Shopper Marketing is where it's at
and a recap of California's Regenerative policy definition
Before we get into shopper marketing — I’ve been covering California gov’t on ‘Regenerative’ for food + ag; for a recap of CDFA’s 2nd public comment meeting see the end of this post.
Having good velocities is gold and if you’ve just signed on a bunch of new accounts, there is one type of marketing you need pronto – shopper marketing.
If you’re new or need a brush up, I recommend attending this Shopper Marketing Bootcamp happening at Expo West this year. It will be a no frills, all training program focused on everything brands need to succeed in Shopper Marketing and Retail Media. I don’t recommend bs stuff - this promises to be extensive.
Marketing can mean a lot of different things, but in times like these, growth brands need to focus on velocity. As budgets tighten, a well formed and executed shopper marketing plan will yield the quickest results with the least spend.
A growth stage brand is one that’s been performing in a region and now rolling out to other regions. Let’s say generally you’re at or approaching >1000 points of distribution.
Remember, staying on shelf is the goal and velocity is the KPI. It is measured by number of units sold per store per week. You can optimize the hell out of your social channels and run a million email coupon codes to try to get consumers to buy you at your latest retailer, but nothing gets your product into their baskets better than marketing to them when they are ready to make a purchase. We call this bottom of funnel marketing and it includes retail media advertising on the digital shelf.
Nothing levels the playing field for all brands like shopper marketing.
It used to be only the big brands could get priority access to things like end caps and features or be able to afford to advertise directly to retail shoppers. But with the growing importance of retailer ecommerce, that has all changed.
So, what exactly is shopper marketing?
Shopper marketing is in-store and digital activities that drive trial and repeat. It is based at the retail level but it is not trade spend. Trade spend is a deduction off price, whereas shopper marketing leverages merchant relationships to make the most of promo plans, planograms, and secondary merchandising (such as end-caps) together with retail media advertising. Retail media has the ability to influence what is happening in stores though digital ads.
It is important to align the online with the in-store efforts – therefore shopper marketing and retail media go hand-in-hand.
Let’s say you’ve just got into The Fresh Market stores (yay!). You will have demos and an end-cap running for the first two weeks of back-to-school. The first thing you’ll want to do is tell your buyer you are interested in advertising on their new ecommerce site during that period.
Some stores do not run their own retail media. In that case you’ll want to connect with the 3rd party (like CitrusAd or Criteo) to run ads.
[If you’ve had a background in Big Food, you’ve probably experienced that digital advertising sits with the marketing team and shopper marketing with the sales team and run on different budgets. It’s best to forget what you learned then and adopt a holistic approach that coordinates the two.]
Tips on forming a shopper marketing plan:
1. Before you do anything, get merchandizing support for the retailers you are targeting
2. Prioritize your retailer list
3. Can’t say it enough – align your in-market plan with your digital plan
Next week I’ll answer:
· Why do I need merchandizers (esp if I already have brokers?)
· What type of digital ads should I run?
· What ROI to expect?
All my best,
California Dept of Food & Ag (CDFA) 2nd Public Meeting on policy/funding/definition of Regenerative Ag —
If you don’t know what’s going on go back here and here. The second public comment meeting was held last Thurs Jan 11th and here are the highlights — if you missed this meeting the next one is Feb 22nd. Sign up here
The organic community took up a lot of air time — dug in that Regenerative should apply only to certified Organic farms/food
Ca agents reassured there will not be a certification coming from the State of Ca
One asked, “so then why are you doing this?” concerned that the term will be greenwashed, meaningless
Someone proposed a tiered, star-rating type definition
Get in on the conversation and have your voice heard. Sign up for the next public meeting.