Can Mobile Marketing Tours & Pop-Up Shops Replace Permanent Establishments?




  • July 25, 2015

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    Mobile marketing tours and pop-up shops are becoming a major marketing tool, especially in big cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Orlando. There are many benefits for the business looking to extend their reach, connect with more customers and increase their marketing impact but, enough so that they could permanently replace a brick and mortar establishment?


    Below we take a deeper dive into who these experiential tours may be suitable for, what areas to target and what a future marketplace may look like.


    How Much Is Your Rent?

    residential-lease-agreement_fJaIFvwuIf you are not currently renting a storefront any business owner anchored in a brick and mortar establishment will tell you “you gotta do what you can to keep the lights on”. Internet, electric, cleaning services, gas if you’re a restaurant, this list goes on and on. Not to mention monthly rent tacked on top. There are only so many small business loans you can take out if you aren’t constantly turning a profit. At some point ““you gotta do what you can to keep the lights on”.


    Hey, there is a reason why hot-dog and pretzel carts have wheels. If they are not selling they just pick up and move. No rent, no utilities, no barrage of bills. Just the energy it takes to wheel the dirty water dogs to another park. The same idea applies to mobile marketing tours and pop-up shops. Business going flat? Pick up and move to where the customers are. No questions asked, no lease to be broken.


    Where’s The Business At?

    complimentarySo you are probably saying “pop up shops don’t have wheels”. Yes, Pop-up shops are going to take slightly more planning than mobile marketing tours as you will need time to set-up and break down, and eventually vacate but, when proper market research is performed, say outside a complimentary convention, you’re sure to expect a substantial ROI.


    Just make sure your product/service is “complimentary” You wouldn’t try and sell a new women’s fragrance outside a construction themed trade show but you may play with seasonal products, say, sun tan lotion in warmer areas, during warmer seasons or at vacation hot spots.


    Go Mobile. No, Not That Mobile

    mobile-payphone-01-184085-edited

    Mobile marketing tours are much more forgiving. Is no one buying Korean burritos outside the health and fitness convention? Pack it up and split. Mobile marketing vehicles do however come with a higher initial investment as you will need the vehicle and have it outfitted accordingly. If you happen to discover the right experiential marketing firm you may be able to finagle and forego the vehicle purchase. Some companies rent existing vehicles, most likely much cheaper than a 2-year storefront lease in a high traffic area. Of course, some market research and tour location planning will help in the long run.


    So Who Applies?

    Cut and dry, if your not constantly selling where you are now it may be time to start exploring new avenues (no pun intended). Were you expanding business but now some locations are on the chopping block? An empty storefront in a new location may be a cheaper way of testing the market. Do you know the same three repeat customers by name? It could be time to hit the road and make some new acquaintances. Do what you can to boost brand awareness, increase word of mouth and obviously, increase sales.


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    Is This The Future Of The Market?

    There are so many variables when it comes to experiential campaigns such as mobile vehicle tours and pop-up shops. We find that each case is unique and different as it is in any business situation. For one business, a mobile tour could be a permanent solution. For another, the limited space just isn’t sustainable. You don’t leave band-aids on forever. At some point you have to suck it up and rip it off. The real question is; how bad is the wound?

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