The shopper rules. How will you serve them?

Every ad, every commercial, every billboard screams a message to convince consumers why they need to experience, discover, re-discover, or invest in a brand. Your skin will be softer, you’ll be the envy of your neighbors, you’ll look great, you’ll feel great, your kids will like you—there are lots of promises made to influence the consumer.

But what about the shopper? Have all these marketers forgotten who goes to the store, chooses, and pays for these products? Is your marketing message stopping short of the checkout?

Here’s an example. Studies show that 80 percent of the beer that is consumed at home is purchased by women but consumed by men. Does it make sense, therefore, to use life-sized cut-outs of attractive women for the in-store displays to tout these brews? Do you think a woman is going to be impressed by a sexy vixen pushing an alcoholic stimulant at her man?

And yet that’s what one brewery after another continues to do—except the smart ones. These are the brands that recognize that the woman makes the ultimate choice. Sure, she is influenced by the consumer, but she can tell him it wasn’t available, the price was too high, the carton was too heavy, or she couldn’t find it. And you know what? If he is relying on her to stock up the fridge, he’ll drink whatever substitute is there—assuming it’s not foul tasting.

So what are you doing to influence the shopper? Are you making it easy for her to find your products? Are you placing them where she can see, reach, and grab them? Do you even know where she usually purchases the product you are trying to get in front of her?

In today’s shopping culture, the shopper rules. She can choose from countless outlets to get what she wants. If she is in a rush, she might pop into a convenience store. For buying in bulk, the hypermarket is a good fit. In instances when she doesn’t want to take the time to head into a store, she buys online. Shopper marketing will give you the edge you need in a competitive marketplace and connect you with your shopper, as well as consumers and retailers.

Invest in your shopper. Invest as much research into knowing who buys your products as you do in who consumes them.

What are you doing to address the needs of your shoppers?

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