Shopper Marketing - May 2017 - 8
Let's Move Shopper Marketin
ay marks my fifth month as executive
director of the Path to Purchase Institute,
and I don't mind saying the experience has been
an eye opener. Over my 30 years in marketing
and 13 in shopper marketing, I've held positions
with CPG manufacturers, agencies, analytics providers for retailers, and data/targeting/measurement companies.
I came to the Institute with a fairly unique
perspective and plain old empathy for what
our members, readers and event attendees go
through on a daily basis.
But I also came to the job wondering whether
the shopper marketing industry was maturing,
like all new industries and functions do, or stalling in some ways. After several months of talking
with members and observing the business from
this side of the desk, it's clear to me that we're at
an inflection point.
The complexity of the shopper space makes it
exciting. It's a fragmented discipline with capabilities, decision rights, processes and influences that
are all over the map. You have retailers who can
say yes or no to anything; manufacturers who can
sometimes influence them; and an ever-changing
roster of suppliers, creative development people,
media and in-store solution providers.
Basically, we have lots of constituencies but no
commonly understood way for them to operate
together to drive value. Yes, the space is dynamic
and exciting, but one wonders if it's wired properly to handle all the challenges out there such as
retail consolidation, disrupters like Aldi and Lidl,
e-commerce and income polarization.
The Institute's mission is to help members
y SHOPPER MARKETING MAY 2017
succeed in this complex environment. I hope to
focus our efforts on how we can move from an
episodic, event-driven environment to a more
longer-term, value-creation approach.
No, events aren't going away because we'll
still need to deliver short-term volume and profits. But developing a more systematic approach
to sustainable value creation is critical to elevating our craft.
I hope to use this column occasionally as a
"bully pulpit" to open a dialogue along these
lines and perhaps even start an argument or two.
Here are a couple of thought starters:
Generally speaking, "clients get what they
deserve." Having spent time on both the client
and agency sides, I think CPG marketers should
engage their agency partners in more meaningful ways by being more disciplined:
n be as transparent as possible with information
to help them do better work;
n hold your own teams accountable for helping
get the best work from your agencies;
n measure your agencies KPIs twice a year, and
have them rate your team once a year;
n give your agency time - not just 24-48 hours -
to do great work.
Measurement, in general, must be handled
in ways that are more strategic than tactical. When I was running shopper marketing at
Conagra, before we did anything we understood
exactly what metrics we were going to be held
accountable for. The key was to pick measurements that would not only gauge our efficiency
but be accepted across the entire organization