The day one of POP Asia 2005 turned to be an analysis of the present POP scene in India with experts like Martin Kingdon, Director General, POPAI, UK and Ireland, Nehal Medh, Director, Clients Services, ORG-MARG, K Radhakishnan, Food World and Ravi Pooviah of IIT Mumbai. Harish Bijoor, Chairman, Steering Committee, POP Asia 2005 opened the seminar, throwing light on why POP in increasingly becoming an important medium for any marketer today.
He began with the current plight of advertisements working lesser and lesser as a medium of communication and the facing of a marketing meltdown. “The top-line is not growing for any brands except apparel and the bottom-line is diminishing,” he pointed out.
Bijoor shared that of the total ad pie that is valued at Rs 11,500 crore, presently, 87 per cent is divided between the press (46 per cent) and TV (41per cent). Where Cinema claims a larger share and radio remains to be a static medium like Internet and Out-Of-Home are significantly increasing presence in media plans.
With this he warmed the sessions for examining POP closely, saying, “POP is action oriented, immediacy led and unlike other mediums where ads are incidental, it focuses on the ad. It is the marketers’ tool to handle the last mile issue.”
Following this, Kingdon took the floor, where he largely shared more on the international POP scene. He defined POP is as any form of advertisement that took place in a store with one job, ‘To stop the shopper’ or rather to attract his attention towards the product.
“In UK, the POP segment alone is valued at 1.1 pounds Sterling. This is a significant figure and has grown due to various factors,” explained Kingdon, “Media has changed with almost 296 commercial channels, shopping habits have changed and hence brand thinking in change.”
Where these factors have led to a certain complication in drawing media plans, the fact that brands like Cadbury are a 100 per cent committed to POP reflects the success of the medium, as per Kingdon. With this, Nehal Medh had the opportunity to share more with the audience.
Medh began with the problems that the medium faces, “India is dominated with traditional retail stores, where POP is invisible. The only activities we see in the ‘dark’ categories like liquor and cigarettes. It is essentially a complimentary tool, where budget allocation is ad-hoc. This essentially makes it a nascent medium.”
Going forward he shared that the importance of the medium comes in the fact that consumers make almost 15 per cent of their purchase decisions in shops. What brands have to fight against are factors like consumer exposed to 10,000 brands at one time and that moments of change are infrequent.
POP has proved to be a great beneficiary for brands like Frito Lays that witnessed a 12 per cent increase in sales post increasing spends in the medium and that there can be ways in which POP can be tried to measure. Nonetheless, the medium faces problems like ad hoc spends and learnings not taken from the attempts made in the medium.
Reiterating that the medium holds high potential, Medh ended his presentation with a word of advise for advertisers, “Ignore POPs at your own risk.”
With the next speaker, Radhakrishnan, the importance of the organised retail format came to the fore. He said, “Due to organised retail, the term Top of Mind has lost meaning as the consumer doesn’t recall and buy but has the freedom to see and buy. With this shift in the buying pattern, POP, the silent salesman has become a very important ingredient.”
He shared that a few things that the advertisers should bear in mind in this regard is that vantage points become blind spots over a period of time. Also POPs should follow hundred-percent adjacency to the product and should have clarity of message.
While the audience were exposed to various factors about POP that indicate the growth in the medium, one undisputed fact that emerged from the discussions was POP still has a long way to go in India.