Thoughts on the Growing Role of Pop-Ups: Interview with Jane Hawley, SVP, Sparks


Tell us about your company and what it does.

Sparks is a leading global marketing agency committed to delivering compelling creative marketing solutions that build brand and customer preference across all marketing channels – exhibit, event, environment, retail and related programs. Our core competencies include the strategy, creative, production, management, marketing and measurement of tradeshow exhibits, events, meetings, digital experiences, themed environments, custom retail fixtures, shop-in-shops, point of purchase displays and other related marketing platforms.

How are you helping clients to do more with less in today’s market?

In this – and every – economy, we make a point to measure, analyze, quantify and qualify every dollar clients spend. Each of our client interactions is based on incorporating strategy, research, data collection and analysis into marketing decisions, determining the type of program needed and how it can best be produced for maximum result and most effective use of budget. We utilize that data to help our clients continuously prove and improve the performance of the programs we develop together.

▶ It’s just this sort of analysis that leads us to outfit our clients with custom solutions that target a particular audience. Pop-Up experiences are an excellent example of smart spending and pinpointed execution based in research.

Where do Pop-Ups currently fit in your clients’ overall marketing mix?

In this economy, brands can’t stay close enough to consumers. Creating additional face-to-face opportunities such as Pop-Ups, which are targeted, local and intimate, allows us to directly influence client sales. Pop-Ups are most effective when combined with other brand building campaigns such as online promotions, microsites, coupons, sweepstakes/contests, publicity stunts, etc.

When should clients consider doing a pop-up?

Pop-Ups are something that B-to-C clients are definitely expressing interest in these days. They are the perfect vehicle for a product launch, rebranding awareness campaign or product demonstration because they allow consumers to interact with the product and brand in a highly personal manner that is also cost effective to the client.

▶ Pop-Ups are also popular with B-to-B clients; they are a strong alternative venue for meetings or presentations whose visibility serves a dual purpose – they increase brand awareness to the general public.

How do clients know what type of pop-up is right for them?

Specific marketing goals and objectives dictate if the Pop-Up is based on a brand or retail experience. If the product can be easily purchased at retail outlets, the pop-up experience is most effective when it creates demand and generates interest, driving consumers to retail location and/ or the web to make a purchase. However, if brand awareness and key messaging is paramount, the experience should be developed to communicate brand attributes and connect with consumers in a highly engaging and interactive manner, a manner more focused on “surprise and delight” than on a purchase.

Are Pop-Ups replacing other events or retail channels?

As the line between retail and entertainment continues to blur, agencies like ours need to continue to develop new and exciting ways to connect clients with customers, create buzz for products and services, and drive sales. Pop-Ups are a fresh new way to communicate a brand or product message in an engaging, interactive manner directly where consumers are already shopping, playing, working or traveling.

What are the biggest untapped opportunities of the Pop-Up concept today? While the amount of existing unoccupied retail space in high traffic urban areas and shopping malls makes Pop-Ups contained in permanent structures a natural fit, it is easy to forget that movable temporary Pop-Ups can also be quite effective. Kiosk or custom built open-air units can be constructed in one or more locations and also be quickly moved for an equally impressive program.

2828 Charter Road
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19154
United States

2828 Charter Road
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19154
United States

February 1, 2013

By Kristy Elisano