Shopper marketing is a type of marketing approach that focuses on appealing to the right people in the right contexts. Despite a long history of proven success, this strategy is still underutilized in the overall economy.
Why is this the case? What makes it so valuable? And how can you harness its power for your own business?
What is Shopper Marketing?
Let’s start with the basics of shopper marketing. It is all about directly influencing the behaviors of your most important customers. It’s about finding the right demographics to target, better understanding those demographics, and then designing large, omnichannel campaigns that target those demographics directly. It’s also about reaching those demographics with marketing and advertising messages that encourage them to buy your products when they’re most likely to buy them.
Shopper marketing is a broad term that encompasses many different tactics and strategies. Writing online content, displaying direct advertising, packaging your product, and positioning your product on store shelves are all strategies that could play into your overall shopper marketing strategy.
Why is shopper marketing so beneficial for brands?
Audience targeting is arguably important for all kinds of marketing and advertising strategies, and for several reasons. In shopper marketing, you’re going to take audience targeting to the next level, getting to know your audience even better and influencing their behavior as much as possible. Accordingly, you’ll benefit even more from the advantages of audience target. Your marketing tactics are going to be more relevant to the people exposed to them and you’ll minimize competition in the process.
Shopper marketing isn’t just one strategy; it’s a combination of many different strategies under a single umbrella. Because of this, there’s no single “right” way to practice it, nor are you locked into any singular combination of tactics. You can combine many different channels and many different approaches in service to a higher goal.
Coordination and consistency
Some brands love shopper marketing because it provides them the opportunity to coordinate across multiple departments and more consistently display the brand. Marketing, advertising, sales, and even customer service departments all have roles to play in reaching your target audience and communicating your brand values to those audience members.
How to Execute a Strategy
How do you start executing a shopper marketing strategy?
Consider working with professionals
It’s possible to craft and execute a shopper marketing strategy entirely in-house. But, it’s usually better to work with professionals. Experts who have experience in shopper marketing are more likely to recommend effective tactics and provide the insights you need to secure a positive return on investment (ROI). Fortunately, you have a few options for how to do this. If you have the budget for it, the best option is working with a shopper marketing agency, but failing that, you could hire a full-time shopper marketing expert or work with shopper marketing freelancers who really know their stuff.
Prioritize market research and audience understanding
The entire basis for shopper marketing is understanding and influencing a specific audience. The better you know your audience, and the more objective your understanding is, the more effective you’re going to be. That’s why your highest priority should be investing in market research and audience understanding. Through surveys, focus groups, and secondary forms of research, you can get to know your target demographics inside and out – and market to them much more effectively.
Design an overarching strategy
At this point, you’ll be able to design an overarching strategy that will set the tone and strategic objectives for each tactic you add to your arsenal. How do you want to position your brand? How is your brand different than your competitors? When and how do customers typically buy your product? What makes them choose your product over others?
Coordinate efforts across channels and departments
Shopper marketing isn’t isolated to a single area; you need everyone on board with your strategic objectives.
Measure, analyze, and constantly improve
Keep a close eye on your KPIs (key performance indicators) across all channels and departments. Which of your tactics are working effectively? Which ones are falling flat? You can use this information to reallocate resources, redesign your strategies, and ultimately make your shopper marketing systems and processes better.
There aren’t enough brands participating in shopper marketing, in part because it’s a relatively new concept. But their loss is your gain; this is a critical opportunity for you to develop your own strategy and gain an edge over your competitors.
With better audience targeting and more refined strategies working in coordination with each other, you’ll stand a much better chance of winning more sales and making your brand more powerful.