For Shopper Marketing, Content Is King

With both consumer brands and retailers scrambling to create marketing that works across all channels, a new survey reveals sweeping changes in marketing spending.

The research, from the Brand Activation Association and Booz & Co., reports that while both TV and trade promotions budgets are flat (and print is declining), content marketing is gaining in importance. Not only has it been the most important initiative in the past two years, but 68% of those in the survey (which included 26 brand marketers and retailers as well as in-depth interviews with 60 execs) intend to invest more in the next two years.

In addition, 100% of consumer brand manufacturers say they intend to up mobile marketing spending (with 44% predicting increases of more than 10%); 96% plan to increase social media spending (with 67% increasing it by more than 5%), and 96% have plans to raise shopper marketing budgets (with 45% increasing by more than 5%.)

But “breaking free from the gravitational pull of trade promotions will be hard work for brand manufacturers and retailers,” the report says. “It requires taking a strategic view of how shopper marketing fits into the new marketing model. It also requires executive sponsorship and a sustained commitment to overcome historically siloed behavior in the organization as well as across the broad set of vendors with which brands and retailers work.”

For example, marketers are increasingly “investing in custom content syndicated across retailers’ digital assets to jointly engage shoppers and create higher-quality experiences that build the brand and drive conversion.”

The report says brands may eventually act as “digital captain” on these efforts, much in the same way that they spearheaded leadership in category management.

But doing so requires developing the ability to act less like the large companies they are, with distinct silos of responsibility, and to move more nimbly among the many different players required to build omnichannel success, including retailers, agencies, media, and technology providers. “They also need to pay sufficient attention to informal organizational change levers,” the report continues, “such as fostering networks across key talent pools and identifying and rewarding desired behaviors to help the culture evolve.”

"Woman shopping vegetables while man using cellphone in supermarket" photo from Shutterstock.
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