Real World Marketing

A real world approach to marketing
Shopper Behaviour
Evolving lifestyle dynamics are helping to capitalize on shopper behaviour – are you ready?

There is no longer an ‘average’ shopper in today’s retail environment. Continued developments in digital technology and advances in e-commerce mean that the way we shop for products and services is evolving. We’re quite simply spoilt for choice; we can buy online, on mobile or in-store and choose to collect or have these items delivered to us or at a location that’s convenient to us. We have ultimate convenience and very few barriers to purchase.

Technology has created a digital retail landscape that is unrestricted by geography and the normal dynamics of bricks and mortar stores and the path to purchase is now paved with digital opportunities. Physical locations allow us to view, touch, try and evaluate products (an important factor in many categories) while digital channels provide access to inspiration, information and of course efficient remote purchasing. For true omnichannel businesses this potentially changes the role of the physical store, which can become smaller as they don’t need to stock all products and can focus on delivering more of an experience.

Capturing the shoppers’ attention and wallet has never been more complex or important and retailers and manufacturers must now provide value to each and every shopper through individualized targeting and flawless execution.

Shoppers have completely taken over. Because every shopper is unique and every journey different, it has become extremely difficult for retailers to truly understand their customers and the experiences they seek. They shop at their discretion, hopping between store, search, mobile and social networks. They have more power over the journey than ever before, and they demand full control of their shopping experiences. They dictate when, where and how they engage with brands, and now they have raised the bar even further, requiring customized, omnichannel journeys that are tailored to their wants, needs and preferences. In response, brands need to connect with shoppers in the moments that matter most and controlling the in-store experience is critical for brand growth.

So, how are winners getting it right?

They are drawing heavily on shopper insights to understand the rules of their category, successfully zeroing in on the sales drivers that they need to pursue. They use that knowledge to sketch out a ‘picture of success’ to best convince shoppers to buy and use this vision as the basis for every important decision. But they don’t stand still. Shopper behaviour and the retail environment continually evolve, and even the best ‘picture of success’ needs to be updated. In the era of super-fast shopper decisions and dwindling shelf space, the store has become a must-win battleground. Brands can no longer afford to stand still—or leave anything to chance.

It means reassessing how your organisation gathers, analyses and leverages consumer insights so that you can create deeper and more authentic experiences. Rather than focusing purely on purchasing behaviours, retailers need to get deeper into consumers’ minds to understand how they venture through the browsing and buying experience, and to discover their mission for each visit.

By understanding the shopper missions, retailers and suppliers can increase their influence on the shopper journey more directly. They can optimise the shopping experience, so they deliver one that more closely satisfies shoppers’ needs via better pricing and promotional offers, store formats, and shelf arrangements. Shopper mission clarity helps retailers to better understand the complex relationships between their products and the multi-faceted triggers of shoppers’ behaviour.

How are you faring in the battle for shopper demand?

If you don’t have the clarity that you need, we are happy to offer our expertise. Here at Real World Marketing, we help clients develop insight led category growth plans that maximise opportunities for brands and provide the right focus for in-store solutions.
Our philosophy is grounded on the need for suppliers and retailers to work together to create mutual value that drives both growth and profitability. We focus on providing a platform for deeper customer collaboration and engagement and can help you to understand what it takes to win over your shoppers at the exact moment they decide what to buy.
We will bring rigorous, insight led consulting processes to your business to help uncover the opportunities for better business outcomes. Together we can find the key to understanding the shopper missions; to understanding and providing solutions for consumers and shoppers in optimal and inspiring ways across the range of pre and in-store opportunities.

If you would like to find out more, contact us today.

How category strategy enables great brand building
How category strategy enables great brand building

The mention of Category Strategy can send shivers down the spines of some brand marketers; who may worry about loss of control, the potential devaluing of brands and the ‘investment grab’ of consumer facing funds into customer and in store focused activities.

Whilst such fears have occasionally been merited in the past, today’s reality of a consolidated retail marketplace, the challenges of achieving in-store presence and cut through as well as the difficulties in achieving consumer connection, means that category is the language and framework for brand marketers to achieve their objectives.

In many ways a category strategy is a very pure form of marketing. It is founded on consumer and shopper insight, focused on understanding and meeting needs and occasions and is about unlocking future demand.

The challenge is that it requires Brand Marketers to have a much more holistic and broad understanding of consumers, needs and occasions, beyond traditional, often narrow lenses. It forces us to have a deeper understanding of consumers and shoppers which often entails additional research and data, additional complexity and cost as well as a need for enhanced capability in people and process. It requires suppliers to think beyond their current capability and consider real needs of consumers and shoppers. It leverages every part of your business, valuing and connecting information to discover real insight that points to clear opportunities for growth. It helps you know where category growth could come from and how to access it.

The key though is that when done well, category strategy provides clarity and purpose for brands. It highlights new opportunity spaces for innovation and future campaigns, for packs and formats that target incremental occasions or can command a price and margin premium for meeting needs in better ways than current offers.

It achieves alignment across supplier businesses so that the commercial investment can get focused on that elusive ‘through the line’ desire… ensuring that pre and in store activities have clarity of purpose on the behaviour change they are targeting and the value of such a change. What’s more, an honest assessment of your organisational and brands competitive positioning can be fundamental in choosing where you compete now and what changes you need to make to compete in the future. This forms a strong basis for an objective critique of portfolio and brand strategy, guiding you to make decisions that create category value today and in the future.

When your brand strategy is truly aligned to a category growth strategy it becomes very appealing to retailers. Growing category value represents common ground that delivers your and your retailers goals. Brand activity that delivers category goals as well as your own is far more likely to gain retailer support, which for long term success is an essential ingredient to performance.

So if the plan is based on consumer and shopper insight and created cross functionally, loss of control is not an issue and internal and retailer alignment is a huge benefit. Brands become an essential vehicle for the delivery of the category strategy, and with support from retailers brand value increases.

The final benefit comes in aligning point of purchase levers to deliver the plan. The best marketing idea in the world will not work if a shopper cannot find the product or is tempted to buy an alternative product in store. This is about ensuring your brand wins through truly delivering the behaviour changes defined in the category growth strategy. It is the alignment of consumer led demand creating implementation with point of purchase strategy. It is about sales, marketing and retailers pulling in the same direction. It’s about growth.

If you would like to see how Real World Marketing could help your business contact us today.