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How To Turn Connections Into "Shoppertunities"

Not so long ago, marketers of highly considered products neatly plotted out the consumer journey in a direct, linear funnel. As you know, times have changed and so has the journey. The path to purchase has become scattered – a self-paced exploration that’s riddled with twists and turns. In order to keep up with the changes we, as brand advocates, need to shift our mindsets about shopper marketing, too.

So how do you begin to evolve your brand’s shopper experience? By changing the definition of Shopper Marketing as you know it. Shopper Marketing is a cross-functional discipline that drives purchase behavior. Executed effectively, it achieves business objectives for both manufacturers and retailers by meeting a shopper’s needs throughout the entire path to purchase with insight-driven marketing connections.

Historically, highly considered product brands have focused most of their attention and resources on brand-building or point of sale in brick-and-mortar stores. But with the higher price points and infrequency of purchase, shoppers are more engaged and looking for information, not just in-store but out-of-store too.

Shoppers for many highly considered products are likely to use digital tools. Throughout the journey, shoppers are researching, consulting social networks and reading product reviews. When they do visit a store, it’s often multiple times, to compare features, narrow choices and find the best deals. Beyond that, sales associates, word-of-mouth and media remain influencers, creating a complex network of touchpoints along the path to purchase.

The evolution of how people research and discuss their purchase decisions has altered the traditional purchase funnel. Today’s shopper marketing must integrate a broad range of connection points, engaging consumers everywhere there’s an opportunity to influence purchase and result in post-purchase satisfaction. Extending strategic alignment beyond the retail environment in unprecedented ways is vital to the future growth of brands.