Special Shopper Marketing Best Practices Series Part 2: Best Practices to 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. When CPGs understand pain points and motivations, they can effectively 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:

  1. Be relevant in timing, concept, and creative
  2. Design events to fit each retailer’s strategy
  3. Align Strategy to Category Insights and Brand Position
  4. “Go big” or “go often”

Meta Analysis

These four best practices were uncovered from a meta-analysis of 30,000 shopper marketing events measured using analytic methods specifically designed for shopper marketing.  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.

1. Be relevant in timing, concept, and creative

Shopper marketing programs that are highly relevant to shoppers increase ROI by an average of 17%. High-relevance factors include:

• Good timing and seasonality
• Themed programs
• Programs offering a solution (often by bundling products for a basket-size boost)
• Partnering with other brands
• Supporting the brand’s position with consistent, compelling messaging

Here are four examples where the brand enhanced their own brand equity with relevant themes and messages

Source: Foresight ROI Shopper Marketing Industry Benchmarks

2. Design events to Fit each Retailer’s Strategy

Certain tactics are more or less effective at different retailers, so it’s important to know what works for your brands at each retailer. One generalization that has proved to work regularly, though, is to design events that fit with retailers’ pricing strategies. Pre-store tactics work well for both high-low and everyday low price retailers, but pre-store is especially important for high-low chains because it aligns with the shopper’s normal behavior. Shoppers are looking for the best deals and so they search coupons and ads to make up their shopping list. In-store tactics that differentiate a brand in the store work especially well for everyday low price retailers, where it’s not possible to use price discounts for differentiation. When choosing the right tactics for each retailer, it’s important to integrate all along the path-to-purchase, meaning both pre-store and in-store. So, ask yourself whether you’ve tailored your program to your customer or used a cookie-cutter design.

3. Align Strategy to Category Insights and Brand Position

Different strategies and tactics work differently for each product, as well. Brands with high equity perform better in shopper marketing, and coupons help drive success. For price-sensitive brands, pre-store coupons perform especially well. Not surprisingly, in-store tactics and messages spur impulse purchases like candy and beverages.

4. “Go Big” or “Go Often.”

A common refrain in shopper marketing is, “Go big or go home.” But the data doesn’t support that in all cases. It depends on whether a CPG is marketing an occasionally purchased product or a frequently purchased product.

For occasionally purchased products, CPGs have fewer opportunities to market throughout the year, so they must “go big.” It doesn’t pay to go often, however. Increasing promotion frequency for these types of products not only fails to increase ROI, but it actually makes it go down. On the other hand, for a frequently purchased product, it is best to “go often,” or promote frequently to fit its short purchase cycle. Going big doesn’t pay off. It makes more sense from an ROI perspective to execute smaller programs more often for this type of product — up to a certain point.

Case Study

One case study that demonstrates many of these best practices is the Tyson Master Your Summer shopper marketing campaign. Tyson used customized shopper insights for each retailer, aligned their strategies with each retailers’ pricing strategies, went big for their seasonal products as well as other best practices. The results were very successful, and they were awarded an Effie award.

To get the most from your shopper marketing investments, develop effective strategies and activate with best practice program designs. Activating shopper insights effectively is just one of the four strategies that are proven to work.

Be sure to visit Foresight ROI Blogs next Wednesday, August 5th, to catch part three of our special five part series of Shopper Marketing Best Practices where we will feature: How to Integrate to Build Brands.

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