Create a clear purpose for shopper marketing

There seems to little consensus on what shopper marketing is and herein lies the shopper marketer’s quandary.

How do you articulate the value of something if you can’t define it?

It’s a question that has been weighing on our minds a fair amount recently. We continue to have shopper marketers tell us that they struggle to express what they bring to the table. Or how what they do contributes towards growth and profits.

Whilst shopper marketing struggles to prove its worth in organizations for several reasons, at its heart, there appears to be one fundamental problem. What is shopper marketing? The answer is elusive as the industry is yet to adopt a common shopper marketing definition.

Before we start with what shopper marketing is, perhaps we should debunk the myths and state what shopper marketing is NOT. Check out this video where Mike Anthony explains the misconceptions surrounding shopper marketing.

Shopper marketing is NOT consumer marketing

Whilst some shoppers are the consumers, this is not always the case. Therefore, the factors that influence consumption behaviour are moot when applied to the shopper.

Think beer. What influences the consumption of beer and makes a brand of beer appealing to the consumer, may have the opposite effect and be seen as unappealing by the shopper. Check out this video as an example.

Shopper marketing does NOT only happen in a store

Shopping begins before shoppers enter the store. As soon as a consumption gap is noted and the shopper determines that this gap needs to be filled – so does the shopper marketing process.

Shopper marketing is NOT only relevant in big stores

People shop in an array of different outlets. No matter the size of the store, if shopper behaviour can be influenced, shopper marketing is relevant.

Shopper marketing is NOT part of an evolutionary change

Shopper marketing demands changes to the business model, tools, process – need I go on? With the adaption of shopper marketing, so fundamental shifts need to be applied. The shopper needs to be a clear and ever-present focus in between consumer and retail marketing – after all, the shopper is the conduit to fulfilling the consumer’s needs and desires.

So that tells us what shopper marketing is NOT. But here is an effective definition of what shopper marketing IS.

“Shopper marketing is the systematic creation and application of elements of a marketing mix to affect positive change in shopper behaviour and drive consumption of a brand.”

This definition talks to a deep understanding of a shopper’s behaviour. This understanding is used to drive sales and consumption by communicating with the shopper in a way that positively influences their behaviour. It is about insight, context, relevance and a clear process which effectively integrates consumer, shopper and retail marketing towards a common purpose.

To learn more about how to create a clear purpose for shopper marketing, clearly define your function and strategically integrate it into the total marketing process, sign up for our new course Integrated Strategic Shopper Marketing today – add real value to your business.