Optimising promotional marketing spend relies upon understanding the shopper rather than the consumer, says Bridgethorne

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Nevens: need to focus on shopper

Nevens: need to focus on shopper

Leading category and shopper management specialist Bridgethorne says new research from the Institute of Promotional Marketing, which has revealed that during 2013 nearly £55bn was spent on promotional marketing, underlines the importance of understanding the shopper as opposed to the consumer to ensure that marketing spend is optimised.

The company says that, with such a large-scale investments being made as a part of brand and retailer marketing activity, it is becoming increasingly vital brands get to grips with the fundamental difference between the ‘shopper’ and the ‘consumer’.

“In a landscape where ultimate power has shifted from the retailer and the consumer to the shopper it is fundamental that both retailers, and suppliers, change their approach to marketing, ensuring that equal consideration is given to the ‘shopper’ and the ‘consumer’,” said John Nevens, co-founder, Bridgethorne.

“One hundred per cent of shopping is done by shoppers yet most focus is placed on the consumer, who frequently is not the one making the actual purchasing decision. Integration of the shopper into an organisation’s existing marketing strategy will lead to a more effective and optimal commercial investment. That does not necessarily mean additional financial investment but a more intelligent and informed use of budget.”

Whilst price promotions may help encourage shoppers looking for a bargain to buy, helping retailers and suppliers increase volume of sales, they do not necessarily support a long-term sales increase, said Bridgethorne. Therefore, suppliers need to get to grip with the disconnect between sales, which might boost volume short-term, and effective shopper marketing which, when carried out correctly, can secure long-term sales benefits.

The most effective way that suppliers can optimise marketing expenditure is by committing investment to understanding the shopper as this will allow suppliers to understand exactly what factors influence or motivate shopper-purchasing decisions, claims Bridgethorne. 

Implications of getting to grips with the difference between shopper and consumer could be profound for suppliers. Apart from the obvious financial benefits, suppliers who are able to implement an effective shopper marketing strategy could reinforce relationships with retailers by helping understanding their shoppers more effectively, said Nevens.