|Mall in a Parisian suburb. September 2012.|
Showcasing cars at malls. Some days, lots of people pass by the cars, look at them, other days less. Depending on the weather, on the period of the year, the period of the day... Who knows?
What is the car's "audience"?
Do we know how many people had an Opportunity To See the car (OTS)? Do we know if people came back to look at the car again, and if so, how many times? The same day or the next week? Deduplicated audiences are not easy to measure.
Does the audience matter?
Of course: it matters to the brand and it matters to the mall. Both not only need to know the number of people or the frequency of their visits (these numbers are important for branding, for setting the price for advertising space); they especially want to reach some of these shoppers again, to retarget them on a smartphone.
The mall could build a panel, launch a loyalty card (using smartphones)... Those interested in the car would receive a message on their smartphone: "Would you like to know more about the car?", "What about a test run? If so, send us a mail, a text; let's make an appointment".... There must be a solution for interactivity: apps, QR codes, etc. Such marketing tools could provide rich data and useful analytics.
Passers-by interested in the car would probably like to know more about it, but they do not have the time to stop or to ask a vendor (not even to mention that sometimes there is no one to talk to). They might be busy, shy, their kids can't wait. Maybe the mall is just too crowded! If they could just "like" the car with Facebook, twit about it, share a picture with Instagram or Pinterest... Without interactivity, these passers-by are lost to the brand and to the local car dealers.
Such an operation - the equivalent of an open house - deserves the red carpet treatment. This is an extremely important advertising opportunity... And yet, neither the car manufacturer nor the mall can know exactly how successful it is. Of course, there are so-called "intercept" surveys. How representative are the samples? What about those people who refuse to be intercepted?
It is about time all this business thinks digital!