Senior shopper marketers from leading manufacturers including Fererro, Mars Pet Care, SC Johnson and Murray Goulburn joined TorchMedia’s Kirsty Dollisson for a roundtable discussion on the definitions of consumer and shopper.
All at the table expressed their struggle to secure enough funding for shopper marketing. Each of the companies represented described a different place for Shopper Marketing within their organisation – for one, shopper marketing reported directly to the general manager, another reported to sales and another was part of the broader marketing function.
When it comes to defining the shopper, there’s a disconnect between what their common sense says about shoppers and how their businesses are structured, which doesn’t allow for acting on any definition of shopper besides the traditional definition of a person who enters a store.
A shopper can be someone at home preparing their shopping list, or someone who sees a true innovation on the TV or in a magazine and mentally ear marks it for the next shopping trip. The definition is such a grey area.
But the traditional structures of the large manufacturers means acting on these ideas of the shopper outside the store is very difficult. All agreed that it’s ironic that smaller businesses find it easier to close the loop between the brand and the shopper because all of their activity – whether “above the line” or “below the line” – comes out of a single budget. For the larger companies, it’s a real challenge to achieve seamless communications between ATL and BTL.
Time and results will change the fortunes of Shopper Marketing. The Shopper Marketing Live event is evidence that there is strong growth in SM which is a great sign.
On a final note, Ken Barnett, CEO of Mars Advertising in the US, said that the shopper marketing agency is ready to lead the way. We agree.