I’ve attended the Shopper Marketing Summit (formerly In-store Marketing Summit) for the last 3 years. Each year I find that shopper marketing is looking less like trade and more like media. Here are 5 observations:
1. Shopper marketing is growing. Shopper marketing is the fastest growing category of marketing, according to Ad Age figures quoted by Greg Murtaugh of Triad.
2. Stores are powerful reach vehicles. Pete LaFond of Walmart noted Walmart.com reaches 53MM uniques per month and Smart Network reaches 150MM per week. Together they reach 1/3 to 1/2 of US shoppers each week.
3. Retail makes media more powerful. Booz & Company reported consumers say they are 38% more likely to be influenced by mobile ads in-store than at home or in the office. Julie Beck of Ahold demonstrated 7:1 returns from targeting display ads related to their circulars.
4. CPMs are attractive. Rob Gierkink of DataLogix contrasted CPMs: $400 for direct mail, $100 for circulars, and $5-10 for targeted retailer display ads.
5. Smart marketers are realigning their media accordingly. Geoff Jackson, Campbell’s Director of Integrated Shopper Marketing, got his agencies to combine their individual frameworks into a single Campbell’s path to purchase. The framework and planning processes developed in Shopper Marketing have been adopted across the organization from Sales to Brand Marketing and their agencies—advertising, media, promotion, digital.
All of this brings up two implications:
1. Media. Shopper marketing CPMs are attractive not because of reach or results. Rather, they are more cost efficient. Media strategists can capitalize on this by incorporating shopper media into their plans, thereby achieving greater reach and frequency for lower cost
2. Message. Marketers can apply the creative discipline to shopper media. Pepsi highlighted creative briefs with retailers. With Target, they found a common objective to address the “everyday sameness” that shoppers faced in the beverage category. They developed a campaign that encouraged consumers to express themselves through the new Pepsi skinny can. Similar unique approaches were developed with Walmart, Walgreen’s and other retailers.
Shopper marketing is looking less like trade and more like media. And if you’re not seeing it yet, just wait until next year.