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Retailers and Brands Plan To Increase Their Investments in Shopper Marketing

New Trends in Consumer Centric Retail and Branded Food Marketing

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According to a new study from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, 83 percent of food, beverage and consumer product manufacturers plan to increase their investments in shopper marketing.

What is Shopper Marketing. Wikipedia has probably the best plain english description. " Shopper marketing is understanding how one's target consumers behave as shoppers, in different channels and formats, and leveraging this intelligence to the benefit of all stakeholders, defined as brands, consumers, retailers and shoppers. " The graphic from the report illustrates the elements for Consumer Packaged Goods for Shopper Marketing. What it clearly illustrates is retailers and brands are indentifying the consumer decision process and identifying the many different consumer segments that make up their Target Market.

Shopper marketing starts at home, work or in the car and ultimately is reinforced at the retail level to get the product in the consumers basket. For the uninitiated, it may seem simple but I included the graphic to illustrate the key aspects… and they are complex. Complex does not mean impossible…. It means get to know your customer! Now that is a novel thought.

According to the 2010 report from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) " A majority of companies (55 percent) rank shopper marketing as their number one investment and will boost spending by more than 5 percent annually ."

One of the main drivers is today's consumer is they are shopping for product information and deals on the internet for at least 50% of their shopping trips. This highlights the urgent need to identify the most effective shopper marketing strategies for engaging consumers along the entire path to purchase, not just in the store. Insights: Impulse purchasing will decline based on this behavior and retailers have relied on Impulse Purchases to increase what the y call the "basket size". You know.. The shopping cart gets fuller… you pay more!

Collaboration is key in Shopper Marketing. No longer can brands and retailers create autonomous programs. Collaboration is a challenge since brands are rightfully focused on… hmmmm… their brand! And of course retailers are focused on the product mix in the category. And Shopper marketing requires in store tactics that obviously need the cooperation of the retailer. The positive aspect here is everyone is sort of forced to work together AND the consumer is the main beneficiary… hmmm, Customer Delight once again:)

GMA Director of Sales and Sales Promotion Brian Lynch states the resources today are unprecedented and allow the development of customized shopper marketing programs. Collaboration is difficult to start with and the growing importance of Social Media makes this all the more difficult. Additionally the various tools available, such as FourSquare, Groupon, mobile applications and now FaceBook are evolving at an exponential rate that makes the internet a moving target.

If you are in the business of retail foods or retail consumer packaged goods, here are some key findings of the report. ing which shopper marketing vehicles are most effective at achieving various marketing objectives along the path to purchase:

  • Build brand awareness through platforms such as retailer and brand websites. Check out Campbell's Kitchen as a great example.
  • In-store displays, the end of aisle displays that attract your attention
  • Coupons & circulars, which are rapidly migrating toward electronic channels since print media is taking a nose dive (When was the last time you read a newspaper or magazine)
  • Email Marketing, such as Constant Contact allow personalized emails to narrow segments of customers can boost product trial and reinforce the very important repeat purchase. Retailers and brands clearly want you to try a product for the first time, but customer loyalty is measured by purchasing the product repeatedly
  • No surprise that Social Media is rapidly becoming the vehicle for building brand loyalty. Social Media is today's version of Word of Mouth. So get on the bandwagon if you are not embracing Social Media. Check out The Daily Grommet as a great example of grass roots word of mouth.
  • Mobile, whether it be mobile apps or text based programs offered by innovators such as Smart Reply, that uses simple text based message for engaging the consumer where they are… usually tied to their phone!

If you are in the business of selling food, either at retail or via e-commerce spend some time reading the full report at www.gmaonline.org/publications.

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