Shopper Marketing Summit Recap

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Filed Under: Consumer Engagement, Media Trends

The 2013 Shopper Marketing Summit, organized by the Path to Purchase Institute, brought together senior-level decision makers and industry thought leaders from brands, retailers and vendor partners.

While many of the insights shared were specific to certain brands or retailers, the strategies discussed are universal to the current retail marketing landscape.  Although experiential marketing and activation programs are increasing, companies are marrying new avenues and platforms with tried and true methods.

Here’s a recap of the different approaches discussed during the summit along with some interesting examples:

  • Experiential marketing is considered the optimal avenue for creating authentic and sharable moments across various social media forums. Why? Because consumers are immersed  in the brand and encouraged to share their experiences.

Shock Top End of the World Bunker Party: Consumers were urged to participate in 17 challenges that were posted on the Shock Top Facebook page in order to win their way in to an exclusive End of the World Bunker Party. During the three days in West Virginia, the winners and individuals who bought tickets experienced an event that only they would have the ability to participate in. A once in a lifetime opportunity – all sponsored by Shock Top.

  • Occasion-based shopping works best when brands and retailers collaborate to ensure the proper product mix is available for a specific event. Whether it’s the weekly grocery list, planning a special occasion or getting ready for the holidays,  retailers and brands not only need to be prepared, but can view this as an opportunity to connect with their shoppers.

Getting ready for the Big Game.  Every February, consumers flock to their nearby grocery store to pick up snacks for the Big Game. The store alleviates the stress of shopping for a specific occasion by grouping all like items together in a designated section of the store. The consumer is able to pick up chips, dips, disposable cups and utensils all in the same location. By eliminating the need to go down individual aisles and hunt for individual items, brands receive extra exposure and the retailers have the chance of increasing the amount spent in store since shoppers may purchase additional items that they weren’t initially considering.

  • Associated with the company you keep: Consumers rely on retailers to do the proper vetting of products so they can be confident when making purchasing decisions. Brands rely on retailers to establish displays that contain products of the same type and quality.  As a result, retailers have an important role to play in the buying cycle, serving as a consumer advocate.

Placing certified organic items with each other. Burt’s Bees, well-known for their iconic yellow branding, is easily identified in the natural beauty sections of local retailers. Consumers have confidence that when they buy Burt’s Bees products they are receiving environmentally friendly products. If other products are classified as Green and they are positioned in the store next to Burt’s Bees products, a consumer will assume they are also authentic and not green-washed items because of where they are located in the store.

  • Coordinate your efforts: A greater alignment of pre-store marketing and in-store environments is key for driving sales. Visual recognition plays a large role  in influencing a consumer purchase. Ensuring artistic or conceptual continuity in advertising efforts will increase revenue as well as brand awareness.

Pepsi MAX sponsors Jeff Gordon’s 24 car in NASCAR. Their logo is on his car, his fire suit and in his pit. Jeff’s fans see that constantly during race day, as do many others. During the race, they may see a Pepsi MAX commercial where Jeff Gordon plays a prank on a car salesman. Later on that week, the same fan is in the grocery store and they see a cardboard cutout of Jeff Gordon in his branded fire suit holding a Pepsi MAX in front of a display.

Do you see a shift in your own marketing efforts? Are you marrying traditional with non-traditional?


Anat Gilad
Anat is responsible for developing end-to-end retail marketing programs, expanding retail marketing products and services, and establishing trading partnerships with the vendors. Since joining the company in 2003, she has grown the department into a cutting edge shopper marketing practice.

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