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

by Jul 21, 2015

Whether your noticing or not, mobile marketing tours and pop-up shops are becoming a major marketing tool for growing businesses and start-ups, especially in big cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Orlando. There are endless benefits for the business looking to extend their reach, connect with more customers and increase their marketing impact on a budget but, is this enough that they could permanently replace a brick and mortar establishment?

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

How Much Is Your Rent?

Any honest business owner anchored in a brick and mortar establishment will tell you “You have to do what you can to keep the lights on”. Internet, electric, cleaning services, gas, this list goes on and on. Don’t forget 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.

Hey, there’s a reason why hot-dog and pretzel carts have wheels. If they are not selling they just pick up (literally) and move. No rent, no utilities, no barrage of bills, just the energy it takes to wheel the dirty water dogs to another corner. The same idea applies to mobile marketing tours and pop-up shops. Is business flat lining? Don’t wait for them to magically appear. Pick up and move to your customers. Move to the money! No questions asked, no lease to be broken. Just you and your nomadic business spirit.


So, Where’s The Business At?

So you are probably thinking “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, break down, and eventually vacate but, when thorough market research is performed, say targeting a complimentary trade show or convention, substantial ROI gains are sure to follow.

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, at vacation hot spots and of course, at a beauty trade show.


Go Mobile. No, Not That Mobile

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 to source a 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 at much less of a cost than a two-year storefront lease in a high traffic area. Again, some preliminary market research and detailed 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 adding locations but now some have now wound up 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.


Is This The Future Of The Market?

Is it the future for all business? It is unlikely. Will it grow? Yes, we would not be surprised to see this become a more popular business step. Is it right for you? 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 suitable for a growing business. Band-aids are not permanent. 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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