Special Shopper Marketing Best Practices Series Part 1: Winning Strategies for Shopper Marketing Today

Stockpiling, out of stocks, canceled programs, channel disruption, oh my!

This pandemic has really put the retail and CPG world into a spin.  Almost overnight, the world drastically changed for marketers.  You had to forget everything you knew so you could take care of the urgent needs in our new world. Things will return to normal, though with some very big and permanent changes that we have been reading so much about.  So to stay rooted during these tumultuous times, it’s always beneficial to refresh your memory on shopper insights, best practices and proven marketing strategies.

So, to learn what marketing strategies work best for shopper marketing, Foresight ROI mined the measurement results from 30,000 shopper marketing events to uncover insights for you. These events included products from every department of grocery, supercenters, club, drug, convenience, dollar and commissary outlets.  The sales lift, return on investment and diagnostics were measured for every tactic in each of these events using analytic methods specifically designed for shopper marketing.  These results have accumulated in the Foresight ROI Shopper Marketing Industry Benchmarks database.

Four winning strategies emerged that consistently deliver high sales lifts and Return on Investment (ROI). While at least some of these strategies may look familiar to you, the real value comes from learning how to design shopper marketing programs using best practices to deliver on these strategies for specific situations and marketing objectives.

Over the next month, as part of this special series, Foresight ROI will release four new reports that describe and provide shopper marketing case examples of how to win using best practices to deliver against each of these four strategies.

1.    Activate Shopper Insights Effectively

Shopper marketing aims to engage and influence consumers all along the path to purchase. At its best, it provides a solution to an identified need or satisfies a desire, whether for a specific occasion or a target group or even an individual shopper. Shopper marketing, therefore, must be grounded in shopper insights. CPGs must understand pain points and motivations; only then can they articulate how a product fits into shoppers’ lives. There are several ways to activate and capitalize on the trove of shopper insights CPGs and retailers have gleaned.

Four best practices to activate shopper insights:

  • Be relevant in timing, concept, and creative
  • Design events to fit each retailer’s strategy
  • Align Strategy to Brand Positioning
  • “Go big” or “go often”
    *These best practices will be covered in part 2 of this series that’ll be released on 7/28/2020

2.    Integrate Effectively to Build Brands

Much has changed since the concept of integrated marketing communications (IMC) was introduced by Don E. Schultz some 30 years ago as a way of looking at the whole of marketing communications instead of deploying each of the parts separately. So much has evolved since then, with the advent of microtargeting, 1-to-1 marketing, retailer media networks, consumer content, and other developments, but the basic goal is still the same — to create synergies through integrated marketing campaigns. IMC can be an expensive proposition, but certain integration initiatives have been shown to develop the desired synergies without overspending on an opportunity.

Here are proven ways you can integrate effectively:

  • Integrate shopper marketing with trade in a balanced way to increase ROI
  • Add profit by properly timing coupon campaigns with trade promotions
  • Discount less (“price up”) and “spend back” on shopper marketing
  • Reach shoppers all along the path to purchase with both messaging and offers
  • Use scale and partnerships to create shopper solutions and share program costs
    *These best practices will be covered in part 3 of this series that’ll be released on 8/5/2020

3. Design programs to meet marketing objectives

Shopper marketers must consider the business needs as well as shopper needs. To that end, some marketers focus mostly on short-term ROI while others focus on strategic needs. Unfortunately, campaigns tend to fail or fall short when there’s too much focus on one or the other. Many smart strategies executed with heavy spending result in poor sales lift and returns. On the other hand, investing only in the highest return tactics for short-term financial gain may ultimately erode brand equity, among other unintended results. Savvy marketers do both — ground each marketing campaign in a smart strategy with clear objectives and use proven tactics that support those goals. Staying true to a brand’s strategy while creating efficient marketing programs sounds simple enough, but it’s challenging to pull off.

Best practices that can help shopper marketers successfully achieve this balance:

  • Choose tactics that best meet stated marketing objectives
  • Use tactics that work for your brands at each retailer
  • Leverage digital (specifically mobile) to reach shoppers where they are
  • Collaborate with your retail customers so you both win
    *These best practices will be covered in part 4 of this series that’ll be released on 8/12/2020

4. Implement processes to optimize marketing effectiveness

Many CPG companies have an ad hoc or disjointed process for evaluating their shopper marketing ROI. Some companies wisely monitor marketing ROI using a process that continually improves their marketing returns. Foresight ROI and the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (www.themasb.org) have identified processes that are common at the most successful CPG companies.

Five practices validated and endorsed by the MASB:

  • Link marketing actions to business outcomes using measurement that meets the ten characteristics of ideal marketing metrics
  • Use tactic cost benchmarks to evaluate marketing buying decisions
  • Manage stakeholder relationships with accountability
  • Simulate results to optimize shopper marketing events
  • Use a measure-learn-change process to continually improve
    *These best practices will be covered in part 5 of this series that’ll be released on 8/19/2020

Foresight ROI, the leading provider of shopper marketing ROI measurement, decision support, and software solutions, helps CPG companies and retailers increase their shopper marketing effectiveness. To learn more about our measurement, software, or industry ROI benchmarks, please contact us at Contact@ForesightROI.com

Rick Abens
Founder & CEO