I’ve been involved in shopper insights and shopper marketing since 1998, when the discipline was first created at Procter & Gamble. Over the years, it has been great to see how far we’ve come from developing shopper strategy to optimizing shopper strategy. Lately, I love that more and more brands are realizing their true competitive advantage through mapping the shopper’s emotion-based purchase decisions.
At Brandtrust we have a simple guiding principle we call NINA. It stands for “No Insight, No Advantage,” and serves to remind us that the best strategies are informed by true insights.
Here are some key insights we’ve realized that drive deeper shopper understanding and insights to develop better shopper strategies:
- Understand behavior, mindset and emotion to deliver a more engaging and effective shopping experience. It’s very difficult to measure emotional response with traditional survey methods. We must invest in research that enables us to dig deeper to understand the emotional drivers of behavior and identify the points that matter most across the path–to-purchase. As Antonio Demasio, the renowned neurologist and author, points out, “We are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think.”
- Gain a more holistic understanding of all path-to-purchase touchpoints, versus just in-store. Consistent with the previous theme, we need to utilize better research solutions that get at the full path-to-purchase and help us understand how consumption experiences and in-store shopping experiences are related and impact brand perception and sales. Without this holistic understanding of touchpoints, it’s difficult to develop marketing and shopper strategies that truly influence behavior.
- Link pre-store and in-store marketing activities. Marketers spend a great deal of money on advertising to drive strong pre-store emotional connections to their brands. Only recently, has awareness peaked that what we do in-store must align with and reinforce pre-store advertising. It’s only by connecting the cues and neural imprints created during pre-store can we create synergy in the midst of the shopping experience. This contextual relevance is key to connecting and leveraging the positive associations and cues created before the store to ensure that the shopper can make the cognitive, sensory and visual brand connection in the store.
Achieving more engaged shoppers starts with a holistic and emotional understanding of the key points that matter most along the path-to-purchase. And shopper marketers working closely with their brand partners to deliver context-specific and relevant shopper marketing activities will better align with and engage the desired consumer experience pre-store and in-store.
Tell us your thoughts on these shopper marketing insights! Has your brand employed any of these strategies? If so, please share your experience.
If your brand is looking to better engage customers using deeper shopper marketing insights, please let us know. Brandtrust can help.