Planning for Shopper Marketing Success—One Company’s Winning Strategy

It’s that time of year again when shopper marketing teams plan out their events for the coming fiscal year. However, it’s difficult to plan effectively when you don’t really know what works.

Let’s face it: Traditional marketing mix models just don’t provide the clarity shopper marketing teams need to justify their budgets to skeptical brand teams, customer teams and finance departments. As a result, shopper marketers often end up unable to prove their worth, underfunded, and uncertain on how to allocate their limited resources to achieve the best ROI.

These problems can plague even the shopper marketing teams of the world’s most prestigious companies — including a leading global CPG company that turned to Foresight ROI for support five years ago. In the time since, the company has vastly improved planning by measuring past events more accurately than traditional marketing mixes allow.

The Business Challenge

The company was having trouble measuring its shopper marketing initiatives using traditional marketing mix measurement techniques. These marketing mix models have trouble accurately measuring shopper marketing’s value because it is so intertwined with other marketing activities. As a result, the models often downplay shopper marketing’s contribution to a program’s success.

This traditional approach is also unable to drill down and effectively gauge the ROI of shopper marketing activities at the retailer and tactical levels.

Because of these measurement inadequacies, the fattest slices of the marketing pie typically went to the highest ROAS (return on ad spend) performers in the marketing mix. This meant low scores — and often short shrift — for the company’s shopper marketing team.

With the help of our Shopper Foresight product, that soon changed dramatically.

Our Solution: Shopper Foresight

The Shopper Foresight platform gave the CPG company’s shopper marketing team an array of proven analytics tools that provide granular details on program effectiveness and improve future shopper marketing efforts. The company initially piloted the solution on two of its brands at two key retail customers.

As part of its analysis, Shopper Foresight uses benchmark data compiled from over 35,000 measured programs. This gives the CPG company tremendous visibility into which shopper marketing tactics for each brand at each retailer are outperforming industry norms.

Shopper Foresight also offers predictive modeling capabilities. They allow the company to use the data it accrues to examine inputs (data points and sets) against the desired income of a program (such as a 10% sales lift) to predict program outcomes. Over time, the model uses the additional data it accumulates to become more and more accurate in predicting future shopper marketing ROI. Consistent, frequent use of this predictive analytics tool has enabled the CPG team to improve its shopper marketing ROI each year.

The Benefits

With Shopper Foresight, the company can gauge the ROI of shopper marketing activities at the retailer level and even evaluate the effectiveness of individual tactics such as coupons, loyal customer mailers, in-store displays and other activities. It can also untangle shopper marketing from trade volume to account for and measure the synergy effect created by proper integration with trade promotion elements.

Armed with data from robust program measurement and from predictive analytics, the shopper marketing team now also has the insights to answer three critical questions:

1. How much should we spend?

With a more accurate picture of ROI, the shopper marketing team can create more effective budgets and point to tangible results to justify more departmental funds.

2. Where should we spend?

The company can now see which shopper marketing programs work best at which retailers. This allows it to strategically allocate resources where they are most effective and eliminate underperforming investments. This data also gives the shopper marketing team the ammunition it needs to argue for better product placement at overperforming retail partners.

3. How should we spend?

Shopper Foresight additionally provides granular data into the success of various shopper marketing tactics, pinpointing the most effective ones and the optimal timing for each tactic.

The Results

Pleased with the results of the initial pilot program, the CPG company gradually expanded its use of the Shopper Foresight platform. Today, it relies on Shopper Foresight to measure and inform shopper marketing for 13 of its global brands at six of its largest customers.

The company also deploys best practices in its planning efforts, including reaching the customer along the full path to purchase with both an offer and a message. Such programs are expensive, but the company can measure and show that full path-to-purchase programming increases ROI by as much as 40% as opposed to either pre-store programming or in-store programming on its own.   

Thanks to Shopper Foresight, the CPG company now has the insights to plan its shopper marketing more effectively every planning season — and to justify an increased investment in shopper marketing initiatives that create a clear ROI.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what the head of the company’s shopper marketing team had to say:

“Foresight ROI hit a grand slam! Over the past three years, we’ve increased our shopper marketing ROI by 32%.”

“Our organization is ecstatic about the action-driving content we receive that empowers us to justify our shopper marketing budget, optimize allocations and develop the best shopper programs. We now have a seat at the table where we can have strategic conversations on how to impact full path-to-purchase activities.”

“They helped us achieve significant ROI improvements over the last couple of years and provided us with a level of financial credibility and rigor for showing progress and support required on lower-funnel investments.”

– – head of the company’s shopper marketing team

Foresight ROI, the leading provider of shopper marketing ROI measurement and software solutions, helps CPG companies and retailers increase their shopper marketing effectiveness.  Foresight is totally dedicated to shopper marketing ROI measurement, has a full-time dedicated staff of shopper marketing analysts that have measured over 35,000 shopper marketing programs.  Shopper Foresight is the industry leading shopper marketing ROI measurement solution with standards for data collection, data cleaning and transformations so that the model inputs are homogeneous and best represent how the marketing exposure converts to purchases. To learn more about our measurement, software or industry ROI benchmark solutions, contact us at:

Matt Wheeler
SVP Sales & Marketing