From touch point to point of sale, the digital revolution is commercial; the value of your brand tomorrow lies in its media value today.
The touch points for brands, whether they are on television, the written press, radio, Internet, mobile phones or social networks, are becoming points of sale.
Welcome to the core of the Apple business model. Thanks to the proliferation of touch points – iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc., and tomorrow Apple TV – points of sale have multiplied.
In 2001, Apple launched the iPod, a new touch point for the label, thus opening a new playing field for Apple: music.
In 2003, Apple inevitably became an on-line point of sale via iTunes (over 60% of on-line sales of music in France, over 15 % of the total market).
Apple now sells music in addition to terminals.
On 19 May 2001, at Tyson’s Corner in Virginia, Apple emerged as an off-line point of sale, and since then, 354 other Apple Stores have opened all over the world. Today, Apple has a turnover/m2 of 5 000 dollars, a record in the US, all chains taken into account.
On 11 July 2008, the App Store, a new on-line point of sales, was inaugurated.
On 6 June 2011, 425 000 applications were available, including 90 000 for iPad and 100 000 games, in other words, 14 billion downloaded applications in 3 years, and a turnover of 300 million dollars.
Eventually, the income earned from the distribution of third-party software might become as significant as the sale of equipment.
Touch point, point of sale, Apple is not alone in this new race for an audience, the latest Holy Grail, in which it is becoming increasingly expensive to buy the attention of the public.
Brands are becoming media and points of sale
In the US, you can already buy Pampers on the P&G site, on Amazon of course, but also on Facebook. Not convinced? And yet in early 2011 Walmart asked P&G for a link between walmart.com and the Facebook page of Pampers.
The first round for the king of marketing in the ring of the king of distribution.
In France, although all car producers have not completely crossed the threshold, the luxury brands are now available for sale on the web.
This is fuel for innovation, and the cosmetics giants could draw inspiration from the business
models of Yves Rocher or Kiehl’s that now sell both on-line and off-line.
From a monologue, from a distribution monopoly, we are entering the era of dialogue and negotiation, as well as of audience marketing. Digitization has given us the capacity to produce the audience that makes the difference, the sale … and distribution is no exception.
Points of sales become media.
Although the pure players, such as Vente-privée (a private sales outlet), fully assume their media dimension, which leads to the discovery of brands and triggers impulse purchasing, and the bricks and mortar are launching as media with genuine legitimacy (Walmart in the US is the fifth television channel with 140 million visitors in its stores every week, Carrefour in France, records for 600 million payments at cash desks in a year, FNAC ensures the majority of its media contacts (56%) with the public through its web sites and points of sales), physical distribution accounts for 53% of Owned Media in France in 2011 and one third of the media exposure of mass consumption brands.
Carrefour, leader of the Owned Media sector (44%), ahead of Leclerc (38%), has set up its first media “sales house” in France with a “below, above, on, off, cross, pluri” inventory…
Another example of a business model undergoing transformation.
The media become points of sale
TF1 has launched the GRP with guaranteed business efficiency, the GRP QA, a screen that produces an audience based on purchased quantities.
YouTube, with 800 million unique visitors a month, has launched an on-line boutique, concert tickets, by-products of videos, mp3 downloading. The written press is testing new digital extensions, such as Le Parisien, which has acquired a majority stake in Clubdeal, a centralized purchasing site, presented as the French-style Groupon website; by-products represent 12 % of the turnover of Prisma Presse, 25 % for Le Figaro and the group Les Echos. At Prisma, digital activities (on-line advertising, stock exchange advice, etc) amount to 55 % of this so-called « by-product » turnover.
A changing press that refuses to bite the apple offered by Apple.
After the Financial Times, which stopped its on-line dissemination through the firm Cupertino last June, thus freeing itself of the 30% commission on sales and subscriptions available on-line, leading French editors of daily newspapers and magazines announced on 14 October that they refused to market their titles through the Apple News Stand
Buy, buy now… from touch points to points of sale, there is no borderline between brands, the media and distributors.
Digitization pushes brands into a third dimension, and it too becomes both media and point of sale.
It is its capacity to create an audience that makes the difference and the sale …
This is the end of the dictatorship imposed by distribution, a breach in the monopoly held by the historic media, a historic challenge for brands that are changing into media.
One dictatorship drives away another, that of the audience replaces the monopolies of yesterday, opening up new opportunities and heralding in the latest « must haves ».
The universal value of tomorrow will be neither the euro nor the dollar but the audience of the brand measured in three Paid, Owned and Earned (POE) media dimensions, their Global Media Performance (GMP).
So here is a tip for your stock exchange investments: the value of brands tomorrow lies in their media value today.
Marketing managers will become programme managers and media agencies will stage the audience of brands in three media dimensions.
Ask for the programme of your brand in 3D: the new MPG POE barometer, the only media performance evaluation of labels in their three Paid, Owned, Earned dimensions, has just been released.
Good old Steve!