BrainTrust Query: Unchain My Cart! Why Shackle Shopper Marketing?
Through a special
arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article
from newmarketbuilders’ blog.
Shopper marketing should be confined to
the store (after all, isn’t it
just another name for in-store marketing?), while consumer marketing should encompass
everywhere else. This latest weigh-in on the hotly contested shopper marketing-versus-consumer
marketing front came from Crosby Renwick, managing director of strategy and research
for CBX Strategic Branding, in his session at this month’s GlobalShop conference, Shopper
Marketing: A Revolution in Need of an Objective. Mr. Renwick believes that
one of the reasons why shopper marketing has been unable to affect “revolutionary
change” is because these boundaries are being violated on a regular basis.
If shopper marketing is to get back on course, attention must swing back to the
shopper “in the aisle.”
Oddly enough, I’ve spoken with plenty of
people who believe that the universally accepted definition of shopper marketing
is in-store marketing — as recently as last week, someone asked me with great
puzzlement, “How could it be anything
else?” I’ve spoken with others who consider it to be any marketing that
a shopper might encounter. A Google search of “shopper marketing” will
easily justify either position (and a few in between). If shopper marketing
once suffered from a lack of definition, it’s now plagued by assumptions based
on the many definitions that now exist.
Here’s my take…
In a shopping environment driven by touchpoints (apps, social
media, interactive advertising, stores, call centers, and websites, among others)
rather than channels, shopper marketing should evolve into a process-based
discipline, encompassing shoppers’ entire “path to purchase,” from
awareness to purchase, no matter where each step occurs. However, instead of
dismissing in-store marketing as shopper marketing 1.0, it makes sense to trot
it back out as a place-based subset of shopper marketing. After all, the exploding
numbers of potential consumer touchpoints haven’t rendered physical stores
obsolete — they’ve
arguably made them more important than ever. How else can we explain retailers’
new frenzy over physical formats?
So, in-store marketing has been with us ever
since some bold retailer hung a shingle and put thought into how his wares
were arranged, and shopper marketing is the evolution that will encompass all
shopper touchpoints, both old and new.
Discussion Questions: How should shopper marketing be defined? Should in-store marketing be a separate focus area within shopper marketing?