Everything changes. Sometimes change is abrupt and permanent, and nothing resembles the way it was. We call this a revolution. Other times change is gradual and temporary because everything keeps changing. We call this an evolution. Brand marketing through the retail trades is evolving into a revolution. This is not as simple as it sounds, so let's take a closer look. This issue's Page 1 feature story focuses on four parts of the business that have been changing:
· Point-of-Purchase Advertising: Shoppers in 1986 made 66% of their buying decisions in the store. Brand marketers, realizing this is important, focused attention on point-of-purchase displays. Today, shoppers make 70% of their buying decisions in the store. Look for brand marketers to step up POP activity this year. · Data-Base Marketing: Fledgling frequent shopper programs last decade have become sophisticated. New software will be available this year to enable retailers to manage the accumulated data better. Look for more retailers and brand marketers to form marketing partnerships to target consumers. · Entertainment Licensing: Entertainment licensing has always been big, but now it's a really big show. That's because more forms of entertainment are available than ever before, and the benefits and rewards of licensing have been well documented. Look for more activity from both trading partners this year. · Sales and Marketing Automation: In the beginning there was "manual disarray." Over the years, advances in hardware and software brought sophistication to the way executives organize, maintain and transmit information to those impatient people who want it in something close to real time. Look for savvy marketers to link advances in automation to changes in business. Brand Marketing is evolving, too, as we begin our third year of publication. There are two expanded sections: Media & Licensing, and POP & Packaging. There is a new section, Productivity, that covers distribution, logistics and sales force automation. New columnists are joining the staff. J. Mark Harran, a former senior executive with Kraft General Foods, will write about the Supply Side beginning this month. Other new voices will follow next month. Finally, there is a minor graphic facelift on the opening page of each section. These changes reflect the changing business. In 10 years, we might be a completely different publication.