Retail TouchPoints: Redefining Reach – A New Lens for an Old Media Metric
By Laura Davis-Taylor, VP of Global Retail
Strategy, Creative Realities, LLC
Through a special arrangement, presented
here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail
As more retailers embrace
the concept of marketing at retail, an interesting recent phenomenon is
that of old school media planners struggling to include the store as
media. Where they get hung up is defining "reach" within the store.
Wikipedia defines advertising
reach as "a measure of the size of an audience." GRP (Gross Rating Point)
is how the industry measures reach by a specific media vehicle or schedule.
The CPM represents the cost to reach 1,000 people within that vehicle.
Almost all traditional
media is defined and measured this way, so it’s no surprise that people
new to playing within stores inquire about a retailer’s in-store GRP and
CPM. However, this approach has some big issues.
Recent factors are causing
brands to look at new outlets, new vehicles and new methods for connecting
with busy, distracted people on the go. Lucky for us, the store was reevaluated
as a consumer connection point and folks like P&G helped the industry
see that it’s actually the richest place to create a relevant dialogue
with consumers. Given that a message received in-store is an active one
(shoppers respond with an immediate buy), it’s shocking that this was big
news. Regardless, it has legitimized the store as a healthy piece of the
yearly marketing plan.
The issue is that reach,
as defined today, is becoming irrelevant. CPG brands I’ve spoken with don’t
hesitate to share that they’ll pay top dollar for one qualified viewer
over 500 unqualified ones. And, when it comes to the store, they care about
brand awareness when it supports an ultimate sale.
Shelly Palmer, media guru
and host of Digital Life, recently shared that five years ago there
were approximately 25,000 broadcasters in the U.S., consisting of about
18,000 radio stations, a couple thousand television stations, and a few
thousand multi-systems operators (MSOs). Today, there are more than 150
million broadcasters. His point? Attention is what everyone in the advertising
industry packages and sells, yet reach has no direct correlation
to attention. Reach is just the potential — attention is the hopeful outcome.
We need to think about
this. I’ve often asked CPM-insistent media buyers how they will be transacting
TV media buys once we start reporting exact commercial viewership at the
household level. Then, I ask their clients how they prefer to buy in-store
media. In most cases, it’s somewhere in between flat sponsor rates, cost
per qualified engagement and a revenue share. They’re always clear that
they are willing to pay premiums based on the level of measurement the
retailer is willing to share.
As an ad vet myself, I
learned a very valuable lesson years ago: a message that has no relevance
to someone is an advertisement; a message of personal relevance is communication.
Therefore, reach is not a measurement of potential bodies exposed to an
advertisement, but of people who become engaged and absorb a message.
Should retailers accept old school "reach" as the metric of value for
in-store marketing? Or, should the industry strive for a valuation
approach tied to results?
[Author’s commentary] The
"store as media" is a new concept being overlaid on a very established
consumer channel. It indeed opens up a lucrative new revenue stream for
retail brands. I simply ask that as we become savvier in the art of "relevant
reach," let’s try to keep our stores measured by this new school thinking
rather than by dying media dogma. Value and measure by message impact
— it’s a much better path to happy shoppers, inspired vendor partners
and thriving stores.