Executive Update

The Coming Age of Shopper Marketing

In this session retailers and manufacturers addressed how they are growing revenues and shopper loyalty by integrating brand and shopper marketing initiatives and providing stronger linkage between pre-store and in-store activation programs.

The panel, comprised of Kat Kozitza, director, interactive and direct marketing, SUPERVALU; Michael La Kier, group director, shopper marketing strategy and capability; Pat Simmons, vice president, customer marketing, General Mills and moderator Matt Egol, partner, consumer, media and digital practice Booz & Company identified four key trends to watch for innovative shopper marketing: shopper solutions across the path to purchase; digital platforms to build direct shopper relationships; mobile content and community to enhance engagement; and targeted media buys that integrate retailer call to action.

In those key trends, the role of digital and social media has played a critical role in shopper marketing. It has improved the ability for companies to really understand the shopper and their habits, as well as provided a means of direct communication that has not been there before. But with this emphasis on these new technologies, it is important to have the capability of using them.

“Capability is more than an organization, more than the lines and boxes and more than where things sit, it includes how you leverage the technology, the processes, the decision rights, the talent, which really reinforces how important it is to manage shopper marketing at the intersections with trade and with brand marketing and digital,” explained Matt Egol.

Kat Kozitza echoed Egol’s point, discussing SUPERVALU’s approach to improving the path to purchase through new technology.

“SUPERVALU has really had the opportunity to rethink and rebuild,” explained Kozitza. “It’s about the integration. The digital channel is really a new capability, and with technology becoming easier to work with, that’s no longer the hurdle that makes integration difficult, it’s what do you do with that technology to really create that experience for the customer. So our focus is to really think about that customer experience, and how do we integrate it to the path to purchase.”  

Simmons discussed General Mills approach to creating solutions for the shopper. “We’ve actually created a shopper insights group that sits in our sales organization, which is the foundation to every solution we create. We have to understand that consumer so well, that it will actually generate that core growth idea. We say, what is that core idea that a retailer or brand is trying to create with the shopper and turn that into a full comprehensive surround; but you can only do that if you start with shopper insights.”

Although shopper marketing has built a renewed focus on new digital capabilities, at the heart of great shopper solutions are still the fundamentals.

“Content is key,” explained Kozitza. “I can build every platform every day, I can integrate it across all of these touch points, we can do great campaigns but if we don’t have the content, it’s not going to resonate and it’s not going to be meaningful to the shopper.”