How to Stand Up a Fully Functioning Retail Media Network in 60 Days

When considering a fully integrated merchandising strategy, there are a few reasons why you might need to quickly set up a network of digital display screens. Maybe you’ve acquired a number of stores with an existing retail media network. Maybe you’ve grown and waited to bring your new locations on board. Or maybe you’re just adding retail media into your merchandising strategy for the first time.

Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to cohesively manage a lot of screens, the operational team and resources needed to get it up and running can be challenging. Here’s what you need to know.

Choose your resource.

If you’re going to roll out a new network, you’re going to need a “scrum team” to manage the onboarding process. Your first step should be to identify that team, whether it is an internal resource or a third-party specialist like Shep Digital. This team will spend 30 days or so deploying the hardware and software needed so that you can either manage the network yourself or work with that third party to manage it along with your shopper marketing strategy.

Either way, be ready for issues that might arise in the rollout process. With variations in hardware, software and networking requirements, it will likely take some development work to homogenize a disparate network.

Identify the players.

In this case, the players are endpoints—or display screens—instead of people. To be effective, you will need a planogram or a snapshot of the store that identifies where every player will be positioned and a CAD drawing of the store to provide a marketing or merchandising perspective. Then, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the software running all of the players. Once you know all of the different types and locations of your various screens, you’ll be able to better manage them with a fully integrated, cohesive shopper marketing strategy.

It must be cohesive.

You may currently utilize different digital signage vendors—like Convergent, Stratacash and Broadsign—in different locations, and to top it off, you may also have multiple pump-based media systems, depending on your pump manufacturer. As you can imagine, managing all of these networks quickly becomes untenable, and you will find yourself consistently duplicating your efforts.

To execute on a cohesive shopper marketing strategy, you will need to develop or use a third-party software system that can easily manage content across your different networks and vendors to create a centralized, cohesive network. One user interface that interacts with all content management systems being utilized to manage your interior and exterior screens simplifies the process greatly.

This is where Shep Digital can step in and manage all of your distribution channels, saving you time and money, whether it be hardware costs, human resources or the capital required to replace all of the screens.

So, if you’re going to make digital display screens a part of your marketing strategy—and you should—you have to dedicate the necessary resources to make managing your display screen network easier. And once you get your technical operations house in order, you can figure out what to air on the network in support of your shopper marketing strategy.

3 Ways to Tell Your Story with Screens at the Pump

In part three of our series, we offer a final recommendation on how to get the best return on investment for the digital display screens on your property. We’ve already covered what kind of content C-stores should put on their screens and the different options for monetizing their screens, so now it’s time to take it internal and look at how you can use screens to best tell your story.

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How to Analyze and Use Sales Data

Customer feedback is heavily sought after in all industries, and retail is in a unique position in that every transaction is an important data point. In fact, the customer is already telling you what they want to buy. You just have to respond by looking at the data points and implementing the right actions as if they filled out a survey.

Your sales data is a treasure trove of information that you can use to improve your business. If you leverage it to inform your media at the dispenser and other shopper marketing strategies, the historical sales data you already have can help you promote the right products at the right times, increasing sales and overall profitability.

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3 Tips for Creating Cohesion Among Multiple Platforms

C-stores are managing an ever-growing set of marketing platforms as technology expands, and there are more opportunities to reach customers in new ways. With the utilization of many shopper marketing vehicles, cohesion becomes critical. Everything from the fonts and colors that you use to the images and messages in your materials, your brand presence needs to be cohesive.

Mismatched design creates cognitive dissonance. For example, if you use warm colors in videos and neutrals throughout your store design, it makes it difficult for customers to ingest information because they are distracted by the fact that it isn’t flowing or matching. This lack of cohesion prevents customers from mentally connecting the messages. Make sure brand attributes, colors and more are unified to get the most out of your digital merchandising. Your merchandising messages should feel like they belong together, regardless of where customers are experiencing them.

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3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Loyalty Program

Shopper marketing encompasses the entire customer journey from the moment the customer drives onto your property and sees signage in the forecourt all the way through the customer checking out at the register. While most retailers intend for a loyalty app to drive customers to the property, a loyalty app is the perfect component to a shopper marketing strategy, adding value for the retailer and completing the journey for the customer while they are at your store.

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3 Keys to Shopper Marketing All C-Stores Need to Know

You’re probably familiar with more traditional advertising tactics for getting customers to your store, but there are also dozens of opportunities for unique marketing strategies once a customer has stepped on to your property. This is called shopper marketing.

Shopper marketing is used to incent a purchase or change purchasing behavior. Or, in more user-friendly phrasing, it is how you get customers to buy what you want them to buy—sometimes even when they did not plan on it. Collectively, every piece of advertising material on your property equals shopper marketing. That includes digital signage, screens in fuel pumps, pump toppers, wobblers, shelf talkers, beauty shots in the store, promotional pricing on shelves, end caps and more.

So, how do you make the most out of the materials you probably already have? We’re glad you asked.

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