Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Running "the last mile" with claus Adams
As regional director of OgilvyAction Claus Adams is more reflective and strategic than the name of the company implies. Because even if the company is all about “action”, it is actually the strategic arm that gets the consumer there. Adams defines OgilvyAction as “the global activation services company for The Ogilvy Group. Focused on helping marketers win in The Last Mile, a term we have trademarked, OgilvyAction utilizes a discipline-neutral mix of communications services that connects brands with consumers at key moments of truth.” Adams stresses that “our global network of 59 offices in 47 countries to drive both sales and brand equity for local and global clients. OgilvyAction offers a wide spectrum of services including shopper & trade marketing, experiential marketing, digital activation, retail design and sports & entertainment sponsorship. Our client portfolio features more than 300 businesses and organizations around the world.” Adams defines “The Last Mile(tm) as the distance a consumer travels between an attitude and an action'. They develop communications which ensures that their clients.” He goes on to point that “studies show that anywhere between 40 - 70 percent of purchase decisions are made in the store, OgilvyAction enables marketers to cut through the clutter and reach consumers at key moments of truth, ultimately to influence their actions at the point of purchase.” Adams tries to investigate questions such as “what makes shoppers change their minds? What makes them pick this or that brand instead of what they originally planned? With 40,000 Stock Keeping Unit on an average supermarket, the end customer is looking for solutions. In the end our job is to get the shopper insight and change his behavior. After all shopper marketing is growing at 21% a year.” Adams reveals the OgilvyAction SDMIS (Shopper Decision Making In Store) and elaborates that the international study included “over 14,000 shopper interviews conducted in 700 retail outlets across 24 markets globally. The OgilvyAction study spanned five retail channels across six product categories to examine how shopper decisions differ across shopping channels, product categories as well as brands, and how those decisions vary by country and shopper profile.” “It is interesting how countries truly differ. For example, in Europe the average time of shopping is 22 minutes, in Saudf Arabia it is 1 hour 20 minutes!... One has to account for these severe differences. In Saudi Arabia for example, I have once seem the way not to do in-store communication. On the danglers there, where shoppers have all the time in the world to inspect, look and compare because shopping is becoming a family outing not just an act of necessity, instead of writing all the extra product information the consumer is looking for, they were placing the same packshots as the TV commercials. After all, in-store is not the ideal place for brand-building, it is the place to sell your product.” Adams goes on to point that “one of the most important opportunities for OgilvyAction is to capitalize on what we call Digital Last Mile Activation. Today a consumer's path toward a purchase decision can take place online, on the street and in the store. With each passing day, there is stunning new technology that allows us to connect, engage and influence in ways never seen before. We, for example, are leveraging digital technology to help our clients stay a step ahead.” Adams goes back to the retailer space point and says that “retailers are not stockists or warehouse anymore, they became a brand of their own. So each of our clients needs to adapt his marketing strategy to suit them. This naturally goes through some classic means such as the point of sale material but also includes some much more complex and new means. After all, the Monday Shopper is different than the Saturday shopper. On Monday people just go in and grab the item they were looking for and go out whereas on Saturday they have more to look at labels and compare.” When asked about how he applies these techniques on himself and whether he treats himself as a consumer, Adams replies “all the time. I write a list and try to figure out why I stuck to certain items and why I did not to others.” But like any good communication specialist, immediately he sidetracks the topic of himself and tries to go global in his insight “actually, a lot depends on who is doing the shopping. It is the tandem of shopper v/s buyer. Is it the mother shopping for her children? Is it the husband shopping by remote control orders from his wife? Also, giving the right information at the right time is very important. Places such as parking lots of supermarket or mall activation of customers before they go into the store, or even a test before they even go shop. In addition, the way one gets the information about the product plays a substantial role in the sale, is it through friends? Is it from reading? From POS?....” Adams asserts that “for OgilvyAction, it all starts with the awareness of a smaller target group and eventually we go up the shelf to “close the deal” and for this we collaborate with Memac on the 360 approach starting from the shelf presence and going on to TV with everything in between.” For the regional director of an action-oriented company, that’s indeed a lot of pondering and strategy.