How to Develop a Successful Shopper Marketing Strategy

Tips for Building a Better Shopper Marketing Strategy

Shopper marketing can be a powerful strategy to cater to shoppers directly, but how can you develop a successful strategy from the ground up?

shopper marketing strategy
Great shopper marketing strategy = the alignment of sales, marketing, and retailers

An Introduction to Shopper Marketing Strategy

Shopper marketing is a marketing strategy designed to influence the behaviors of specific target audience members. There are many different ways a shopper marketing strategy can manifest, depending on the product being marketed, the retailers carrying the product, and other variables. 

But most of the time, a shopper marketing strategy involves better targeting your ideal prospect, focusing your marketing and advertising efforts on that prospect, and making sure you appeal to your prospect when they’re most likely to buy your products.

As you can already tell, this is a complex and multifaceted approach, requiring you to perform market research, better position your products, and develop innovative marketing and advertising strategies to sell those products.

So how can you build a shopper marketing strategy from the ground up?

The Alignment of Sales, Marketing, and Retailers

First, you should understand that sharper marketing strategies cannot exist in a vacuum. If you’re going to be successful, you need to align the efforts of many different departments and sometimes other organizations. You’ll need to align your sales and marketing teams within your business closely. While these departments generally have different goals and approaches, they need to be playing from the same playbook if your tactics will be effective and comprehensive. 

That means sales and marketing departments should share data, share an understanding of your target customers and how to reach them, and collaborate to see better bottom-line results.

You’ll also need to align closely with the retailers you work with. If these physical establishments are going to display your products on store shelves, you’ll need to ensure they’re displaying them properly, in full alignment with your shopper marketing strategy. 

They may also have information to share with you about how their shoppers navigate stores or how many people bought your product in a given time period.

Background Research for Your Shopper Marketing Strategy

Before you get too deep into your shopper marketing strategy, you need to perform some background research. The more you understand about your customers and the conditions surrounding your business, the more effective your shopper marketing strategy will be.

  •       Target market. First, you need to understand your target market inside and out. Who are the people buying your products, and what are they like? This can be a tricky question to answer, but if you don’t have all the details, your marketing and advertising tactics will fall flat. Figure out who your target demographics are, how they behave, how they see the world, and how they can be persuaded to make a purchase. Your shopper marketing tactics should be designed to appeal to these audiences specifically to maximize relevance.
  •       Top competitors. Competitive research is also essential for developing your shopper marketing strategy. Who are your top competitors, and how are they currently marketing their products? Will you be competing with these products directly on store shelves? What kind of online buzz is favoring these products? The better you understand your competition, the more likely you’ll find the strategy that circumvents or overcomes them.
  •       Your brand identity. It would be best if you also had a robust and consistent description of your brand identity and the brand identities of your products. Your brand is at the core of all your marketing efforts, so you can’t afford to neglect it or be inconsistent with your presentation.
  •       Strategic cost-effectiveness. You can take many different approaches in a broader shopper marketing strategy, including mastering the art of the physical display, paying for advertising, and optimizing for search engines. You’ll need to figure out which of these hundreds of tactics are most effective for your brand, allowing you to reach the most people and increase sales for the lowest possible price.

Document Your Goals and Directives

Think about your goals and directives as an organization. You’re trying to win more customers and land more sales, but what is the best course to accomplish this? Are you looking to dominate the competition and find ways to pull existing fans of other products toward yours? Are you simply creating a strong brand presence that naturally increases sales? Or are you trying to appeal to impulse buyers who may never have heard of your product before? Everything gets much easier once you have a high-level plan in place.

Additional Tips for Your Shopper Marketing Strategy

Here are some additional tips to help you craft the perfect shopper marketing strategy for your brand:

  •       Make individualized recommendations. Targeting specific demographics will instantly boost the power of your marketing and advertising. But you’re going to be even more persuasive if you can make individualized recommendations. Product recommendation engines and other personalization tools are ideal for making these individual appeals.
  •       Rely on data for major decisions. There’s nothing wrong with open brainstorming or coming up with new ideas entirely on your own, but before taking these ideas to market, you need to test them and verify their potential. Always back up your major decisions with objective data.
  •       Use a variety of channels. Today’s shoppers use a multitude of channels to get information, connect with others, and learn about new things. Accordingly, it would help if you were using a variety of channels to reach them. Search engines, email, digital advertisements, traditional advertisements, direct mailers, social media, and store shelves are just a handful of examples. Get creative!
  •       Be willing to adapt. The first iteration of your shopper marketing strategy may not go as you initially planned. Don’t fret. Remain adaptable and keep trying new things until you find a combination of tactics that work.

This article covers the basics of developing a successful shopper marketing strategy from scratch. But if you’re ready for more advanced tips, or more thorough recommendations, you’ll need a more profound, more comprehensive resource.

If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. Our latest eBook, Own the Cart, covers everything you need to know about shopper marketing, from start to finish. Download it for free today