Capitalise your marketing at the point of sale

Pieter Scholtz.
Pieter Scholtz.

Cape Town - Many people don’t maximise the marketing opportunities their POS provides and miss out on potential extra business.

A POS, which is a point of sale or point of purchase, is the area where transactions are completed.

Using marketing tools at a POS can create new avenues of income and keep existing customers engaged in a business. There are five good strategies that can boost POS marketing success.

1. Know your market

As with any form of marketing, understanding who is being reached is essential before spending any time or money. Who are the people most likely to buy a product or service? It is helpful to think about an average customer in terms of their age, sex, income bracket, location and interests.

Once businesses understand who their customers are and what they need, they’ll be able to offer them useful products and services.

2. Location, location, location

Identify the POS materials that should be placed for maximum effectiveness. There are many tools available, including shelf talkers (signs placed on the shelves listing product benefits and features), catalogues, brochures, business cards, flyers, scratch cards, promotional videos, and so on.

Customer habits are a strong indicator for the type of POS marketing that will be most effective. Business should identify what customers are looking at while they wait to be served and use those visual spaces to their best advantage.

POS elements at eye level, or brochures or catalogues for customers to browse during busy periods when they may be waiting a bit longer can easily communicate information about key products and services.

A POS can also be used to gather data on customers through the running of a competition where customers need to fill in an entry form, or by getting sales staff to offer customers the opportunity to join a loyalty programme.

3. Keep it fresh

Different types of businesses have different frequencies of customer visits. To keep POS content fresh and exciting, businesses should evaluate the rate of customer visits and the range of services and products that can be promoted through a POS.

4. Clear messaging

A POS with no obvious purpose is a waste of time. POS marketing needs to either provide a solution to a problem that customers are experiencing or introduce them to something new and appealing. POS marketing is also most effective when it offers customers an incentive to take action, such as offering a special price for just one day.

5. Be selective

There are many POS elements available, but it’s unnecessary to use them all. POS marketing should assist customers, not intrude on them or annoy them.

A POS system should also be carefully balanced and suited to the business that is using them. In a car rental business, for example, shelf talkers are unnecessary, but posters in the windows or at counters to draw attention to brochures about the company’s services make sense.

Suppliers also often have POS material available that can be used to complement an in-house system. Businesses can also offer their suppliers the option of contributing to POS material that promotes both their business and the supplier’s business, this is known as co-operative advertising.

As with all marketing, measurement is important to make sure a system is working effectively and to know what to change. Starting small and testing the success of it is better than laying out significant initial investment on a POS system that might not work for a particular type of business.

* Pieter Scholtz is the co-master franchisor in Southern Africa for ActionCOACH. He is also a certified business and and award-winning executive coach. He has successfully assisted countless business owners to significantly grow their profits and develop their entrepreneurial skills.

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