Four steps to a successful shopper marketing program
To paraphrase the classic fisherman parable, “Give a shopper a great deal and they’ll feel good for a day. Give them a great solution and they’ll be loyal for months.”
Successful shopper marketing today is defined by three metrics: program ROI, strategic sales goals, and enhancement of brand equity. The best marketers are achieving these in large order by connecting equity to solution, be it health regimen, meal-based or lifestyle-oriented. Whether in grocery, mass, club or drug, retail channels are seeing the strongest results driven by rich, authentic, and sometimes truly inspired partnerships that activate across shopper touch points.
Shopper insights in large part are guiding solutions-based programming by focusing on deep understanding of shopper behavior, particularly trip behavior. Below is a great summary of this dynamic and how it influences program design.
So what ARE the four most critical steps to creating a successful shopper program? The following is a proven pathway capturing all the key questions you need to address:
1. DIALOGUE WITH THE SHOPPER
Nothing else matters if you are not executing against well-understood behavioral shopper triggers and barriers to conversion. Need state, trip, seasonality, nature of the channel itself all factor into HOW you connect with the shopper and WHAT you are communicating to drive purchase.
Are you leveraging tools and/or media the targeted shopper actually uses and values? (e.g., is the execution mobile-first if targeting millennials?)
2. EXTEND BRAND RELEVANCY
If you aren’t making your brand essential to the story – to the need you are addressing – your programming will not be optimized. Starting with the establishment of clear brand guardrails, explore opportunities to leverage and extend brand assets and campaigns to both the retailer and to potential brand partners who can help you deliver a richer solution (and provide added-value in the bargain).
Will this shopper execution not just drive sales but also improve brand equity/loyalty with the shopper?
3. ALIGN WITH THE RETAILER
Notice this isn’t the last step. Developing a program from the start that can clearly speak to the category buyer’s objectives and align with the retailer’s strategic goals will both drive greater support and ultimately stronger results. This can translate in a number of ways:
• demonstrating growth for the category (not just stealing share from a competitor)
• provide the category with new insights
• appropriately utilize retailer vehicles and platforms
• targeting a shopper segment that is strategically important to the customer
• driving traffic and sales to other departments as part of a broader solutions-based approach (cross-promotional partnership)
Can you promise measurable benefit against 2 or more retailer goals that go beyond just short-term sales.
4. RE-FRAME BUSINESS GOALS
In many ways this closely connects with #3 – are you aligning your brand’s business priorities with those of the retailer? Shopper programs can and should be developed with clear and measurable business objectives that address incremental display, while specifically addressing issues on a retailer-by-retailer basis. Shopper can be surgical in it’s precision to identify and target unique goals so use it that way – and then build in KPI’s to measure and learn.
Are all key stakeholders aware and aligned with your re-framed and customized objectives?
For more shopper marketing information contact HDavidson@centra360.com.