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Why managed media is the cornerstone of in-store brand communication

It seems that retail has, somewhat, come full circle over the past few decades. The in-store shopping experience started off with stock on shelf being the sole priority for shoppers and manufacturers alike. A simple, clean, well-lit, competently managed and heavily stocked store was the main mutual goal. It was, perhaps around the ‘hypermarket’ era of the mid ’70s in South Africa, which retailers started thinking differently. Inspired by the French and American big-box store type ‘hype’ a decade prior, South African retailers slowly turned the shopping experience into a more immersive, carnival-style one. The premise being that in order to engage shoppers in a more meaningful way and increase sales, retailers would allow brands to flood the floor with a vast range of activity and point-of-sale material to attract attention to product and promotion (whilst earning a fat sum in exchange for the retail estate.) This extended, in its prime to live bands, boxing matches and beauty competitions being hosted in these retail spaces.

This carnivalesque shopping experience has remained, somewhat, a version of what we know today – variable by retailer of course. We know of the colourful entrances, retail radio humming in the background, wet demo promoters offering shoppers a taste of new product, bunting suspended between aisles, dump bins full of delights, flashing aisle wobblers catching our line of sight and free-standing units (FSUs) piled with product at every corner. In the wholesale environments, key calendar dates like Black Friday and stokvel still bring live music and festivity to enhance the shoppers experience and drive sales.

Whilst the shopping environment remains somewhat interactive, at least within the South African landscape, some retailers are slowly becoming stricter with what can and can’t be stuck, suspended and plastered onto shelves. With stricter point-of-sale material (POSM) policy on the shop floor, some argue that the lack of excitement has dulled the general retail vibe. Whilst others may argue that stores have indeed become too cluttered, POSM is messy, hazardous and too volatile for such a busy environment. Others would say that brands’ opportunities are more suited to digital and social platforms and that the main focus of both manufacturer and retailers should be a clean, well-lit, competently managed store with heavily stocked shelves. End of story.

But is there a middle ground and where does this leave the future of in-store display in retail and wholesale? The answer is yes. There are media companies that specialise in offering managed in-store media opportunities where shoppers are making their purchasing decisions. Fixed and managed media in-store offers the perfect space for brands to mirror the rest of their communication efforts through the line, as one final push to drive the sale. For brands, this is the best alternative value investment in a retail and wholesale store because it is the most secure and regulated means of carrying out FMCG branding mandates in a much more affordable and longer lasting way.

In summary, here are some points to consider:

Fixed media is more cost effective than POSM

A quick example shows that printing a fair amount of very temporary POSM is even more expensive than having a large indoor board for a whole year.

Take a large wholesale store in Tembisa for example. They are running a campaign and have requested the following point of sale material items: 1,700 shelf strips, 50 x A6 wobblers, 200 x shelf talkers, 15 x A1 posters, 10 x pallet wraps, 30 strings of bunting, 14 x A1 hanging mobiles, 28 till point fins, 4 x round hanging mobiles and 2 x PVC pillar wraps at the front of their store. The rough total estimate for printing and installing this POSM at a single store is around R50,000. It may stay up for a week or a month or three months if you are very lucky.

Compare this to an indoor board at the same store, measuring around 2m x 5m. This would cost you roughly R5,000 once-off for production, with a monthly estimated rental fee of R3,000 which totals R41,000 for a 12-month period. Consider that media companies like MegaVision Media design, print, install and manage these fixtures, do repairs and maintenance and re-print if prints go missing or get ruined. Sounds like a much more stable and solid investment compared to POSM which always starts off looking fabulous but has an extremely short shelf life.

Fixed media is far easier to arrange than POSM

Companies like MegaVision Media have direct relationships with brands and retailers/wholesalers, making the matchmaking process is far easier. Instead of lengthy negotiations between sales reps and buyers or store managers, these media companies have technology that maps out their fixtures, which allows for a quick and customised proposal based on the budget and strategy of a brand. Some of these companies also provide the design, print and installation and sends the brand proof of flighting, which frees up a lot of time and admin for a brand manager.

Fixed media is better for environment

The waste of point-of-sale material is significant. What doesn’t land up in the compactor at the back of the store lives a relatively short lifespan on the shelf. This, compared to an in-store media board that can stay fixed for up to 12 months, shows the efficiency of managed in-store media.

Fixed media is more stable than POSM

These media companies specialise in creating safe, secure and well-managed value spaces within the retail estate. Ranging from in-aisle 1.2mx1.8m boards to on wall 2.7mx3.5m frames, these fixtures are safe and secure from trolleys, forklifts and other in-store hazards.

If you are a brand and want to know more about our managed media offerings, please feel free to get hold of us on If you are a retailer/wholesaler and want to discuss your income potential opportunity, please do the same.

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