Shopper Marketing - January 2017 - 11
to good, old-fashioned mass advertising. It's still
necessary, and it still can work. Walmart nearly
monopolized Skype's ad inventory during the
holiday season, oftentimes with eye-catching
streaming video and other rich content. There's
no reason why Walmart shouldn't try to sell me
a Wi-Fi-enabled crockpot even if there's no evidence that I want one - I very well might need
some gift ideas three weeks before Christmas.
It just concerns me that marketers might
be too willing to let the programmable, automated aspects of technology lull them into
a sense of satisfaction. Taking full advantage
of these new media requires more thought
There's a concept we teach in Path to Purchase Leadership University's Digital Shopper
Marketing course that examines three stages
in the "digitization" of consumer-facing tools:
First, you recreate the analog version, like posting a digital copy of the weekly circular. Next,
you adapt the tool to the new environment,
like adding click-through or add-to-list capa-
bilities to the circular. Finally, you abandon
the traditional model to recognize both the
inherent qualities of the new medium and the
evolving preferences of shoppers. In many
cases, marketers are still stuck in stage two.
Research consultancy IDC Manufacturing Insights predicts that nearly all growth in the consumer goods industry over the next 10 years
will be driven by companies that find ways to
successfully engage directly with consumers.
For IDC, engagement doesn't refer only to marketing and digital communication; it also means
direct fulfillment, ongoing replenishment, direct sales and customized product. Check out
MyTide.com for a possible glimpse into the future (and visit Shopper Marketing sister publication Consumer Goods Technology at ConsumerGoods.com for more of IDC's forecasts).
Attaining that level of engagement requires a lot more than targeted ads and token personalization. It demands a full understanding of customer needs and behaviors
- you know, the insights that shopper marketing delivers - and a readiness to disrupt
existing business models to address them.
This will not be easy, but it will be necessary.
Homer Simpson also once said, "If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing."
Homer would be a lousy marketer.
Peter Breen is editor-in-chief of
Consumer Goods Technology (CGT), a
sister publication of Shopper Marketing.
He can be reached at 973-607-1300 or
JANUARY 2017 SHOPPER MARKETING