With the advent of shopper marketing, the prevailing go-to-market strategy has entered its next stage of evolution. The core concept of shopper marketing emerged with the realisation that manufacturers and retailers can together create a more engaging shopper experience. Industry experts believe it will soon become the dominant concept for in-store selling. That is one primary reason why the year 2012 has seen the entry of various shopper marketing divisions in India.
A sister agency of TBWA/ and a key member of Omnicom Group, The Integer Group is one of the early players that came to India in the shopper marketing space. In a conversation with exchange4media, Ketan Desai, Managing Director, Integer Group India decodes the various aspects of shopper marketing and talks about how India is welcoming this new communication channel.
How do you think shopper marketing will change the way products are bought and sold in India?
A big difference that we will see is that marketing at point-of-purchase will talk to the shopper and not the consumer. It will allow shoppers to make more informed decisions about a brand that he or she chooses. It will allow the shopping experience to change.
What’s happening in the shopper marketing space right now?
There isn’t enough shopper data around, so every bit of information is exciting. I will share a few interesting tit-bits:
• In some markets, it’s the male members of the family that are going to pick up the monthly supplies.
• Two third of all brand related decisions are made at the store.
• Rural shoppers are not looking for value but for quality.
As we understand more of the Indian shopper, this space is going to get really exciting and competitive.
Is it imperative for marketers to educate themselves as well?
Absolutely; it’s the classic case for life beyond the television campaign or other above the line communication. Clients need to understand the potential of this medium of promotion and move ahead with confidence in leveraging it without apprehensions.
Experts believe that shopper marketing can help improve sales in a tough economy. How much do you agree to this?
I think it’s a case of being more focussed when the economy gets tough. Shopper marketing is far more data driven and hence, can get the marketers to focus on what barriers to overcome when shoppers are out buying. However, like in any good marketing mix, shopper marketing is one of the tools for marketers.
How has the launch year been for Integer India?
We have taken a brave decision that we will focus on first establishing Integer as a knowledge leader in the shopper space. Our focus will be on establishing our own syndicated shopper research called Check-out, our white paper study on shopper culture and lastly, training and hiring the right people.