Shopper marketing has emerged as one of the most effective ways not only to increase ROI, but also collect data and insights that come out of the shopping experience. These marketing strategies focus on the actual shopper rather than the general consumer—two very different concepts. In its most effective state, shopper marketing will keep messaging to transaction-focused strategies creating deeper insights into consumer behavior.
Shopper marketing is undergoing a transformation because of the convergence of channels. For example, social media has now become a major commerce hub focused on the bottom of the funnel, and eRetail is moving towards the top of the funnel to drive product awareness. With this shift, it's not just the brand marketing teams that need to be privy to data in the digital space. Now, more than ever, it’s important for shopper marketing teams to not only understand the digital tools available, but also the metrics that help marketers understand what drives consumers’ digital purchasing decisions.
Shopper Marketing Teams in the Digital World
Shopper marketing teams have always been primarily focused on the in-store shopping experience, but with the massive increase in online shopping, a necessary shift in strategy is happening. With the growth of eCommerce in categories like beauty, personal care, home care and grocery, shopper marketers must transition to how consumers are shopping these categories that were once primarily bought in-store. Having a deep understanding of how to collect and analyze the data from digital shopper behavior and purchasing decisions will drive the content and strategies needed to convert.
Lack of Understanding Leads to Bad Outcomes
If shopper marketing teams aren’t able to shift with the changing digital tides, then this lack of understanding causes roadblocks and a chain reaction of issues. The biggest roadblocks come from shopper marketing teams transitioning from in-store to digital mindsets, not getting the full picture of the customer journey, and the missing connection of consumers to digital channels. Thankfully, each roadblock has a solution:
- It’s important for shopper marketers today to think beyond their traditional mindset that once focused solely on the in-store shopping experience—or even being only tasked with eCommerce of one specific retailer. Today, it’s important to think about the shopper first and how to open channels that were once reserved only for brand marketing to drive commerce … but now use eRetail to drive brand awareness.
- Creating a holistic shopping experience both online and in-store is crucial in order to understand customer history across all sales channels. Failure to do so will silo data sources and prevent shopper marketing teams from having a 360 view.
- Shopper marketers need to understand how to connect with consumers via digital channels. Missing that connection means less data, and less data means no optimization for everything going on in your marketing department. Taking a page out of the book of brand marketing can help the shopper marketing teams better understand how to capture and measure data digitally.
Shopper Marketing Strategies to Measure Data
So how do shopper marketers win in this new landscape moving into unknown territory outside of their job descriptions? We have a few thoughts:
- Don’t be afraid to embrace a new mindset. The ecosystem is constantly changing, and as marketers (shopper or brand), learning to adapt is the only way to win.
- Practice effective communication and collaboration with the brand marketing team. Now is the time to learn from each other. The brand marketing teams have already been collecting data and connecting with consumers in the digital space, sharing best practices and knowledge across functions to deliver against a common goal.
- Embrace new technology, and train up. Changing ecosystems always bring new and innovative technologies that solve problems. For example, use a consumer-facing eCommerce platform to launch an owned shopping experience that’s connected to your biggest eRetailers to help collect purchase data. You can use that data to optimize your marketing efforts across the board.
Brand Marketing and Shopper Marketing: Better Together
Successful shopper marketing needs brand marketing support, and vice versa. One only benefits the other if done well. Catch 22? Not at all; more like push vs. pull. At the end of the day, both shopper and consumer insights work together to optimize the shopper experience and consumer experience to help brands grow. To drive this synergy, an increase in sharing information across the aisle is important. After all, both teams may have different goals, but the same data and insights are needed to leverage those goals.