With the end of two days PMA Shopper Marketing Summit in Bloomington, MN on 21st May, 2008, the heat is on for the new marketing
medium "SHOPPER MARKETING". It is becoming the growing focus of many retailers and the manufacturers in the market. Even the leading marketing agencies are also engaged in developing shopper marketing methodologies like
Saatchi & Saatchi, Marketing WEB, MSNBC, etc. A study conducted by Deloitte in US, the share of the point of purchase activity in the marketing budget is increased from 3% in 2004 to 6% in 2007 and expected to reach the mark of
8% by the year 2010. These figures are not astonishing as reaching masses through the traditional media is becoming difficult, and the interruption marketing is getting large numbers of customers annoyed and realization of the
retailers and the brands that the customer will arrive at the point of purchase to make its ultimate purchase.
Shopper marketing is defined as the marketing actions conducted in the retail outlet. It's different from the
customer marketing which also includes out of the store promotion.
The shopper marketing efforts are undertaken by retailers and buyers through their verbal and non verbal communication in the store; wherein the brands are
making an effort to integrate their in-store activity with their out of store activities. Like Cinthol repositioning itself in the market, by revamping its website, making it more interactive and appealing for the youth, with new
tag line 'get ready-get close,'& brand ambassador of like Hrithik Roshan leaving no stone unturned for their out of store promotion. The company is also realizing importance of shopper marketing and initiating the brand blocks
in the Branded convenience store (Fresh, More, Dmart). Thus, they are integrating their marketing moves with the in store activity.
To make shopper marketing effective, the marketers need to understand the frame of mind with
which the customer enter a store. Customer with developed brand preference should easily find the product in the store and then it's a crime to be out of stock at the time of purchase. As for the brands which are not the category
leaders, packaging plays an important role to grab the attention of the customer apart from sales promotion undertaken by them.
The retailers also have a tendency to make the layout of the store in a particular manner where
their highest selling products are kept in the last bays of the store, so a customer can go through other category products while trying to reach the highest selling product. Also the store is designed to appeal the customer
through their creative form of Visual Merchandising (layout, colours, presentation, lights) so the customer can stay for a longer period in the store to shop. But the retailer needs to explore the market more in order to be a
market leader and need to innovate quickly. More innovative tactics need to be introduced such as usage of kiosks, smart cards, bin advertising or end-cap brand blocking, which is rarely seen to be employed.
Many of the
companies find that this concept is for the brands with deep pockets, but the growing numbers of retail stores are demanding variety of products which is building platform for the small innovative firms to come up. The future of
shopper marketing is looking bright and we tend to see a bigger form of its application in the marketing discipline. With many brands and retailers have started acting on the concept, the phenomenon is here to continue….