One of the following thoughts will change your company’s view of shopper marketing.
Shopper marketing thinking dates back a decade ago, and is in need for a revamp. Right now, FMCG manufacturers and (most of) their agencies are “lost” dealing with a bipolar shopper marketing departments that are neither channel nor brand marketing areas. Worse, they seem helpless to integrate the new digital shopper journey into the old location-based shopper models brought to them by pop material design/research agencies. They see change, but don’t know how to proceed.
If the old shopper marketing journey is not exhaustive any more because the world has grown bigger and multidimensional with the smart phone mobile revolution. Can we as marketers integrate it all into the brand strategy again? Yes. But first let’s take a look at a list of the most annoying thoughts I found in more than 100 articles and lectures about shopper marketing in the last couple of years.
Please present your views, as I am about to present my solutions in a series of articles for Linkedin.
If you work in marketing for a FMCG company, you will probably identify with at least one of these puzzling themes and questions:
1) There is not such a thing as a unique shopper journey anymore! Digital shoppers start their decision process long before entering the store. Brands need to understand their shoppers need states in every decision touch-point to capture value in the end of the path to purchase.
2) One of the biggest concerns of consumer goods companies is how to integrate brand and shopper marketing in order to create a consistent experience that translates into incremental sales.
3) The last click is no longer the most important step in the path to purchase. With more and more sophisticated, complex products, brands are relying more than ever in influence marketing to drive the first click to their products while shoppers trust each other better than ad campaigns. Winning the zero-moment of truth seems to be the safe bet in the digital arena.
4) Shopper experience can create deeper connections without excessive budget (big activations for example), when it is in sync with the specific attitude towards purchasing that makes sense to shoppers in their specific mission and contexts.
5) New studies in neurosciences and behavioral economics are revealing the role of irrationality and cognitive biases in shopper behavior. These findings will have a profound impact in advertising and creative teams in the coming years.
6) Is big data getting in the way of good marketing? Information overload and more fragmented media options have created a massive frustration among good marketers that do not work for the Googles or Amazons out there. Designing comprehensive analytic models is the new “to do” for companies in general. Once this task is done we can all be back to focus on creating great campaigns and promotions.
7) Is grocery shopping online the next frontier of e-commerce? What is preventing shoppers to adopt online grocery shopping massively are the retailers themselves. E-commerce apps in Asia, and not supermarket chains, have a great deal to teach us about e-commerce experience.
8) Global branding strategies versus local shopper marketing don’t usually work in sync. What story telling and content marketing can teach us about the brand authenticity bricks that potentially create connection with consumers and shoppers locally?
9) Too many options do not translate into more sales. Instead, it may hinder basket growth and prevent shoppers from experiencing new products. Shoppers are less rational than they say they are. Although counter intuitive, behavioral economics teaches us not to trust in self-declaratory marketing research when it comes to understanding some shopper behaviors.
10) Building loyalty is very different than creating incentives for increased purchase frequency. However, a few retailers are setting themselves apart from the crowd to avoid promotional traps and price wars. Customer centricity is a mindset that seems to bring the right focus into innovative strategies to connect with shoppers and consumers in a deeper way.
11) No company controls what is being said about their brands. And every brand faces the risk of a PR crisis at any moment. However it is possible to extract good ready to deploy marketing tactics from data collected while trying to monitor social medias if one uses the right research gadgets.
12) IOT (internet of things), VR (virtual reality), beacons, mobile campaigns, video on demand, geolocation based promotions…After the Pokemón Go mania, what are the new technologies with real potential to transform the way we go shopping in bricks and mortar stores?
13) Traditional shopper research basic assumption is that there is a linear purchase model with an exact idea of how, when and why consumers use certain touchpoints at different stages. However, this often given image is an illusion….more frequently than not, people go shopping with only a self-defined attitude instead of a rational plan.
14) Brands that are cutting through the clutter of information overload usually become relevant by applying content targeted marketing and personalization along the shopper journey. There is no space for a “one-size-fits-all” approach anymore.
15) Data-driven marketing biggest problem is when finally one has a lot of information and don’t know what to do with it. The role of a marketing metrics area is to create actionable analytical insights from data, not to create a cute dashboards disconnected from the real action.
16) ROI in marketing must be redefined. There are so many variables that are intertwined along the decision touch points of consumers and shoppers, that the illusion of being able to isolate one is definitely hindering better analysis.
17) Is sensory marketing “a thing” worth paying attention to? What’s the role of our senses in creating stimuli to shoppers? I am convinced that there are some persuasive sensorial call to action messages that have been ignored so far.
18) Is the traditional path to purchase dead? No. But it is time to pop-material creators to realize that it is not enough just to increase shelf visibility with bigger, brighter, bolder, signs. In-store marketing agencies have to be more intelligent than that. They should create communication platforms that resonate with shopper need states for each channel.
Share your thoughts with us in English, Spanish or Portuguese.
about me: (Rafael D’Andrea)
I was probably one of the the first non-American authors that have systematized the shopper marketing overall thinking in 2010, turning it into a book with a couple of Professors (2011, ed. Atlas), and a discipline in my home country, where I wrote some of the best selling books about shopper and trade marketing. I hold a master’s degree from INSEAD and own a research/shopper marketing agency focused in emerging markets, based in Sao Paulo since 2005. Our biggest challenge? Breaking and entering (or altering) the global brand strategies to fit them into the Latin American shopper mindset, or as I call it: “tropicalizing the global guidelines”. It takes a lot of research, rationale, and insight to convince global brand managers that some parts of the world are just different, and need a different approach, but once they see that it works, they are usually fine with that.
For more info visit rafaeldandrea.com.br or toolboxtm.com.br