CPGmatters: Occasion-Based Marketing Triggers Coca-Cola’s Solutions
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
Shopping occasions and trip missions to the grocery store took on greater meaning for Coca-Cola Co. after the beverages giant uncovered research showing that six of ten trips (57 percent) are occasion-based with shoppers looking for solutions.
Speaking at a shopper marketing conference in Chicago hosted by the Path to Purchase Institute, Andrew McMillin, vice president, shopper marketing, large stores, Coca-Cola, said the goal is to "unlock that occasion" along the path to purchase or at the point of purchase (POP). For Coca-Cola, the good thing is that any occasion with people coming together is an opportunity for a beverage.
Jeff Fechalos, director of shopper insights, Coca-Cola, said grocery shopping is all about meal consumption. Understanding how people are consuming food and pairing it with a beverage is key.
"If we can put those two together — trip mission and consumption occasion — that’s very powerful," he said, adding that understanding how shoppers move through the store can help Coke offer products grouped into relevant solutions at key engagement points along the path to purchase.
According to Mr. Fechalos, Coke has three different ways of looking at how people shop in the grocery store: trip mission; where they shop in the store (that varies by mission); and how people move through the store. By putting all these things together, marketers can build a complete picture of how someone is acting in the store — what they are doing and what their needs are.
Coca-Cola further sees shoppers’ trip missions organized against four priorities: saving time, saving money, serving their family or serving some need for themselves. Different kinds of trips include stock up, immediate need, forgotten item, special occasion, and so on.
"We can tailor our strategy based on trip mission," he said. For example, a stock up trip calls for a tie in to center store solutions.
Mr. McMillin said Coca-Cola brings solutions to life in the store with a three-step process:
Integrate: The foundation and starting point for a solution is integrating the mission and the occasion along the path to purchase. This is the hardest part. There is an art and science to it.
Implement: Coca-Cola develops solutions that have synergy with the right marketing partners; for example, a beverage with chips, cookies or crackers.
Inspire: The goal is to bring the solution to life for the shopper. "If we don’t inspire shoppers at the point of purchase or along the path to purchase, we sub-optimize," said Mr. McMillin.
Discussion Questions: What are the best ways for supermarkets to reach customers during occasion-and-trip-based shopping missions? What are some obvious and less obvious ways to reach shoppers during these times?