For OgilvyAction London’s first Retail Lab Day, the mission was to create an immersive experience that would engage a diverse audience with today’s constantly evolving shopping journey – one that has moved beyond marketing’s traditional, linear path to encompass all the new channels that today’s digitally liberated shopper uses to inform purchase choice. The Retail Lab Day took people on a journey from within the home, out of home and in retail, showing how digitally enabled shoppers are interacting with brands, technology, marketing and other consumers.
For OgilvyAction, this journey represents home territory. With shopper, trade, experiential, and promotional as key pillars of expertise, understanding the shopper with a view to activating brand communications is intrinsic to OgilvyAction’s DNA. An early understanding that digital is a pivotal part of exploiting purchase behaviour is reflected by the 8 fold increase in the number of OgilvyAction digital staff in the past 6 years.
Throughout the day OgilvyAction unwrapped its thinking on the new ‘sweet spot’ in retail – the convergent point created by the overlapping of shopper behaviour, their use of technology and their environment.
Retail Lab Day was officially opened by Hugh Boyle, OgilvyAction’s global head of digital, who described an aggressive evolution spearheaded by the advancement of technology as our physical and digital worlds become totally intertwined. Boyle stressed the importance of putting technology into context so that it is relevant both to consumer behaviours, and to their environments, to truly hit the digital shopper sweet spot.
Boyle was followed by Alex Meisl, Chairman of the UK Council at Mobile Marketing Association, who gave insights on the mobile landscape and shared tips on designing a relevant strategy for the mobile audience.
With the context set, the audience were taken on a physical journey that saw Westbourne Terrace’s meeting rooms dressed as the key environments which shape our purchase choice, featuring some key technology that is transforming our shopping experience.
OgilvyAction London’s Head of Social Matt Gierhart brought us into a living room and talked about the rise of multi screens and consumers being in control of content. Gierhart described how brands are, in consequence, required to create content people want to interact with, comment on and share with their peers. In order to be ‘loved’, a brand needs to provide a solution or a great experience people can share. Gierhart was supported by Untap TV, creator of an audio/video embedded signal which can push content directly to viewers’ mobile devices, making the link between the home and retail.
Simon Stebbing, Digital Activation Managing Director, powered the shopping-on-the-go room to reveal how the ability to connect anywhere means our expectations as consumers have increased hugely. He gave insights into mobile search optimisation, and the need to understand the role mobile marketing plays in the customer’s purchase journey, be it a QR code, a digital poster or an experiential campaign.
Stebbing was supported by a lively presentation from Repudo, which creates GPS dropped digital content, as well as case studies from JC Decaux (mobile OOH) and KINETIC (OOH media agency).
Meanwhile, Crispin Haywood, OgilvyAction London’s Shopper Marketing and Analytics Director, and Danijel Novakovic, OgilvyAction London’s Creative Head of Brands Environments, took on the in-store space to highlight the key human behaviours, and how digital technology and environments can influence, but not fundamentally change, these behaviours. This subsequently demonstrated the risk of being seduced by digital and thus using technology in the wrong way by not understanding the environment it plays in. They also stressed the need for the shopping experience in physical stores and online to be seamless.
The duo were supported by augmented reality specialist Holition (where a De Beers diamond could be tried on – virtually, of course), as well as 3D specialist Inition, retail mapping software provider Red Dot Square, digital signage company COMQi and in store digital units from Stratacache.
Behavioural economics champion Rory Sutherland concluded the day, with an absorbing piece on heuristics, urging marketers to go beyond rational and rely more on observations to be increasingly relevant.
Organised by the OgilvyAction London in house experiential team, and supported by the practiced Lab day expert Nicole Yershon and her little black book of technology contacts, the day was a huge success both in terms of client’s feedback and press coverage.
It also enabled OgilvyAction London to showcase its revitalised positioning around relevancy and pervasive creativity. Testament to that is the launch of a new Retail Therapy workshop and a Mobile Site Optimisation offer for clients- which have created interest from several large brands.
Shopping may be dead, but with such an inspiring session, we can be sure it will reinvent itself providing brands are not afraid to embrace the post-digital era and manage to find the ‘sweet spot’ to activate their shoppers. And this is where OgilvyAction can help.
OgilvyAction is the shopper marketing and activation arm of the Ogilvy network.