'Shopper Marketing is: understanding how one’s target consumers behave as Shoppers in different channels and formats and leveraging this intelligence to benefit stakeholders: brands, target consumers, retailers and mutual Shoppers.’ Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing, 2010

Not to be confused with… Customer Marketing 

'The practice among product manufacturers to devote personnel, money and other resources to the development of specific marketing and merchandising programmes for key retailers, often in close collaboration with those accounts.' Path to Purchase Institute’s Glossary

What’s the difference? 

One simple element… Insight. Shopper Insight.

As I mentioned in my first piece on the subject here, Shopper Marketing is the latest buzzword – ‘everyone is doing it’. But are they really? In truth, I think a lot of brands are actually doing some great Customer Marketing, in the mistaken belief that they’re pretty much the same thing. 

However, Shopper Marketing is quite different to Customer Marketing. It’s based around discovering a Shopper Insight that drives growth for both you and the retailer, and bringing a Shopper Solution alive in store. 

THINK: What’s the barrier to Shoppers purchasing for your brand in that Category? 

DO: What can you and the retailer do to overcome this barrier for Shoppers? 

The answer is simple and I like simplicity. If your issue is a Shopper issue, then you need a Shopper Solution. If Shopper Insight is a key ingredient to successful Shopper Marketing, then so too is retailer collaboration. To win at the POP you need to truly understand your Shopper:
how they shop for your brand, where, when, why, how often… and, most importantly, in what mindset. 

Shopper marketers also need to embrace digital channels as another tool to target Shoppers. As Shoppers become more digitally savvy, we are seeing a major change in the typical Path to Purchase.

In short: it’s a Shopper you are targeting, so get to know your Shopper inside out. If you understand your consumer as a Shopper – and you appreciate the very real difference – you’ll be a lot closer to solving your Shopper issues.


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