Why are Marketers Blind to Shopper Marketing – part 2

Whether you are a brand manager in a FMCG company or retailer, creative agency or media practitioner– If you don’t win with shoppers, you don’t win.

A simple way to kick off better understanding of our shoppers within your teams is to quite simply spend more time walking the aisles of a supermarket.

In MARKETING’s end-February 2018 issue, Mahesh Neelakantan, CEO of Newton Malaysia & Strategic Investor in Newton Lanka talks about three simple tips to help build shopper centricity & better understanding of the shopper.

Shopalongs as the name suggests helps to uncover thoughts, influences, and motivations when shopping for a product.

This ensures that the packaging, placement, customer experience, and in-aisle marketing efforts are working (or not) to engage your consumers.

Typically in a ‘Shopalong’ shoppers are asked to follow “think aloud” protocol so that we can hear the thoughts that are going through their heads as they complete their shopping excursion.

And the interviewer or person conducting the shopalong can observe, what they reach for first; what draws their eye; the purchase dynamics if more than one shopper is involved; any frustrations they experience, etc.

Fly on the wall as the name suggests is an observation technique where you place yourself in a non-obtrusive position and observe from a distance.

This traditional behaviour observation method allows Brand Managers or Agency planners to discreetly collect information by looking and listening to begin behaviour research.

‘Secretary’s Day out’  designed as a social experiment – this particular method uses a ‘reality’ approach to culling insights and decoding shopper behaviour. Unsuspecting Department Secretaries (6 to 8) are drafted into this experiment by their bosses and given a shopping list with about 10-15 items.

The same shopping list needs to be given to all the secretaries and care is taken to highlight categories/products and not brands.

Upon returning from their respective shopping trips they are informed about being casted in a social experiment and casual interrogation begins as they are asked to explain the rationale and reasons to buy a particular brand..
If you work in consumer goods, or it’s a big part of your job, however often you go, it’s probably not enough.

It’s amazing how a simple visit can open up our eyes to the immense possibilities on understanding the shopper better and translating that in developing better campaigns targeting your shopper.
Let’s not be blind anymore.

Mahesh Neelakantan is CEO of Newton Malaysia & Strategic Investor in Newton Lanka
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