Shopper Marketing Myths Debunked (and other lessons from the 2018 P2P Summit)

Shopper Marketing pros went to the Path-to-Purchase Summit to learn. Widespread myths about the art and science of shopper marketing went there to die. Here, we highlight some of last week’s Summit presentations, myth-busters style.

First, sincere thanks to those who attended “Journey to Top Tier Shopper Marketing Organization: A Case Study,” co-presented by Foresight ROI and Tyson Foods. Based on the number of seats filled and questions asked, more and more shopper marketers are embarking on the five-part journey to shopper marketing stardom. 

Getting Noticed: It’s About Slime

Myth: Influencer marketing is not a worthwhile investment for low-involvement products like household cleaners. It works best for high-involvement products such as cosmetics.

Fact: Today’s social shoppers often discover, spread, and create new usage occasions for brands, even low-consideration household products with well-established brand stories. That’s according to “Not Your Parents’ Borax: The Role of Influencers in Shaping Consumer Options of an Age-old Brand,” by co-presenters Ken Krasnow of Henkel North America and Brian Dorgan of Inmar/Collective Bias.

Case in point: 20 Mule Team Borax, around since the 1890s, could not penetrate the Millennial segment—that is, until a slime-making craze spread among their children. This opened up the opportunity for the brand to collaborate with the influencers who’d introduced the multipurpose product to a new generation (albeit as a homemade slime ingredient). The next steps were educating folks about the product’s many “approved” uses in a bid to make TMT Borax a staple item, and reaching out proactively to influencers going forward, since influencer marketing is cheap (for $3 per thousand, brands can engage shoppers for an average of two minutes) and has legs (influencer content can be repurposed into paid media).

Impressions: We would add that influencer marketing works best when integrated with other marketing tactics, especially incentives like coupons to activate the purchase conversion.

The Gumby of Marketing Dollars

Myth: Shopper Marketing measurement has come a long way, but it’s hard to convince people—let alone prove—that a dollar spent on shopper marketing stretches further than marketing dollars spent elsewhere.

Fact: With the right tools, it is possible to justify dollars spent on Shopper Marketing and to measure ROI, tracing the returns directly back to shopper marketing spend. That’s according to “Shopper Marketing Dollars Go the Farthest and We Can Prove It,” presented by Mirnes Karcic of Geometry Global, who showed examples of Shopper Marketing ROI exceeding media and trade promotion. However, the disconnect persists because shopper marketing, trade, media, and e-commerce channels are still, by and large, being measured separately. Combining the four channels and measuring granular and highly integrated shopper marketing tactics takes specialized models.

Impressions: What Karcic described as the “holy grail” measurement model is essentially what Foresight ROI has used to evaluate 25,000 Shopper Marketing events, measuring Shopper Marketing, trade promotion, and media separately in a multi-step modeling process that brings all channels into one model for consistent and comparable ROI metrics.

MTA: A Touch Too Much?

Myth: Multi-Touch Attribution sounds too good to be true. There’s no compelling reason for Shopper Marketers to wrangle with this tricky technology.

Fact: In his presentation “Getting Past the BS of Marketing Measurement,” Greg Stuart of the Mobile Marketing Association admits MTA is “darn hard” but points out that plenty of marketers and retailers are already using it. More importantly, $3 million in research supports his assertion that MTA might be the most important tool marketers have to uncover the real ROI in mobile marketing, driving performance up over 500 percent in the case studies he shared.

While MTA is a viable solution for some, there are some obstacles to widespread adoption including insufficient data.

Impressions: We love to see people pushing for measurement innovation to solve real and actionable issues for shopper marketers; however, at this point, MTA is overly advanced for most CPGs. As it stands, many CPGs still lack accurate ROI measurement of their Shopper Marketing programs and tactics, and should fill that gap first.

Giant Leaps and Small Steps: Both Have Their Place in Goal-setting

Myth: Setting SMART goals—goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely—is a surest way to succeed.

Fact: That depends on how you define success. In his presentation “Moonshot Thinking: Are You Ready, Willing, and (Most Importantly) Able,” Ted Souder of Google introduced the concept of a “moonshot” project, which “exists somewhere between the audacious and pure science fiction”—not necessarily reasonable, in other words, but doable just the same. Souder challenges companies to strive for 10-fold improvement because a more typical goal of 10 percent merely keeps pace with competitors. Moonshot thinking encourages CPG marketers to go where no CPG has gone before, leading the charge in the use of promising but as-of-yet unproven marketing technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Impressions: Moonshot thinking has its place, but not every thrust forward can be a rocket ride. Foresight ROI’s predictive analytics tool allows shopper marketers to engage in a measure-learn-improve process of continuous improvement. By design, this approach produces small, incremental changes from one cycle to the next, but over time, they amount to big gains. 

This is the last of a three-part blog series on the journey to becoming a top-tier shopper marketing organization. Part 1 outlined the five-part journey. Part 2 discusses part five of the journey, continuous improvement, in detail. This final installment is Foresight ROI CEO Rick Abens’ highlight reel of the 2018 P2P Summit. 

Foresight ROI is the leader in shopper marketing measurement, decision support, and software solutions for CPG companies and retailers. To learn more about our measurement, software or industry ROI benchmark solutions, contact us at:

Rick Abens
Founder & CEO