Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of an article from GfK insights4u, an interactive online community developed by GfK Interscope and designed to connect marketing professionals, product managers, brand managers and market researchers.
The economy's crash in 2008 led to massive changes in shopper attitudes, including an increased importance on price, with a hunger for bargains and saving strategies.
What's interesting, though, is that our research shows that the economic recovery has not caused a return to old attitudes and habits. Enabled in large part by mobile technologies, people had searched for and found strategies to modify their shopping and spending; they didn't just clip more coupons — they opened doors on new worlds of information, and they haven't looked back.
To these newly empowered "extreme shoppers," shopping is competitive — trying to get a better deal than the one that Target or Coca-Cola wants them to get. Their state of mind is not "woe is me — I'm struggling to pay the bills"; they feel optimistic and excited by their ability to make a difference.
So how can retailers and brands befriend this informed, take-no-prisoners population, which is short on brand loyalty and wary of hype?
Know me: They are smart enough to know that their moves on the internet, their purchases using loyalty cards, are being tracked — and they want to benefit from that tacit exchange of data for shopping advantage.
Engage me: Make it worth their while to "like" your brand; to send you updates on their location via GPS. Another key element of engagement can be co-creation; the percent of XXXX who said they would be more loyal to a brand or retailer that lets them shape or give input in what they buy has more than tripled over the last year.
Make it easy for me: Convenience isn't just about, "What are your hours and where are you located?" It's about, "Can I find what I want?" "Is your store logical, easy, and relaxed?"
Tell it to me straight: Shoppers can find out the facts faster than you can spin them; so do what you say you're going to do, and don't overpromise. Technology is the great equalizer in this department.
Make me feel smart: They are using their phones to gather information, and helping them will win points for your brand. Make them feel confident they are doing the right things for themselves and their families.
Less is more: Consumers need retailers and manufacturers to help them cut through the clutter; be part of the solution, not the problem, by simplifying your offerings and your messaging.
Keep it fresh: This is another area where digital and mobile can really help us bring new life to the shopping experience. You can do this around products, merchandising, signage, service ideas — create competition and engage shoppers.
Of the seven strategies mentioned in the article for marketing to today's tech-enabled, savvy shopper, which one do you think is most underused but very beneficial?