Just what exactly is “shopper marketing”? Its true scope can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. While the term has a number of different definitions, Audrey Auclair, Director of Trade & Shopper Marketing at Sopexa, summarises it as “A tool that enables us to move beyond a price war between retailers and suppliers. It is a collaborative approach that leads a brand and a retailer to share their data to align their strategy, create shared offers and develop highly targeted multichannel communications campaigns. All of this to offer the consumers a true experience and give them the impression they are getting their money’s worth!” What counts is not so much the price as the balance between price and experience, which is confirmed by the many studies showing that consumers are perfectly willing to pay (a bit) more for a product as long as the price increase is justified by true value added. In theory, this should make everyone – the retailer, manufacturer and consumer – happy. Yet, in practice, shopper marketing appears to run into a few hurdles.
To meet shoppers’ needs, brands rely on knowledge of the sector, consumer expectations and habits, the marketing mix and the competition, among other aspects. Retailers seek to meet shoppers’ needs by channelling their expertise in points of sale, socio-demographic data, price sensitivity and other factors. Thus, there are two strategies to reach a shared goal, yet no dialogue. “If the two parties can work together, shared value, new experiences and new offers or solutions can be created,” explains Audrey Auclair. “Ad hoc programmes can be created and CRM can be enriched.” This is illustrated in a programme the agency organised for Wines of Portugal in Canada.
The Agency successfully set up a program that brings together consumer and shopper needs for Wines of Portugal.
The drive, started in 2013, brings together all of the touch points, from mindshare to advocacy and experience. To make a name for itself, Wines of Portugal organised the “WoP Training Tour” along with local retailers for sales staff at stores in Quebec and Ontario. It also called upon chefs with large web followings to hold various online and offline operations (gatherings at fans’ homes, events and more). In partnership with Montreal restaurant L’Gros Luxe and the Le Cahierblog, it launched a contest giving thirty winners the chance to take part in a Winter BBQ attended by key lifestyle sector media. Alongside this, Wines of Portugal held a Grand Tasting throughout Canada featuring Portuguese wine producers, and at the same time increased shelf presence at five retail outlets: SAQ, Willow Park, LCBO, BCLDB and Liquor Mart. The result? Double-digit growth throughout Canada over the past few years.