Delivering on shopper marketing strategic value points

We have come a long way in shopper marketing.

Until relatively recently the shopper did not feature in our strategy sessions – our focus on the consumer was absolute.

At last it has been acknowledged that shoppers and consumers are not one and the same. A good step forward for the CPG and retail industry at large!

However, our work here is far from done.

The art of shopper marketing remains a bit of an enigma. Shopper marketing means different things to different people. To some, it’s about a strategic process and the activities that follow. To others, it is just about trinkets and trash.

This lack of clarity is clearly a challenge to those that see the value in shopper marketing, as this pervasive lack of understanding stops us from realising the true value and moving forward as an industry.

If no-one really knows what shopper marketing is, and it can’t be tied to key aspects of the business – the strategic value points of shopper marketing will be missed entirely.

In a nutshell the core of shopper marketing is about two fundamentals; the shopper and marketing.

Fundamental 1 – We must concentrate our efforts on the shopper, and influencing their purchasing behaviour.
Fundamental 2 – We need to gain an understanding of our target market – the shoppers – and dazzle those specific shoppers with our marketing arsenal.

Historically, a substantial investment is made on what some consider to be the “trinkets and trash” – the plethora of free gifts, giveaways, samples and demonstrations.

So what’s the downfall of this approach? Consistent spending on these tools without very little return on investment can result in us seeing these functions – the trinkets and trash – as peripheral, and largely irrelevant.

So to give these tools more strategic oomph, power and purpose is to make sure to reciprocate with compelling ROIs.

The cause of shopper marketings apparent lack of purpose is still rooted in managers and agencies continued lack of basic understanding as well as seeing shopper marketing as a subset of trade marketing in retail or a part of the consumer marketing function.

Gaining thorough understanding and a true perspective is imperative to the success of shopper marketing strategies.

So what’s the remedy? Start by answering, the following questions:

– Which shoppers am I focusing on?
– What do I want them to do?
– What do they do now?
– What do we want them to do in the future?

For more on this, as well as our Five Step Total Marketing Process, listen to our podcast on How To Create Your Own Shopper Marketing Revolution.

January 9, 2018