Many brands are failing to monetise at the shelf, with a poor shopper marketing strategy - the success of shopper marketing lies in creating an integrated idea with a clear, memorable engagement mechanic that is, at its heart, linked to purchase.

This is according to two industry figures writing exclusively for WARC. In a new piece, How to make shopper marketing more effective, Ksenia Khalina, Global Lead in Brand and Shopper Marketing at Heineken and Amy Brown, Global Brand, Marketing and Growth Strategist at Phoenix Brand Strategy discuss the changing shape of the discipline.

While the strategies reflect long-standing marketing theory, executing around awareness with a trigger rooted in behavioural patterns is still lacking. As such, conversion is harder to achieve.

“This behavioural trigger is the lacking element – the missing ‘bridge’ between brand and shopper. It establishes the role brand plays in people’s lives and makes it relevant for them. Without this, a brand is just another choice in a sea of increasingly interchangeable options,” the authors write.

Latent brand equity in the ether does not guarantee brands are bought, or even in the consideration set once people are in front of the shelf where 70% of purchase decisions are made. Dealing with these new dynamics requires an urgent elimination of a sizeable disconnect between brand marketing and sales.

Their conclusions centre around five key barriers:


“Time is precious for customers and more than ever they value every minute of it. Even so, multiple researches, as well as the one conducted by Retail Sensing, show that how much shoppers buy directly correlates with how long they spend in a store. A longer average-shopping-time pushes up retail sales.”


“Creation of physical triggers can help to address the convenience challenges of today’s shopping experience across the entire ‘omnichannel’ journey. The task will be to understand and anticipate friction moments in the main touchpoints of the journey (e.g. search, access, self-service, subscription, payment, delivery, etc.) and provide the right information, right solution at the right time on the right platform.”


“As confirmed in the recent Salesforce’s “State of Marketing” report, customers look for offers that are relevant for them: 84% of customers want to feel that the companies or brands they engage with, treat them ‘like a person, not a number’ and truly understand their individual needs in any particular moments of their lives.

“Creation of occasion-based triggers rooted in specific moment of consumers’ lives can help to overcome the relevancy barrier, meet individual demands of consumers and shoppers and hopefully build a habit.”


Though trust isn’t a new consideration, today’s shoppers expect a different level of transparency, authenticity, and quality brand and product information. “Social proofing (as old as time) can serve as a commitment trigger that is very important for overcoming a trust barrier and helping consumers make a final (purchasing) decision.” This can take the shape of recommendations from customers, employee advocacy, influencer reviews, or even celebrity endorsements.

Emotional connections and associations

Simply, emotionally engaged consumers are less price sensitive, less likely to buy from competitors, and three times more likely to recommend and repurchase.

Sourced from WARC, Salesforce