Have you ever googled for shopper marketing? You will get some 1,860,000 hits. For shopper insight, Google will return 81,600 results, for shopper solution there are merely 25,800 entries.
Compare these numbers to search results for marketing (2,330,000,000), brand management (8,500,000) or category management (7,020,000). In Amazon´s book section, shopper marketing generates 16 results, category management returns 230 books, and brand management appears in 532 search results.
So, is shopper marketing merely a new fashionable term or will it establish itself just as brand and brand and category management did?
Looking at industry reports, the world’s leading retailers and manufacturers seemed to have recognized the importance of shopper marketing. 83% of FMCG plan to boost their investment in shopper marketing while 55% consider it to be their number one priority increasing spending by more than 5 percent annually¹. Moreover, marketing agencies and consultants pop up all over to get a share of this estimated U$ 60 billion cake².
Deloitte warned as early as 2008 of the widening gap between companies that become more and more sophisticated at shopper marketing and those that fall behind³. Accordingly, leading FMCG try to position themselves as experts in particular areas of shopper marketing in order to be more appealing to retailers. Unilever for example, intends to specialize in Trip Management, “the tactical usage of in-store marketing pieces (e.g., product assortment) to make the retail environment a solution to shoppers’ specific trip missions” (Deloitte, 2008). This expert knowledge will help Unilever not only to better understand its very own shoppers but also to be attractive to retailers who lack insight into this specific area.
We also have to acknowledge that shopper marketing is a very recent development which appeared on managers’ radar in the 2000´s. Brand management was the hot topic in the eighties while category management was in vogue in the nineties. Thus, it comes as no surprise that shopper marketing is far from being well-defined.
Nevertheless, you should decide soon on whether to join this new trend as modern shoppers punish half-hearted approaches fiercer than ever before.
Also consult our post “Why Shopper Marketing Matters – The Tragic End Of A German Drugstore Giant” to read how neglecting Shopper Marketing brought down a retail giant.
What is your opinion? Is shopper marketing merely another marketing fad?
Please share your opinion with us.
Also see Shopper Insights Blog´s “Shopper Marketing At Its Worst” arguing for shopper marketing being more than simple trade promotions.
http://www.google.com/(data retrieved on April 24, 2012)
http://www.amazon.com/(data retrieved on April 24, 2012)
¹Stahlberg, M. (2012). Shopper Marketing – How to Increase Purchase Decisions at the Point of Sale, Second Edition. London, England: Kogan Page Limited.