Shopper Marketing: Campaigns & Trends

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Shopper marketing is all about making the experience better or more memorable for the customer. In this lesson, you'll learn the details of some shopper marketing campaigns and see a few trends popping up.

Shop 'Til You Drop

You've seen it all before: Giant, football-shaped displays of soda and chips just inside the superstore's doors right before the Super Bowl. A can of soda personalized with your name. Maybe even a brand new grocery store from beloved online retailer Amazon that eliminates traditional checkout lines in favor of a ''grab and go'' format.

Shopper marketing is all around you, online and in stores, and you've probably grown so accustomed to it you don't even think about it anymore. But for brands, it's big business. The idea of shopper marketing is to grow the sales of your product by making something about the shopping session stand out, to draw a consumer's eye and to provide a unique experience.

Let's take a closer look at some current shopper marketing trends, as well as a few campaigns you may have seen at your own local store.

Campaigns

Energizer

Everyone needs batteries during the holidays, right? Energizer attempted to capitalize on that necessity with its holiday display featuring a free $5 store gift card with a $15 purchase. Consumers simply had to buy $15 worth of Energizer batteries at retailers like Walmart, Target and The Home Depot, and then either upload their receipt to a special website or text it to a promotional number.

To sweeten the deal, Energizer automatically entered everyone who participated in the promotion into a sweepstakes to receive a full rebate of their purchase amount.

Oreo

In case you needed more motivation to buy what the company dubs ''America's favorite cookie,'' Oreo got into the shopper marketing game with its ''Oreo Cake Ball'' recipe campaign. The company developed exclusive campaigns for Target, Publix and Meijer using the idea of the cookie balls. At Target, the display was situated in seasonal home decor and featured a gingerbread house recipe. Another display was positioned near the cream cheese in the dairy cases at the store. Publix's campaign focused on making holiday preparation simpler, providing a recipe for Oreo cake balls, the recipe and all the ingredients in one central location.

M&Ms

Mars Chocolate, the parent company of M&Ms, enticed shoppers to purchase its product with the ''Say Thank You with M'' campaign, an opportunity to donate chocolate to U.S. troops and veterans. The store display told shoppers that when they purchased a bag of the candies in a store or online, the company would donate a bag to the military. The displays also featured letter-writing stations for people to pen their thanks to the troops. The company took the campaign beyond Walmart as well, running ads on radio, television and social media and using in-store signage. In the end, roughly two million pounds of chocolate were donated, and the company experienced sales increases of more than 25 percent compared to the previous year.

Shopper Marketing Trends

So, what's in store for shopper marketing in the future? Some pretty far-out ideas, as well as some more personal touches.

Virtual Reality

Home improvement projects can be a challenge, especially when it comes to visualizing what you want and how it will turn out. When Lowe's discovered they were missing out on billions of dollars from consumers who gave up on a project before even starting, they launched a virtual reality platform known as Holoroom. With Holoroom, customers can design home improvement projects using an app and a headset that allows them to see what they've created as though they were standing in the room.

So far, the technology is available in a couple dozen stores, but it highlights the significance that virtual reality could play in the shopping experience going forward. Other brands like The North Face, Samsung and Verizon are also adopting virtual reality technology for their retail outlets.

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