Technology-enabled shopper marketing is the magic potion to stimulate CPG shoppers
With its soaring popularity, shopper marketing has become a favorite tactic of the consumer packaged goods industry. So, it’s not surprising that CPG manufacturers are on an investment spree to pump money into shopper marketing. Speaking concisely, it is the whole gamut of promotional strategies developed after closely following shoppers along the path to purchase, and then activating them when they are actually in the midst of shopping in a particular in-store setting. The fundamental difference between it and traditional marketing is in the sense that the former gives its undivided attention to the buyer and not the consumer.
Why is shopper marketing gaining momentum?
Lately, shopper marketing has risen to prominence because it gives shoppers a steroid-boosted retail experience and a competitive edge to both CPG manufacturers and retailers. If we venture to go deeper, we will find that a quartet of reasons is playing their part to make shopper marketing a prominent tactic in the CPG marketing mix.
- Getting on the pre-planned shopping list: The consumer decision-making process has currently undergone a sea change. Consumers are reluctant to give in to impulse buying; instead they are sticking to preplanned shopping lists. A 2010 report titled “Before the Store” by NPD Group suggested that a whopping 94% of US shoppers prepared shopping lists before they headed toward a store. As things stand, this does not augur well for CPG manufacturers, so they have to do their best by combining forces with retailers to get on the buyers’ shopping list.
- Pricing and more: The specter of economic downturn has forced shoppers to control the purse strings tightly. They have become price-conscious more than ever and are always on the lookout for deals and discounts. In view of the reputed market research enterprise IRI, shoppers will carry on with a conservative approach to purchasing, but gradually price will not remain as the sole yardstick while seeking value from products. To accommodate themselves to this shifting reality, CPG marketers have to go beyond price to sway shoppers’ behavior inside the store.
- Digital engagement: Massive reach of social media outlets, unthinkable penetration of smart mobile devices, and matching growth in digital marketing channels have altered the entire shopper marketing scene. Surveys on this aspect regularly point out that customers are using smartphones and tablets with great gusto to trawl product-related information or compare prices. Hence, it will be absolutely prudent for CPG manufacturers to stay on the same page with shoppers as far as disruptive technologies are concerned.
- Competitive advantage through shopper marketing: As trade promotion expenditures are rocketing up and private label products doing business worthy of attention, producers and retailers are feeling an overwhelming urge to have a competitive advantage. And, shopper marketing is the right vehicle to gain that.
Understanding the connection between shopper marketing and IT to initiate process improvements and design a superior collaborative framework in the CPG ecosystem
It doesn’t matter how a CPG manufacturer considers shopper marketing within the organizational ambit. It may be dealt with as a cross-functional strategy that is closely attached to brand marketing or it can be handled as an extended arm of category management that is a constituent element of sales. What matters most is the microscopic analysis of opportunities and impediments that dot all over the way of shopper marketing. Afterwards, use IT to develop a shopper marketing paradigm that delivers. Also, manufacturers must have a crystalline knowledge of path to purchase for company’s flagship brands and the underlying technologies that form the backbone of those critical operations. Again, IT has the power to establish a durable partnership among shopper marketing, sales, and brand marketing to present an integrated perspective on buyers’ behavioral data and accompanying analytics.
Tapping customer insights is the bedrock of shopper marketing activities and advanced analytics tools make that bedrock erosion-proof
For CPG manufacturers, it is vital to comprehend shopper insights accumulated from all the three phases of the path to purchase- pre-shop, shop, and post-shop. Sophisticated analytics platforms can help CPG companies deploy shopper marketing profitably, and prompt shoppers to spend more.