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In recognition of the fact that the consumer packaged goods (CPG) arena now features fierce competition, rapidly changing media, and increasingly fragmented brand loyalty has become increasingly fragmented, SymphonyIRI Group, Inc.’s recent issue of Times & Trends: “The Next Generation of Shopper Marketing: Re-Architecting Shopper Marketing for Maximum Performance” provides insights into the current consumer mindset throughout each stage of the purchase cycle, from planning to purchase.
These insights lay a solid foundation for marketing strategies with the goal of delivering the right products, to the right place, at the right price, and creating a satisfying shopping experience.
“Tomorrow’s most effective marketing programs will begin with a holistic view of the shopper and his/her in-store experience,” noted Robert I. (Bob) Tomei, president, consumer & shopper insights at Chicago-based SymphonyIRI. “This complete view of shopping behavior will result from integrated analyses of customer-level transactional data combined with an understanding of the impact of demographics, life stages, needs state, trip missions, attitudinal and usage requirements, and the influence of media and promotions have on actual behavior. This approach will provide insights into not only what consumers buy, but also why and how they shop for those products. And it will provide these insights across all retail channels and outlets.”
The research looks at how to maximize CPG marketers’ influence throughout the four phases people move through during the purchase process: researching products at home, on the way to the store, in the store as the consumer transitions into a shopper, and as the shopper shops, chooses products and becomes a customer.
One area flagged by SymphonyIRI as being in considerable need of improvement is collaboration among manufacturers and retailers, especially for the two middle phases of the purchase process. During these phases, the consumer is changing into a shopper and the influence of the manufacturer gives way to that of a retailer.
“If the touch points with consumers/shoppers in that handoff are inconsistent or conflicting, they will likely delay their purchases or switch to other brands,” explained Tomei. “If these touch points are coordinated, they will be influential, and shoppers will accelerate the purchase decision, contributing to brand loyalty.”
To work better together, CPG retailers and manufacturers should consider the following:
—Product Marketing: Both retailers and manufacturers must drive new marketing platforms to a new level by integrating old and new media with consistent and complementary marketing messages. They also need to ensure that their media mix begins to affect the shopper at home, and then reinforce their message throughout the shopping experience
—Shopper Marketing: Retailers and manufacturers need to work together to develop loyalty program offerings tailored to the needs/wants of key shopper and target segments. They also need to lower out-of-stocks by developing distribution strategies (manufacturers) and inventory management strategies (retailers) that are reflective of dominant/desired trip missions and purchase patterns
—In-Store Marketing: Retailers and manufacturers should collaborate to determine the most effective product location; placement within the store and product adjacencies should reflect dominant and targeted trip types. They must also connect in-store efforts with externally targeted promotional campaigns to bolster/solidify purchase decisions made before the consumer enters the store
Times & Trends: “Shopper Engineering: Re-Architecting Shopper Marketing for Maximum Performance” was compiled based on findings from SymphonyIRI Shopper Marketing Suite, SymphonyIRI Loyalty Advantage, and SymphonyIRI Target Advantage. The report is available at www.symphonyiri.com/Insights/Publications/TimesTrends/tabid/106/Default.aspx.