Up to now, marketing strategies employed traditional methods such as print, television, radio and online media to get people to buy their products. But US marketing research found that in one week over 110 million households walked into Wal-Mart stores, while less than 70 million watched the news on TV, says Marc Ducnuigeen, president international of the Integer Group, one of the foremost global shopper marketing agencies and part of TBWA\Worldwide.
US marketers realized that to get people to buy their products, they would have to target shoppers in-store and this was how shopper marketing started. A Deloitte/GMA survey (Delivering the Promise of Shopper Marketing 2008) found that marketers would progressively shift away from using traditional marketing strategies to shopper marketing.
Research found that while we are all consumers, we are not all the same type of shopper. While manufacturers market the brand, through traditional channels to the consumer (the person who uses the product), shopper marketing targets the person who does the actual shopping. The trick is to get the right mix of pre-store and in-store marketing to increase in-store purchases.
"To effectively market to shoppers, companies must generate targeted insights for specific shopper segments, specific trip missions and even specific stores. Innovation in our arena is about discovery of new ways to inspire shopper needs and desires, or new ways to satisfy them," says Ducnuigeen.
Shopper marketing is based on a deep understanding of shopper behaviour, as opposed to just understanding consumer behaviour. It is designed to build brand equity, engage the shopper and leads him or her to make a purchase. In simpler terms, shopper marketing involves marketing campaigns where it matters - at the point of purchase.
"Shopper marketing is not a destination; it's a means to an end. It fills a critical void in the industry's goal of 360-degree marketing, which integrates all marketing elements and stimuli into a single holistic story," he adds.African push
Up to now, the concept has been a fledgling discipline in developing markets, such as South Africa. However, this is changing fast, as South African retailers and manufacturers are now communicating more directly with shoppers - guiding their choices and acknowledging their different needs and wants.
For example, stores such as Woolworths now have the 'dinner for four for under R100' campaign in stores to promote certain products to their shoppers; at payment points there are displays reminding them of essential items they are likely to forget and soon there will be apps on cellphones for shopping list planners and recipes.
With certain South African retailers having started the shopper marketing trend here, it is about to reach newer heights with Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, entering the fray.
"Wal-Mart's move into the country and, by extension, Africa is expected to bring lower prices, new products and innovative store formats. Moreover, while retailers are sure to come up with solutions to compete with Wal-Mart, South African shoppers are in for a brand new retail experience as well as the expanding shopper marketing phenomenon that is its hallmark," comments Derek Bouwer, group CEO of TBWA\South Africa.
The case for the efficacy of shopper marketing is compelling. Statistics show that:
- 70% of all purchase decisions are made in-store (POPAI)
- 68% of purchase decisions are impulse driven (POPAI)
- 68% of people are brand switchers (Nielsen Media Research)
- 5% of people are loyal to one brand (POPAI)
- 73% shop in five or more channels (IRI)
- 26% of people are loyal to an average retailer (General Mills)
- 58% will leave an aisle empty-handed because they cannot find what they are looking for (The Integer Group)
Bouwer foresees shopper marketing being a huge opportunity here and on the African continent. As an emerging market with huge growth potential, South Africa and Africa provide the perfect environment for shopper marketing to bloom.
Shopper marketing explores new ways to inspire needs and desires. With a combination of traditional media, technology, activation and social media, it is capable of bringing products to life and increasing shopper knowledge, empowerment and convenience.