Renewed Focus on Shopper Marketing Looms for 2011

Marketers Emphasize the Art and Science of Reaching Shoppers All Along the Path to Purchase

Consumers have evolved – a not too surprising outcome of the recession and resulting lifestyle changes across the country.  Values, priorities and resources have shifted profoundly, reshaping shopping behaviors and motivations.  Marketers need to gain insight into this new mindset, finding ways to deliver value and connect with customers on the long and winding path to purchase.  According to excerpts from the Ad Age Insights Shopper Marketing Report, agencies are restructuring for enhanced shopper marketing – defining primary challenges, best practices and developing needs as an overall brand marketing priority. 

Booz & Co. states that manufacturer investment in shopper marketing has nearly doubled over the past five years, currently at $35 billion with 15 percent annual growth anticipated (based on funding reallocations from traditional media and trade promotion).  If that’s not convincing enough, the Booz data also notes that 83 percent of consumer-packaged goods companies surveyed expect to increase their shopper-marketing investment over the next three years. For 55 percent of those companies, investments in shopper marketing will exceed all other marketing spending, including internet and social media.

At the same time, consumer spending is more cautious with shoppers looking for deals, using coupons and actively focused on getting the most for their money.  Research from the Integer Group shows that 86 percent of respondents felt that coupons were at least somewhat influential in choosing a brand; as many as 70 percent used coupons to justify their brand choice.

These trends represent a significant marketing opportunity for direct response messages, going beyond the sole purpose of getting someone’s attention, and instead delivering usefulness and value.  Front door media is uniquely suited to this purpose, hand placing an impression of quality in a location where residents interact with the media and have a high percentage of response. The right message of value receives more consideration in the comfort of the home, where consumers are relaxed and more responsive.  Shopping decisions and lists are made in the home, and nearby phones and computers support the consumer’s ability to act on the message.

Are you bracing for enhanced shopper marketing? And what are your plans for reaching your best customers early on their path to purchase?

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