From the editor: Keep to the path

Colin Grimshaw

Shopper marketing has become the most important marketing discipline for any brand operating in a competitive, retail-led marketplace. The internet, together with the emergence of a multitude of new retail channels, has provided numerous potential distractions for shoppers, who may set out with a specific brand purchase intention, but who then get diverted down an alternative path. Through shopper marketing, the goal is to influence this purchase journey at every point, to maximise the chance of sale completion.

Its rise in importance is evidenced by the rapid growth in specialist shopper departments within brands and their agencies and the budgets being devoted to it. The discipline is becoming ever-more sophisticated as shopper insight reveals new aspects of consumer behaviour. And there is evidence that the gap is widening between those who have fully integrated shopper marketing into their communications and those who have merely tested the waters – the more sophisticated brands are growing 50% faster than the category and are 1.5 times more effective in their shopper marketing activities (Grocery Manufacturers' Association/Deloitte Consulting).