[interview] Wim van der Stelt on the ‘Consumer Sentiment Study’ and sensory marketing

Like to introduce yourself, what do you have with marketing?
‘I am Wim van der Stelt, VP Global Account Management International at Mood Media.
During my studies I was already very fascinated about how marketing activities can “influence” the customer positively, and especially the effects of these efforts fascinated me. And this has never really changed! The conversations we have with our customers – in which they involve us in their challenges and ask us to think along in their sensory marketing strategy are great. But being able to achieve their goals together, that is our mission. ‘

What is Mood Media’s core business? How have you experienced the last five months?
‘Mood Media enriches the customer experience in retail and hospitality by bringing brands to life with the help of sensory marketing. By creating the right mix of music, dynamic content and scent you create recognition and ensure a stronger, deeper (and lasting) connection with your customer. As a global market leader, we are always looking for the latest novelties and developments in our field – think of LED, RFID and custom displays.

Retail and hospitality have not had it easy in recent months. Unfortunately, companies have had to close their doors permanently, including our customers. Despite the fact that we have lost customers, we also notice with many customers customer experience is top of mind and that there is room for new developments, such as:

– Contactless payment, cashier-less shops and Pay to Go (such as Skipping at Spar University)
– Digital queue; you scan a QR code with which you check in and you will receive a message via your mobile when it is your turn. You can then wait outside.
– Count visitors in stores and security cameras that measure the physical distance between customers and alert them in real-time if this distance rule is not respected
– Overhead messaging; spoken messages via the music system in which retailers can tell visitors which (hygiene) precautions have been taken in the shops. ‘

You are experts in the field of customer experience. What can marketers do with this help?

‘We help brands improve the customer experience in their stores and catering locations. We do this by using the right combination of image, sound, scent, social & av solutions to put people in the right mood and to create an emotional bond between the brand and the customer.

This starts with discovering a brand identity, designing and developing a perfect custom solution and ultimately installing and servicing it – all done in-house with a permanent team.

Take our latest Brand Experience Platform – Harmony, for example, which allows marketers to easily manage their music, messaging and digital signage. In this way they can adjust, target and improve communication and interaction with customers on the spot in their stores. Depending on the objective, this can have a positive influence on brand loyalty, sales conversion and create brand ambassadors. ‘

This week / month your research “Consumer Sentiment” appears.
Why has this been carried out? For whom?

Mood Media regularly conducts consumer surveys to measure perceptions of sensory marketing and investigate their impact on the in-store customer experience. With this research, we wanted to better understand consumers’ current “shopping feel” and we wanted to understand how (and if) that sentiment differs between countries that are in different stages of Covid recovery.

With these insights we can inform marketers about what the consumer needs (and especially considers important) to take the step back to the physical store and to see shopping again as a pleasant leisure activity. The sensory experience in the store still plays a crucial role in this, because almost half of consumers prefer to touch, feel and try products in the store. ‘

The survey concerns shoppers in the US, China, UK and France. Why these countries?
During the month of August, we asked over 8,000 consumers in the US, UK, France and China (2,000 consumers per country – which is representative of the local population) a variety of questions about their current shopping behavior, how it has changed (or not) has changed) since the corona crisis hit, and what could prompt specific changes in behavior. We chose these countries because we wanted to collect insights from different continents and countries at different stages of post-lockdown and see if a relevant difference can be observed (which in fact can).

What is the scope of the research and the methodology? Who did it?
Size: 8,120 respondents (50/50 men-women aged 16+).
Methodology: online surveys
Conducted by: Censuswide, an international market research firm with expertise in a variety of fields including consumer, healthcare, business and international research.

They have been asked about their feeling of returning to the brick-and-mortar stores and what gives them confidence to “see shopping as normal” again. Can you share the highlights?
In returning to the physical store since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have seen a new trend: “mission shopping “, going in and out of the store as quickly as possible, so shopping very focused.

In addition, the health and safety measures introduced since the relaxation of global lockdowns have reassured 80 percent of consumers to return to the physical store. The requirement that all visitors must wear a mouth mask is by far the most important measure. But demography and the type of store also play a major role in our post-corona shopping behavior. When it comes to shopping in non-essential stores, people in China (81 percent) and France (77 percent) are much more comfortable than the British (50 percent) and Americans (60 percent).

How can interested parties obtain more research results?
‘View the detailed results of this Mood Media research here.’

Beautiful. Any other news about Mood Media you want to share now?
Mood Media recently launched two new initiatives, Center of Excellence and Mood Reimagined:

The Center of Excellence (COE) – a global division – is made up of diverse experts in a variety of sectors and is composed to provide strategic advice and custom solutions to retailers, hospitality & recreation, healthcare and automotive around the world. The COE will focus on applying new insights into market developments and consumer behavior, so that customers can derive a business advantage from them. With this goal in mind, the Center of Excellence team will consist of strategic researchers identifying and interpreting consumer trends, thought leaders, concept designers and tech experts.

Mood Reimagined is our new customer support and service initiative, which aims to better manage and grow existing customer relationships. To further strengthen this customer-centric approach, Mood Media has invested in new systems and improved support tools – expected to go live in the next quarter – including:

– Call center in the cloud
– International CRM software in the Service Cloud
– Customized Client Support Portal
Chat integration in more than 150 languages
– Upgrade for field service. ‘

OK, thanks.

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