Tips from the Trenches
1.Tell a Success Story
Shopper marketing is a mystery to many companies. Whether your sales organization doesn’t understand how shopper marketing can grow their business, or your marketing department doesn’t understand why they should invest dollars to market with the retailers, a success story can help demonstrate the value to both sides. In fact, a successful brand program executed at the retailer that utilizes a good mix of tactics and generated positive ROI will speak volumes.
2.Learn Two Languages
Marketing and merchand ising. These are the languages of our retailers. It often becomes the role of shopper marketing to bring the marketers and merchants together at a retailer. Connect the dots on how shopper marketing can benefit both parties.
3. Execution is Everything
The ability to speak merchand ising’s language also encompasses understand ing how things get done at store level. If you don’t know how a display will get up or the requirements to run creative in a circular, then your program will have a difficult time succeeding. Involving the operations group at the retailer is critical to having a successful program. Jointly pulling together timelines, assigning responsibilities, and tracking details can mean the difference between success and failure.
4. Actionable Insights are Crucial
Recent studies have shown that 86% of retailers want great shopper insights, but feel that manufacturers delivered only 35% of the time. You must have a structured, organized approach to understand ing the shopper problem you’re trying to solve. Using the consumer and shopper journey framework can provide a way to map where you need to go with your research and how it can link your priorities to your retailers.
5. Get What You Measure
Manufacturers tend to gravitate toward measuring short-term ROI, combining dollars spent (both trade and SM) with incremental volume over a period of time. This is a fine way to measure, but by definition, you’ll be focusing your efforts mostly on promotion or merchand ising tactics.
It’s difficult to get incremental volume to enhance ROI in a short time frame if there’s no incremental merchand ising. If you invest dollars in marketing tactics such as direct mail and web-based marketing, you’ll want to tie an incremental emphasis on cases in the store to make sure your invest- ment pays out.
Some companies are taking a longer-range look at ROI and trying to make it more similar to Marketing Mix Analysis. This is also difficult since there are no real industry stand ards for in store (and out of store) marketing vehicle effectiveness.
What does this mean for you?
Focus on achieving a few quick wins and you’ll gain considerable momentum for your future shopper marketing programs. Being shopper “bilingual” is critical. If you can’t present your ideas and programming in a language that retailers understand , you won’t get support for your program.
Consider involving the store and marketing operations groups as a partner in the program. If your program doesn’t execute, you’ll be paying the bills but not feeling great about your program. Make sure you focus on an insight-driven shopper solution. There’s so much data out there that it can become overwhelming, but the quality of your insights is more impactful than quantity.
Finally, we need to start with the end in mind. Develop a balanced scorecard of sales, marketing, and retailer measures that will reinforce the strategies of both your company and your retailer.