The 5 MUSTS for effective Shopper Marketing Campaigns...

Having observed changing trends, approaches and messaging over 15 years, it’s interesting to take time out and condense this experience into a pocket-sized summary.

Over this time period, our proprietary tools have helped us analyse hundreds of campaigns, across dozens of media tactics at a forensic level; (positioning, word count, colours) – some more effective than others! Here are our five MUSTS which Shopper Marketers would benefit from...

Must be Meaningful
Choose a focal point of your campaign which people can apply to their own tastes, families or experiences.
With so much clutter and noise online, in-store and on-air – it’s crucial that you speak directly to your audience with honesty and relevance. 
This will position your message without the shopper having to mentally compute where your product meets their needs.

Must be Unified
A single message re-enfored across multiple media tactics will amplify your cut-through.
Always use a ‘Campaign Moodboard’ to assess that all your creative components share a cohesive tone, visuals and theme. 
This will ensure that the combined frequncy and exposure of your message will anchor itself in the sub-conscious and increase consideration and ROI.

Must beSupportive
Always ensure your message and timing supports the Retailers’ environment and calendar.
Work collaboratively with your buyer/agency to find a link to their core existing in-store themes.
This will help consumers be more receptive to your message if it’s cohesive with all the other planned subliminal triggers…  

Must be Targeted
Commit to a specific audience you want to influence.
Semiotic agencies can assist with imagery, tone of voice, colour palette, cultural references.
This will help ensure that your campaign is optimismed to resonate with your most important target audience…

Must be Simple
Choose a single core message which can be absorbed sub-consciously by the Shopper.
Enforce the value proposition which can influence purchase: New / Increased / Reduced / Improved: variant, price, flavour, ingredients, look…
This will give reason to why your product is worthy of selection in the nano-seconds taken to eliminate other options on offer…

Wow! It's more disruptive than Digital Media...

Let’s all take a moment to raise Retail Media onto a pedestal; and yes, let’s give it a well-deserved round of applause…

The fact is, shopper marketing shares so many of the common factors which have made Digital so appealing; nay, indispensable to advertisers…  

Over a 10 year period, just like the early days of the internet, it’s emerged from nowhere; it’s rapidly terra-formed into a global phenomenon, surrounded by innovation and specialist players who are stepping forwards to profess expertise in a subject previously shrouded with mystery.

It’s true, expertise in this space is a rare commodity; This could become a problem for Brand Owners and Retailers who aren’t as far down their learning curve as early adopter competitors.

Quite why agencies, who have such solid client relationships, aren’t further ahead with their abilities to advise on Shopper Activation Strategies is mysterious?  For all their talk of innovation and experimentation, they’re at risk of falling behind if they don’t put Retail in the same arena as traditional media.

Why?  Clients appreciate hand-holding and advice, essential when big budgets
are in play.  Budgets are now at unprecedented levels for effective shopper investment, step forward the “Shopper Marketer”.  There’s space a-plenty for digital specialists looking for their next challenge to shine brightly under a different spotlight. 

There’s more common ground than it may first appear:
Big Data, Media Accountability, Targeted Comms, Data science, Trackability, ROI...
Sounds familiar, right?

For these reasons, a second generation of talent is currently being attracted like moths to a flame into this space.  Retail offers the confines of a unique eco-system for advertisers to play under near-perfect laboratory conditions.  Experimentation with test and control audiences, geo-locations, A/B creative treatments – once the preserve of Google and Facebook, have now been opened up to every Brand
Owner on every high street.  With specialist conferences now a firm calendar fixture, bright minds are now regularly coming together and figuring out this space, how to optimise activations and how to prove it!  

Pick up any Annual Report from a global CPG Manufacturer and you’ll see that this has reached the radar of nearly every major CEO - Who'd have dared dream just 10 years ago?

There are few chances that anyone has in a career to play a key role in something that breaks down such well-established barriers and claims new ground.  That’s why
we’ve chosen to evolve a dedicated Operating System, (we call it, BASE™) that perfectly supports the needs of every shopper marketer and retailer, globally - our proud contribution towards the legacy that is being built around us, as one of the most effective forms of communication in the 21st Century.

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5 key signs that USA Retailers are starting to adopt a European way of working…

North American Retailers are more aligned than ever before to the
way in which European retailers operate.  It’s been a long time coming,
but the signs are clear for all to see...

Scale is often the Achilles heel that can hold back nimble change; and let’s face it, the
USA’s gargantuan footprint, logistical networks and store layouts have been like trying to turn an Oil Tanker in comparison to the challenges of operators on the other side of the Atlantic.

