WSJ: New technology lures shoppers to stores

Originally published by the WSJ:

Marketing companies are experimenting with a new wave of digital technologies to pitch to consumers while they shop: interactive dressing-room mirrors, kiosks with virtual customer-service representatives, and shopping carts and digital scanners that offer personalized discounts.

These futuristic technologies are among the interactive tools on display at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ new retail center at the advertising company’s Media Lab in Los Angeles.

There, Interpublic is testing innovative ways for marketers to connect with customers as part of an effort to better understand what makes consumers buy and to encourage companies to rethink their approaches to the role of the retail store.

Read the full story on and see the WSJ video below.

Focus on shopper marketing

Shopper marketing (iStock)The Lab is proud to announce our partnership with the In-Store Marketing Institute. We’ve partnered to provide our clients with greater insight into the shopper marketing field, and the Institute will be an integral part of our Retail Experience Center which is opening in 2010. We sat down over email to discuss what shopper marketing is and why it’s so important to retailers right now.

Lab: Shopper Marketing seems like hot new buzzword for marketers—for our readers who may not be familiar with in-store marking, how do you define it?

Institute: You’re right that “shopper marketing” is a hot area. So hot, in fact, that a fair amount of time and energy is being spent on a workable industry-wide definition by some of the major study groups, such as our “Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing.” Continue reading “Focus on shopper marketing”

John Ross on why retail needs new tools

John Ross, President of the IPG Emerging Media Lab John Ross recently joined IPG’s Mediabrands to become President of the Emerging Media Lab. John brings 20 years of retail experience to the job, most recently as VP of Advertising and Marketing for Home Depot. I sat down with him during a recent visit to Los Angeles (John will be managing a trifecta commute between his home base in Atlanta, Mediabrands offices in NY, and the Lab in Los Angeles) to talk about why retail and emerging media are well suited, and what challenges lay ahead for both sectors.

DR: What is the biggest challenge for the retail sector in terms of effectively harnessing the power of emerging media and technology?

JR: [Retail] needs to embrace and employ new tools that allow them to access the dialogue that’s taking place about their business. They need to have new listening tools and these tools need to be snapped into the way they make business decisions. Social media combined with retail has so far been a terrifying combination, it takes courage to really listen and a fear of that that dialogue might get out of control in ways that could be dangerous to your brand. Continue reading “John Ross on why retail needs new tools”