The new concept called shopper marketing continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of marketing spending for consumer packaged goods (CPG). A growing body of research supports the importance of POP promotion and that consumers can be influenced at the point of purchase. Shopper marketing uses POP as its focal point and its strategies extend from the behaviour of instore consumers and the activities associated with instore merchandising and sales.
For marketers, shopper marketing represents a chance to innovate, learn more about consumer purchasing decisions, improve POP displays and advertising, and improve ROI. Shopper marketing provides marketers with more creative leeway – a source of learning and improvement.
Marketing systems and techniques must improve in order for marketers and manufacturers to better their competitors. The adage, “innovate or die” may give impetus to investigating and using shopper marketing insights. If manufacturers are stuck with price-focused marketing and sales, their margins will shrink with the inevitable crash. Since the recession continues for many companies, particularly in the US, building, developing, and leveraging brand equity instore is vital to survival.
Creating Better Insight into Shopper Behaviour
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) commissioned a research study which was named Shopper Marketing 3.0, the third edition. GMA also offers two more recent studies including Shopper Marketing 4.0: Building Scalable Playbooks That Drive Results and Shopper Marketing 5.0: Creating Value with Shopper Solutions. These studies and other studies by POPAI provide excellent insight into shopper behaviour and are valuable for any retailer or POP marketing firms.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Shopper Marketing 3.0 study was conducted with the purpose of better understanding what works in-store, how in-store compares to out-of-store, and how to improve measurement.
GMA accentuates that retailers and CPG manufacturers need to evolve beyond a siloed, tactical approach to shopper marketing. They believe it should be managed as a strategic capability integrated with other demand generation activities. That means shopper marketing should be supported and fused with other marketing and promotional activities.
Summary of Findings
- Consumers choose brands 41% out of store and 59% instore
- 77% of shoppers did their shopping without detailed lists
- Brand preferences are still the dominant factor in creating shopping lists with coupons and family connections and advertising as other influences
- 81% do some sort of research before shopping
- Shoppers prefer a better brand to a better price
- Coupons are more effective for getting consumers to switch brands
- POP display advertising is more effective when there is limited brand preference
- For those who select brands instore, 85% perceive instore advertising and promotions as more important
Innovating Where it Counts
Along with optimizing how marketers and manufacturers approach marketing and promotion, Shopper Marketing 3.0 points out other important benefits. Shopper Marketing can be an effective medium for collaboration between manufacturers and retailers. Manufacturers and brand managers can gain an edge in planning POP and persuading retailers. It can also help manufacturers deal with recession-driven pricing pressures and perhaps avoid price discounting and using other promotional techniques to build brand loyalty and sales.
The study discovered an obvious insight, that price was the most influential point in product purchase decisions. Yet consumers really want better value – another well-known fact. It would seem then that shopper marketing would want to focus on presenting value better to consumers so they lose their price consciousness. The goal is to better understand the consumer’s perceptions, values and needs as they experience them in the store while shopping.
The study concludes that Shopper Marketing is now at a crossroads in its progress. It is not fully aligned with other marketing and demand-generating initiatives therefore it may not be able to achieve its full potential as a strategic marketing tool. The report suggests that shopper marketing must be aligned with brand advertising campaigns that use consistent messaging, use more personalized communications, use consumer and trade promotions to drive trial and gain marketshare, and to use instore merchandising and advertising to activate brand equity closer to the point of sale.
So far it seems, marketers have been unable to consistent convert shopper marketing insights into actionable plans and measure the ROI. You can read more on the Shopper Marketing and the 3.0 study at the GMA website.
How deep is your commitment to shopper research? Do you pursue research casually on the web or are you using insights from other studies?
Is your POP display strategy working? Is your packaging and displays disruptive and unique? Are you putting your promotional dollars in the right POP collateral? How much brand lift are you getting and what are the best Point of Purchase displays to utilize and where is the best placement instore? Be sure to leave your comments!