CPGmatters: Retail Commission Aims to Enhance Shopper Marketing
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a
current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
companies and retailers are more interested in – and more experimental
with – shopper marketing than ever, but so far their successes have been
relatively hit-or-miss. The goal of a new industry-wide initiative called
the Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing is to come up with a retailer-driven
model that will make shopper marketing effective for manufacturers and
shoppers as well as retail chains.
by charter members Coca-Cola Co. and 10 major chains, and advised strategically
by the Partnering Group and the In-Store Marketing Institute as well as
by a number of other CPG giants, the commission was launched last spring.
Members aim to establish some specific shopper marketing pilots by this
spring as well as unveil some of their initial conclusions, best practices
and guidelines at the In-Store Marketing Summit, to be held at McDonald’s
headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., in April.
of the industry pioneers who initiated category management a generation
ago now are behind the creation of the Retail Commission. But unlike the
highly successful practice of category management, retailers in general
haven’t initiated a thorough-going approach to shopper marketing.
marketing primarily has been on the manufacturer side,” said Brian Harris,
president of the Partnering Group, based in Cincinnati, and one of the
fathers of category management as well as of the new shopper marketing
initiative. “Manufacturers have been bringing in creative and good ideas
to retailers for several years, but retailers are overwhelmed – they don’t
know where shopper marketing goes or where it fits.”
change that, we had to get retailers to put their stamp on [the commission],
otherwise there would be lots of wasted money, and disconnects. Retailers
needed to understand it and shape it and feel good about it,” said Mr.
has been active already in ramping up shopper-marketing initiatives with
the likes of Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based mass discounter, and
other retail chains. Kraft also has been proactive about shopper-marketing
experiments with Meijer – one of the retail commission’s charter members
– and with other retailers.
so far, effective shopper marketing collaborations like these have been
the exception rather than the rule.
problem often begins with a disconnect between shopper insights and shopper
marketing. “There’s a lot of unproductive work being done, when it’s not
plugged into a comprehensive model of how shopper insights should be gained
and where the biggest gaps are that need to be bridged,” Mr. Harris said.
trend is to budget more money into in-store activities and influencing
shopper behavior. That’s great for retailers, but if there isn’t a disciplined
approach, [shopper marketing] will be a money pit. Investments keep getting
bigger, and you can spend a lot of money – poorly – if you don’t understand
that and don’t have a platform that’s manageable.”
Commission founders want to make the entire discipline of shopper marketing
more reliable and repeatable.
trying to convey to retailers the notion that there’s lots of energy, creativity
and resources on the manufacturers’ side that can be tapped into if [retailers
and manufacturers] would get some thought alignment on this issue,” said
Steve Frenda, managing director of strategy and development for the In-Store
Questions: What are the main hurdles to improved in-store shopper marketing?
What can vendors do? What can retailers do?