Key insights for retail marketers and what they mean for the shopper experience
By Joe Holmes, Tag
The top 600 consumer brands globally spend a combined 50 billion dollars annually on in-store shopper marketing. Only 3% of CMOs are confident that they can truly measure the return-on-investment on this spend.*
In the retail space, we know that the shopper experience is highly competitive. Consumer marketers are desperate to find new ways to engage the shopper, improve speed-to-market and effectively measure and track their multichannel investment. New disruptors and more channels, technologies and consumers are always top of mind.
After attending Shopper Insights & Retail Activation in Chicago, we returned with five key takeaways about the shopper marketing experience and insight as to what solutions shopper marketers need, now.
- Retail Marketers are all trying to catch up with shoppers.
Sri Rajagopalan, SVP of eCommerce and Digital at Revlon, explained that even as a leading cosmetics company with significant experience (and budget), in customer insight and strategy, the company is continually attempting to catch up with shoppers. As consumer behavior and buying habits evolve through the utilization of advanced technology, companies are often on the back-foot when it comes to understanding the shopper journey. To be successful, brands must link shopper strategy with retail design, content production, sourcing and delivery.
- More consumers are shopping with their conscience. Brands need to step up, or step out.
Driven by millennials, there is a vast increase in social consciousness, where consumers are demanding to ‘buy right’ from brands which mirror their values. From coffee to cars, consumers today really do care about how their consumerism impacts the environment and society. As such, brands that can validate their sustainable and ethical practices across the supply chain are being viewed positively and winning in brand loyalty.
- The in-store physical experience is still critical for brand identity in omni-channel marketing.
It’s challenging for brands to build and maintain their brand identity online. Most websites are built utilizing similar grid systems and an intuitive customer journey is now expected. So how are brands creating an emotional connection with customers? Often through the in-store experience. Store flow, colors, space, messaging and most importantly customer service are all key ingredients establishing brand identity.
- Retail marketers cannot operate in silos.
John Ross, President and CEO at IGA, Inc. stated that for brands to really move forward and be successful, they must ‘blow up’ internal silos and put the most important thing first: the customer. The person buying your product doesn’t care that your marketing and brand and operations and procurement functions have different strategies, objectives and opinions of how to succeed. They want to purchase products with a frictionless journey.
- Nobody knows what’s next.
Whitepapers, books and column inches from skilled retail practitioners mostly tell a different story. Some compare, some contrast, and some disparage each other, but one thing is for certain – nobody really knows what is next! As Sri said: “brands are still trying to catch up with shoppers, so we have no real chance of overtaking them.” However there is no debating the fact that creating a consistent, omni-channel experience for consumers is critical for brands today.
This is where Tag excels. When leading FMCG brands come to us, we create solutions that help them to better engage the shopper through a consistent, targeted, omni-channel marketing approach. We begin with an execution strategy built on shopper insights. Plans for consumer engagement are created based on the learning and testing of unique brand stories and tracked to measure effectiveness of current and future campaigns.
We further shape the success of shopper marketing by transforming marketing production to break down the fragmented agency landscape and internal silos. Brand, agency, internal marketing, creative production, procurement, sourcing, delivery and distribution all work together through one seamless marketing production system. Ideas for shopper engagement become actionable from inception.
While nobody may know exactly what is next for the future of retail marketing, we do know how to improve current state and prepare for the future. Our advice: establish an end-to-end retail proposition across shopper strategy, retail design, content production, sourcing, delivery and analytics.
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