Most food manufacturers have not yet figured out how to translate consumer insights into effective marketing tactics, according to a new report from the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
The report, entitled Shopper Marketing 3.0, was carried out by the GMA in conjunction with global management consulting firm Booz & Co., and online consumer community SheSpeaks. It analyzed results of pre- and post-shopping surveys completed by 3,600 shoppers, 80 percent of whom were women, in order to reflect their predominant role as households’ primary shoppers. The report’s aim is to help manufacturers target their marketing budgets toward areas where they are most likely to bring measurable financial returns.
It found that most shoppers (77 percent) do not use detailed shopping lists, and 59 percent choose which brands they intend to buy when they are in the grocery store, meaning that food marketers have plenty of opportunity to influence decisions.
However, retailers have an important influence on where food companies invest, and often restrain their marketing opportunities, it added.
“Retailers are seeking to further tap into manufacturers’ overall marketing budgets beyond trade promotions, pushing them to shift spending into ads on retailer websites or on their in-store video networks, or to participate in their database marketing programs,” it said. “Moreover, retailers’ less cluttered, “clean store” approach is limiting manufacturers’ ability to capitalize on their own investments in shopper insights.”
But there are still many areas in which food companies are advised to place marketing investment.
After price, 85 percent of consumers said that communication of benefits on packaging was the most influential marketing tactic to encourage them to try new brands. And shopper-focused marketing tactics are much more likely to work for food and beverage products than others, the report said, considering that at least 73 percent of shoppers make one or more impulse purchases every time they shop.
Eighty-one percent of shoppers carry out some research before going grocery shopping, “typically for an hour or more.” While the focus of this research is still mainly on price, centering on cutting coupons and reading circulars, consumers are increasingly going online to find deals and research product information, the report said.
The Executive Summary of the report can be accessed online here . The full report is due to be released later this month.