Shopper Marketing Dos and Don’ts

What do shoppers want and why do they pick certain brands over others?

What do shoppers want and why do they pick certain brands over others? According to Jonathan Dodd, vp/global director of strategy and shopper marketing practice at G2, a global network of specialist marketing communications companies, marketers must first put themselves in the target shopper's shoes to gain a fresh perspective. What follows is Dodd’s “shopping list” of strategies that work and those that don’t when it comes to reaching consumers.




TALK TO SHOPPERS. Traditional brand awareness and attitude research won't tell you why shoppers pick up your brand or pass it by in the aisle. Talk to shoppers in the store as they shop. Talk to them at home as they plan.


Dr. Pepper Snapple talked to shoppers about how they shop the increasingly complex beverage category. It led to a new beverage aisle based not on brands and categories but on need states and occasions.


ENGAGE ALL SHARHOLDERS. Shopper marketing requires collaboration across a variety of disciplines at both the manufacturer and retailer: Marketing, sales, category, operations, among others. Each has its own agenda. Getting everyone to agree on the goal is the first step to success.


PUSH THE BOUNDARIES. Don't let retailers' guidelines be a barrier to big ideas. You'll find retailers are open innovation if your ideas are based on shared objectives and grounded in shopper insight.


MEASURE AND EVALUTAE. It's important to track which programs are successful at meeting their objectives. It's even more important to understand why.





FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY ON THE SHELF. Some of the biggest opportunities to change shopper behavior exist away from the aisle or even outside the store. What can you do to put your brand on the shopping list?


APPLY TRADITIONAL CREATIVE RULES. Even the most memorable brand-building advertising may not be relevant to the shopper. Shopper marketing needs to help the shopper make choices.


Tide Total Care provides rational information about how it keeps clothing looking better longer to reframe value compared to less-expensive brands in the same aisle.


THINK RETAIL IS THE SAME AS TRADITIONAL MEDIA. It's not as simple as a 30-second spot in American Idol. Retail media require collaboration and negotiation with retailers, to secure activity and to ensure compliance.


THINK ALL SHOPPRS ARE ALIKE. Just as brands have segmented their users, retailers have segmented their shoppers. Understand their segments. Identify the common ground.


LIMIT YOUR THINKING TO YOUR BRAND, OR EVEN THE CATEGORY. Shoppers think about occasions and solutions, not brands and categories. Partner with other parts of the store to meet shoppers' needs.


The Clorox Company created cross-category cold prevention and treatment solutions by teaming up with top OTC brands at Kmart. In- and out-of-store media promote the germ fighting power of Clorox products together with the relief provided by OTCs like Tylenol, Advil and Robitussin.