So far, most of the client’s efforts have been directed toward brand equity and brand awareness campaigns, through traditional communication channels such as linear television and digital advertising. The trend we are seeing now and over the past few years is that shopper marketing campaigns have been scaling the energy and investment ladder with the biggest FMCG clients. I expect this trend to continue rising in 2020. Shopper marketing campaigns are driving the conversion and sales volumes. Additionally, according to some research, companies with developed shopper marketing plans are growing still faster even than their categories!

The creation of shopper marketing is a complex process that entails an integrated and strategic approach in crafting the customer experience at the point of purchase. Although its advertising tactics may seem simple compared to TV commercials or sophisticated digital strategies, they imply a well thought-out process. This is a process of translating insights garnered from varying forms of research into a very precise adjustment of messages according to a particular zone at the sales points.

While traditional advertising initiates the customer’s shopping journey, shopper marketing stands closest to the consumer – because it’s present in the final, key step that separates him from his purchase.

This final step is particularly important, keeping in mind that the purchase of most consumer goods still takes place in markets. When the customer enters the market – that’s the final and crucial opportunity to send him a message, and we have very little time to do so.

In order to execute a successful shopper marketing strategy, it is important to begin with data collection and analysis. Digesting this information in the correct way allows us to reach the level of insight that is critical to the inception of the creative process.

The second step in the creation of the plan is the mapping of the store and activating of all relevant zones. Each zone has its own role in the activation of a specific experience and triggering the so called ‘sensors’ with shoppers.

Ultimately, we cannot put the exact same message at the entrance of the store, and at the destination point, or near the cash register. Carefully selected and tailored messages for each of the planned zones presents a sophisticated approach toward the shopper and affords us the opportunity to grab his attention. If we include some additional sensory elements, we then increase the chance of our desired product being placed in the shopper’s basket.

The ever-decreasing attention span of consumers and the growth of e-commerce has led to the influence on purchase decision through shopper marketing becoming increasingly challenging.

Some of the key ways in which brands can enhance their shopper marketing efforts to drive sales are:

1. Coordinating brand advertising and shopper marketing to tell the same story.
2. Finding and creating personalisation opportunities to drive purchases at the point of sale.
3. Measuring effectiveness to optimize shopper marketing efforts.

In this era of a complete dispersion of consumer attention and consumers greater blocking and avoidance of all types of advertisements, shopper marketing becomes one of the marketers’ main tools in winning the battle of the marketplace. Penetration of the consumer psyche is by necessity a complex, subtle business than ever before. Shoppers are equipped with vastly more tools, comparison sites, online options, knowledge and alternatives than ever previously. Ushering then through a real world shopping experience with a carefully crafted user experience is one of the few areas in which online shopping and other forms of retail can never replace. A shopper marketing strategy must be delicately deployed and results driven, and it is key in driving physical sales.