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Campaign management systems are crucial for cross-territory FSDUs says Sanjeev Kumar of The Delta Group

The release of a new DVD or video game provides huge opportunities to increase customer engagement, loyalty and ultimately sales. For those looking to drive up revenue in-store, free standing display units (FSDUs) are an effective route to reach the customer and should form a significant part of the marketing strategy. They offer a vehicle to create eye catching displays to build awareness amongst consumers, delivering financial uplift to both the brand and retailer partner running the promotion.

Whilst the benefits are clear, the challenge for brands comes in managing the creation and effective implementation of FSDUs in multiple sites, across multiple territories. This is made more complex as brands don’t own the retail spaces where the promotions are run. As a result, they are unlikely to know details such as the layout and dimensions of aisles, information that needs to be included to meet specific standards and regulations, or the variety of languages needed on the creative.

Falling into the trap of applying a one-size fits all approach could have a negative impact on budgets, the overall customer experience, the retail partner and ultimately sales. So what’s the solution?

Investing in campaign management systems enables brands to overcome issues and support the customisation of FSDUs based around the specific retailer, promotion and country, as each of these elements will impact the print requirements. As a result, the FSDUs are less likely to require changes, so the campaign will be easier to orchestrate, even across multiple retailers and locations. This enables tighter control over budgets, timings and materials.

Systems such as Delta Workstream allow efficient and secure sharing of data between each geographic site and the brand. Ahead of production, every retail site is given the opportunity to input individual or localised requirements for their FSDUs, via a specific time frame or order window. This covers anything from the number of units needed per store to ensuring the price is displayed in the correct currency.  For instance, a unit being installed in Switzerland will require text to be printed in three or four different languages, in comparison to a UK-only distribution in English.

The order window simplifies the process and enables visibility, so every detail can be noted before production begins. This is particularly important with the majority of decisions being made remotely.

Additionally, the live pricing during this specific order window can deliver further. If order volumes climb up, production costs come down; smart territories tracking this can latch onto the shifting prices and take advantage of the savings that come with bulk ordering. Once the order window closes, the total cost for everything including the creative, printing and distribution can be provided and fed into wider budgets so there are no costs unaccounted for.

Once the units are ready for distribution, the automated management system enables live tracking of their transportation. On arrival, in-store retail staff are required to submit images of the FSDUs in place, to certify that each is installed correctly. This is vital if regulations are to be adhered to and, of course, ensures the promotional material delivers the optimum experience to the consumer, driving them along the shopper journey towards purchase.

In the event that a unit is damaged and needs to be replaced, the retailer simply logs the request online. With all the data already held centrally, this saves time for retail staff, so they can concentrate on customers.

FSDUs offer brands and their retail partners an effective route to reach target consumers and can have a significant impact on driving unplanned purchases, making them a valuable element of marketing and promotion. Technological capabilities have made the sharing of relevant data much easier. Businesses that maximise this through campaign management systems will gain more efficiency, have greater control over costs and timings. With increased compliance at the retailer, they will deliver a better experience overall. 

Sanjeev Kumar is IT director of The Delta Group