On a Roll: Al Witteman

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Al Witteman, 53, joined Creative Solutions Group, Fairfield, N.J., last year as exec VP-sales and marketing, after spending nine years at Ryan Partnership. Mr. Witteman advises retailers on turning sales promotion into "point-of-experience" marketing.

Insight: Effective sales promotions must focus on the consumer, not the product. Too many in-store marketing initiatives are still centered on price when consumers respond more to excitement, involvement and emotional cues.

Opinion: The Internet competes with retail, but retail has the advantage if the consumers get unique information and hands-on experiences unavailable anywhere else.

Watch for: General-market stores becoming a series of mini-destinations within the whole, incorporating multiple specialty store environments to appeal to multiple aspects of individual consumers.

Tip: Marketers designing in-store promotions need to tap all five senses. Sound effects, smells and tastes can be integrated into sales promotions through creative displays and live sampling.

Prediction: Retailers that thrive in the next five years will be masters of "shoppertainment," giving consumers a good price and an entertaining experience.

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