“There are lots of digital efforts by brands going direct to consumers, and there are lots of efforts by retailers direct to consumers, but there’s been little understanding about how to truly combine a brand and a retailer together in a digital medium that builds equity for both.”
– April Carlisle, Senior Vice President, Global Shopper Marketing, Arc Worldwide, quoted in “Let’s Get Digital,” Shopper Marketing, May 2013
A little over a year has passed since Shopper Marketing and the Path to Purchase Institute shared with us their findings in the 2013 Digital Shopper Marketing Survey and as much as it hurts to admit, I believe April Carlisle’s statement above regarding the digital rift between retailers and brands still rings true. Why is it so difficult for brands and retailers to get on the same page digitally?
Working with the largest CPG/Food companies has given me an inside line on how to nail digital shopper marketing programs with retailers of all different sizes and formats.
Some findings from the survey . . .
Good news first: The survey did find that 84% of the organizations surveyed intended to increase their budgeting for digital shopper marketing over the past year. The bets have been placed and CPG and food companies are “all-in” on digital shopper marketing.
The bad news: Simply throwing money at the problem won’t fix it. CPG companies can’t simply “staff up” and expect to start performing. Imagine trying to develop a digital shopper program with each of the top 20 Hispanic grocery chains, the top 25 drug store accounts, and the top 50 convenience chains. What headcount is needed? Where do you find the talent? What’s the investment?
“You see a lot of manufacturers and retailer executing programs that are just promotional in nature,” Carlisle told Shopper Marketing, “and they’re calling that shopper marketing. If it’s not shopper-informed, your digital efforts will be just as bad.” Imagine again launching the programs listed above. How would you learn nuances among these retailers to truly deliver content that aligns with each account? How would you measure results? How would you scale retailers or scale across your brand portfolio?
The industry is in a strange place right now. Sure, brands have figured out how to work with Walmart, Target, and Kroger. Other retailers demand more customization as technology improves and the pace of mobile and social quickens. This is tricky, since most brands tend to tier their retailer partners based on sales figures or growth potential. I believe only the top 10 retail chains get the attention they deserve.
Here are four ways to grow your relationships with mid-tier accounts, improve trust and alignment, and implement programs that win.
First things first, “drawing a line in the sand” with your retail accounts is so 2009. Remember, mid-tier grocers (or convenience, or pharmacies) grouped together have the same sales and upside for growth as a Publix or Safeway. Don’t forget the smaller players – apply these four attitudes . . .
Promoboxx is a solution to any of the four main reasons, which I outlined above, why digital shopper marketing programs suffer. If you are short on staff or don’t have a dedicated digital lead, we’ve got you covered. If you haven’t built a well-defined digital shopper marketing strategy, our technology and expert team together can shape a winning playbook. If you believe the technology doesn’t exist, then I invite you to schedule a demo.
Here’s what you will discover . . .
Proven expertise, cost-effective management of digital shopper marketing campaigns, and technology that puts you in control of your campaigns. If those benefits speak to your brand’s needs, it is time to talk to Promoboxx.