Up to now marketing strategies employed traditional methods such as print, television, radio and online media to get people to buy their products. But US marketing research found that in one week over 110 million households walked into Walmart stores, while less than 70 million watched the news on TV, says Marc Ducnuigeen, president international of the Integer Group (part of TBWA\Worldwide).
Research found that while we are all consumers, we are not all the same type of shopper. For example, the mother of the household probably won’t consume most of what she buys when she goes shopping. Yet she knows the products and brands that everyone in the family prefers. While manufacturers market the brand through traditional channels to the consumer (the person who uses the product), shopper marketing targets the person who does the actual shopping. The trick is to get the right mix of pre-store and in-store marketing to increase in-store purchases. “To effectively market to shoppers, companies must generate targeted insights for specific shopper segments, specific trip missions and even specific stores. “Innovation in our arena is about discovery of new ways to inspire shopper needs and desires, or new ways to satisfy them,” says Ducnuigeen.
US marketers realized that to get people to buy their products, they would have to target shoppers in stores and this was how shopper marketing started. Furthermore, a Deloitte/GMA survey (Delivering the Promise of Shopper Marketing 2008) found that marketers will progressively shift away from using traditional marketing strategies to shopper marketing. This also applies to Africa where the emerging discipline of shopper marketing is the next stage in retail development.
“Up to now the concept has been a fledgling discipline in developing markets such as South Africa,” Ducnuigeen explains. But this is changing fast as South African retailers and manufacturers are now communicating more directly with shoppers – guiding their choices and acknowledging their different needs and wants. For example, stores like Woolworths now have the ‘dinner for four for under R100′ campaign in stores to promote certain products to their shoppers; at payment points there are displays reminding you of essential items you are likely to forget like bread and milk, and soon we will have apps on our cellphones for shopping list planners and recipes.
With certain South African retailers having started the shopper marketing trend here, it’s about to reach newer heights with Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, entering the fray. “Walmart’s move into the country and by extension into Africa is expected to bring lower prices, new products and innovative store formats. And while retailers are sure to come up with solutions to compete with Walmart, South African shoppers are in for a brand new retail experience as well as the expanding shopper marketing phenomenon that is a Walmart hallmark,” comments Derek Bouwer, Group CEO, TBWA\South Africa.
Ducnuigeen explains that shopper marketing is based on a deep understanding of shopper behaviour as opposed to just understanding consumer behaviour. It is designed to build brand equity, engage the shopper and leads him or her to make a purchase. In simpler terms, shopper marketing involves marketing campaigns where it matters – at the point of purchase. “Shopper marketing is not a destination; it’s a means to an end. It fills a critical void in the industry’s goal of 360-degree marketing, which integrates all marketing elements and stimuli into a single holistic story,” Ducnuigeen adds.
Shopper marketing explores new ways to inspire needs and desires. With a combination of traditional media, technology, activation and social media it is capable of bringing products to life and increases shopper knowledge, empowerment and convenience.
The case for the efficacy of shopper marketing is compelling. Statistics show that:
70% of all purchase decisions are made in-store (POPAI)
68% of purchase decisions are impulse driven (POPAI)
68% of people are brand switchers (Niesen Media Research)
5% of people are loyal to one brand (POPAI)
73% shop in five or more channels (IRI)
26% of people are loyal to an average retailer (General Mills)
58% will leave an aisle empty-handed because they can’t find what they are looking for (The Integer Group).
Bouwer foresees shopper marketing being a huge opportunity here, and on the African continent as a whole. As an emerging market with huge growth potential, South Africa and Africa provide the perfect environment for shopper marketing to bloom.