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Is Shopper Marketing the ‘new black’ and what does it mean?

9 June 2014

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release

Is Shopper Marketing the ‘new black’ and what does it mean?

“Shopper Marketing is, in itself, an example of great marketing – a label to package up a discipline in order to easily define an approach to market,” says Sonia McConnachie, Director of consumer marketing agency Commando. But is it really new? No, but it helps to identify those who approach consumer brand marketing with a strategic vision and those who apply tactical tools to drive sales (not necessarily a bad thing).

So how do we define exactly what it is? That’s the thing – as marketers, we don’t all agree on a clear definition, but here’s Commando’s take on it: Shopper Marketing is about understanding consumer buying behaviour, then applying that knowledge through engagement and awareness activities to motivate consumers into becoming actual shoppers of your brand. There’s lots of other things you can throw into this definition to muddle the mix; consideration of path to purchase, integration of message above-the-line and below-the-line, linking out-of-store to in-store with reminders at point of purchase, breaking down barriers to purchase with a clear call to action or sales driver, key account and category management… the general sense however is that Shopper Marketers approach consumer and brand marketing holistically not tactically at a retailer level.

Now here’s the market reality… that’s a nice theory but how often do we (as shopper marketers) get the luxury of rolling out a fully integrated and well thought out strategy to market in its entirety? Budget cuts, politics, opinions and agendas may mean by the time we hit market our holistic strategy can look like a tactical sales driving campaign designed for short term gain and impact in the market without consideration of longer term market share building. Yeah it’s down and dirty but sometimes that’s what is required and sometimes that’s all we can get away – nothing like a bit of consumer bribery and shock tactics to re-energise a brand or category to halt market share decline.

“So whilst we all agree with and preach Shopper Marketing and its holistic, strategic approach,” concludes Sonia, “let’s not forget we still actually need to sell another product and get return on investment in the short term (easy wins on the board) or there will be no product on shelf to build upon.”

To find out more about Shopper Marketing, contact Sonia and her Commando team on or visit


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