Food Manufacturers to Boost Shopper Marketing

A joint annual study by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Booz & Company indicates that shopper marketing continues to grow. Compared to last year, marketers are spending more time organizing their efforts to achieve optimal outcomes in the attempt to reach shoppers. While many food manufacturers are exploring new formats  like social media, the highest use and adoption rates of shopper marketing programs fall in the categories of on-​shelf display/​advertising and coupons, either digital or traditional. However, as more consumers shift to digital tools, manufacturers acknowledge that they’ll need a new focus.

As a result, food manufacturers plan to make changes to marketing expenditures over the next 3 years. The following percentages of businesses in this category say they’ll increase spending by some amount on:

  • Social media 93%
  • Internet brand advertising 86%
  • Shopper marketing 83%
  • Mobile marketing 83%
  • Owned media 58%
  • Consumer promotions 31%

To compensate for higher spending in some categories, cuts will be made in other places. The following percentages of food manufacturers say they will make cuts in these formats:

  • Television 28%
  • Print media 41%
  • Trade promotions 31%

In general, researchers studied 49 different categories of shopper marketing.   The success rate of each categoryvaries, depending on the goal of the particular marketing effort.  For example, to  generate awareness and consideration,  sponsored search, off-​shelf displays and e‑circulars are considered most effective. To drive trial and purchase, shopper marketer programs with the most success include coupons – either digital or traditional – and in-​store sampling events. When manufacturers want to build loyalty and advocacy they turn to relationship marketing tools like personalized e‑mail or social media efforts that largely encompass building the following around their own branded site.

Expect to see more changes in shopper marketing programs as manufacturers attempt to influence shoppers both in and out of the stores.

[Source: Shopper Marketing 4.0. GMA Sales Committee. GMAOnline​.org. 2010. Web. 19 Nov. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.