In such a mature global marketplace, there are few opportunities left for bricks and
mortar operators to fine tune the dials within their business to have a
profound effect on sales. 

Most, of course, now have a solid web platform, a customer-centric APP with ‘non-banal’ functionality and a loyalty scheme.  The one thing that this creates, in buckets, is Big Data.  The World of Retail has never had it so good; used in the right
way, this is the fuel that’s been ignited beneath the traditional business model to propel sales skyward...

1. Understanding their place as a media owner.
Retailers now see that their weekly footfall and consumer interaction levels dwarf most other routes to market for advertisers.
We can see that they're now leveraging this strength by seeing an  opportunity to charge far more realistic market rates to reach their audience; leading to an increase in ‘untapped wells’ of revenue along with incremental sales – a win-win for all concerned.
This is eroding the grip of the outsourced ‘major players’ in the market who
offer limited access through limited media tactics.

2.  Acceptance that vendors are becoming more confident with investment decisions.
As Retail Marketing continues to grow in stature as a ‘sales science’, we can see the ways in which media plan choices are being affected.
This wealth of knowledge accumulated by CPGs over the past decade is now being mined for trends  and learnings which can give forward thinking  retailers the edge over their direct competitors.
Retailers are far more willing than ever to integrate thought-leadership across category activations, working collaboratively to assess the effects on sales and
consumer behaviour.

3. Experimentation within the in-store environment.
American consumers have long been pre-conditioned with relatively rudimental branded activities; take-ones, clip-ons, looped infomercials.

The real heavy lifting has all been behind the scenes with retailer-wide comms planning, trying to do the hard work of driving promotions and basket size.
Retailers are now becoming far more brave in their approach to retail theatre in-store, achieving stand-out to consumers by disrupting the shopper journey with innovative POS, messaging, displays and merchandising – driven by CPG-centric thinking
and collaboration…

4. Realisation that Test vs Control has the power of AWESOME.
There are few pure-play opportunities where cause and effect can be evaluated
to the level of transparency that Retail Marketing offers.  Retailers are stepping up and paying far closer attention than ever before to isolating the effects of shopper activations by adjusting the ways in which media is exposed to shoppers.  The power associated with being able to learn, fix and repeat campaign behaviours is unlocking a new level of retail intelligence.

5. Proof that the dedicated resource is growing.
Brands are far more willing to engage in JBP discussions 1-2-1 with Retailers,
which in turn is helping them ‘win at the point of sale’. As a consequence, Retailers are enlarging their internal departments to cope with demand.  This provides us with evidence that syndicated media buying will dwindle as a trend, replaced by far more powerful and well-thought-through activations. 

We should all be excited by this trend as it will be as transformational as the rise of Digital in the media landscape over the past 10 years...
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rmi launch unique Shopper Marketing Solution in New York

Retail Marketing International (rmi) has partnered with Retail Solutions Inc. (RSi), global market leader in leveraging the most granular retailer data to measure and optimise performance at retail, to unveil a sophisticated online solution for shopper marketers to optimise and systemise the planning, the execution, and the evaluation of their media investments.

rmi's Shopper Marketing Solution was launched by RSi at the Path to Purchase Institute's Shopper Marketing Summit in New York on the 16th March 2016.

This solution is a great extension to our CPG and retailer-focused suite. Last year, we promised the industry an answer to the digital marketing ROI question, and we proved our approach works with over 275 campaigns across 13 retailers and every significant category with the top 45 CPG companies. This year, we extend our reach to in-store and out-of-store physical events, to give marketing and finance executives an unrivalled understanding of marketing effectiveness.
Jon Golovin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, RSi
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i2c touch BASE with our media planning software

We are happy to have i2c partnering with us to licence our award winning BASE™ software platform across all their client activity. BASE™ will streamline the existing procedures at i2c, acting as their central portal for all client services information. BASE™, which went live this summer, will be utilised to drive executional excellence across the entire client journey at i2c.

Our Managing Director, Mike Osmond said upon the strategic move:

We are delighted that i2c have chosen to use rmi and BASE™ to simplify as well as enhance their client delivery processes. Over the last 10 years we have provided brands and retailers with unique solutions to maximise sales through constructed retail media campaigns to connect with shoppers more effectively. We offer software services, media centre management, retail media planning with hyper-local targeting as well as creative and digital and analytics, all through our unique software platform, BASE™