store marketing. Up to now, marketers have relied on field forces making store audits to monitor compliance, but data was rarely complete, took days or weeks to gather and wasn’t precise enough to match broadly with scanner data for analysis, Mr. Michelson said.
This is bound to complicate certain relationships with in-store advertising vendors, especially those who don't have a good track record of installing what they've contracted to install. The standard compliance for in-store advertising is 90%.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on December 7, 2005 7:50 AM.

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