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Measuring the value of point-of-purchase marketing with commercial eye-tracking data

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In today's cluttered point-of-purchase environments, creating consumer pull through brand equity is not enough; marketers must also create "visual equity" through P-O-P marketing, i.e., increased consideration due to the visual salience of the product at the point of purchase. Commercial eye-tracking studies are commonly used to measure the ability of P-O-P marketing to attract consumer attention. In this research, the authors examine the validity of these studies for measuring the ability of P-O-P marketing to increase visual equity, and offer suggestions on how to improve them. In particular, they test whether visually noting a product on the shelf, the standard performance metric of these studies, is a reliable predictor of consideration. Second, they build a decision-path model of visual attention and consideration which estimates a product's visual and memory-based equity, and their sensitivity to person, brand, and P-O-P marketing factors. This research provides insights into consumer in-store visual attention and consideration. The authors find that, although limited, consumer attention to brands and prices is more extensive than previous in-store studies have suggested. They also find that visual attention is primarily by brand rather than by price and that consumers make multiple eye fixations on each brand. Finally, this research provides implications for managing shelf space and for measuring the performance of P-O-P marketing. For example, they find that looking at a brand increases its consideration probability by 30 to 120%. They also find that the impact of visual equity is largest for brands with lower memory-based equity, which suggests that allocating shelf space according to market share may not be optimal.

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