Is your business playing the field?

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Dan Todaro, MD of tech field marketing agency Gekko, explains how field marketing can boost toy sales

Recent Gekko research shows that almost a quarter (23%) of shoppers say they would be very unlikely to purchase tech-led products, like kids’ tablets, without having some kind of in store interaction or demonstration beforehand. What’s more, 44% of respondents said they would like more interaction with brands in store and the same number (44%) said that it would tempt them to spend more on related accessories and products.  In such a tumultuous economic environment, brands would be foolish to ignore such obvious cries for attention from consumers.  Properly trained, dynamic brand ambassadors, who can give detailed demonstrations and showcase the toys’ key features, are vital when the consumer reaches that point where they decide either to buy or to walk away.

As is the case with most industries right now, toy manufacturers are feeling the pinch as consumers tighten their belts and look for the best deals out on the high street. Hasbro recently announced a 40% increase in TV, social and online advertising budgets, due to a 12% drop in boys’ toys sales.  The company is putting this down to a lack of screen time promotion, with no film or TV tie ups to boost merchandise sales. However, brands should not be so quick to assume the reasons why sales may have dropped, or indeed that the solution is to increase investment in ATL and online channels.

An additional investment in field marketing activity can be hugely impactful for toy brands, and if done correctly, can reap massive rewards without putting a big dent in marketing budgets.

There is no doubt that other marketing channels have a huge role to play throughout the festive period, and it’s not surprising that Hasbro is investing money in TV, social and online.  However, the sales can be hugely boosted by well trained, knowledgeable brand representatives, who can make a connection with parents and leave them with a memorable impression of both the product and the brand.  After all, an impressed, engaged parent means a purchase is likely, leading to a happy child, and ultimately, a successful brand.

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