May 3, 2012 at 9:45 am
An Interview with Peter Hoyt, CEO, Path to Purchase Institute
MaxPoint interviewed Peter Hoyt, CEO, Path to Purchase Institute, recently on the shopper marketing industry and how it is changing with the emergence of new technology. The interview focuses on the change in the shopper marketing path-to-purchase and recommendations for how to reach shoppers at every touch point – highlighting digital advertising. Check out the full interview below.
MaxPoint: With more technology, resources and information available to shoppers these days, the shopper pathway is moving away from a simple, linear model to a highly complex, non-linear model. Retailers and Brands are now challenged with new and expanded touch points to reach and build relationships with shoppers. What are your thoughts on how marketing strategies need to change in order to reach shoppers at every touch point?
Hoyt: It’s easy to over complicate the challenge. Like anything else, if you break it down into smaller pieces, it’s pretty straightforward. One of the big differences between traditional marketing and shopper marketing is that with shopper marketing one targets a segment of shoppers (people who want or need diapers, shampoo, a refrigerator, etc.). So instead of trying to blanket a demographic by harvesting ever greater reach or GRPs, shopper marketers hone in on the path their prospective customer is most likely to take and seek to intercept her, as often as possible with a relevant appropriate message.
Procter and Gamble likes to work with a framework that I think helps a lot. They call it “Store-Back”. Think about your shopper’s journey backwards, so to speak. Start where she would encounter your product in-store… at the shelf (Packaging? Signage? P-O-P?), then move out to when she is “on the go” (mobile? OOH?), or at home or pre-shopping (Search? Social? Strategically placed banner ads?).
More traditional vehicles can be incorporated as well. We’re seeing more and more consumer magazines and other media begin to describe their audiences in terms of being comprised of shopper segments and their media as offering meaningful touch points on the path to purchase. Just bear in mind, the further you get from her mission, the less direct impact your messaging will have on the ultimate purchase decision.
MaxPoint: What marketing channels do you see being the most impactful in reaching shoppers on the path to purchase?
Hoyt: I should probably stop holding them up as the paragon of marketing virtue but again, I would point anyone who is thinking about this to consider the approaches being taken by P&G. P&G pretty much coined shopper marketing in its current form. They fight hard to get their messaging in-store. But retail communications is very hard to scale. If one chain is accepting and responsible about merchandising compliance, the next will be less so. P&G’s approach is to “control what you can control”. So they’ve been investing very heavily in all things digital. They are successfully engaging shoppers on-line, through search, social, well-placed banners. Anywhere and everywhere she might be looking for answers or resources, they want a P&G product to appear with the appropriate message.
A lot of what P&G sells is targeted to younger women, often younger mothers. In this case digital is especially important. Millenials, the 18-35 year old set, use the web to find answers twice as often as Baby Boomers, and when she has her first baby, her use doubles again. Across all age groups, she is going on-line for up to 45 minutes before she goes shopping. Whether she’s looking for value or assortment, the fact is that the primary target for most messaging directed at shoppers can be effectively reached on-line.
MaxPoint: Do you see digital advertising as an impactful way to reach these consumers? If so, would you recommend more shopper marketing dollars being budgeted towards digital advertising methods to reach shoppers before heading in-store?
Hoyt: I recommend that folks fish where the fish are. If your target audience is using the web to gather information, find answers, decide where to shop or what to buy, then, by all means, you should invest in a more robust digital presence. Ask a lot of questions of your customers. Only do so with a “Store-Back” mentality and the path will reveal itself.
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