In-Store Asia 2008: Journey of a brand

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | February 04, 2008
On the second day of In-Store Asia 2008, S Subramanian, head, modern trade, Marico, talked about the challenges of shopper marketing in India

The increasing & #BANNER1 & # number of touch and feel format stores is also serving to educate consumers today. Marketers understand that all consumers have to arrive at the point of purchase (POP) at some point or the other to make the actual purchase decision. On the second day of In-Store Asia 2008, S Subramanian, head, modern trade, Marico, talked about the challenges of shopper marketing in India.

Discussing shopper behaviour across the globe, he pointed out that most shoppers have already chosen a retail outlet in their mind before they step out of their homes. According to him, 67 per cent consumers in the world know what brand they want to buy before entering a store. Out of this 67 per cent, 75 per cent actually go ahead and purchase the brand of their choice, while the rest is persuaded to buy a competing brand by various factors playing inside the store.

The sales and marketing that takes place inside a store, termed as shopper marketing, has very different requirements from the sales and marketing that happens in the traditional environment. Marketers in India are slowly moving from national marketing programmes to in-store marketing programmes, from consumer segmentation to shopper segmentation.

However, there are some challenges that remain to be faced in the vastness of Indian retail. First of all, the size of the organised market here is around 3-5 per cent. Therefore, the understanding of sales and marketing inside stores is still at the initial stages. For the retail business to be successful, there is a need for strategic alignment between brand marketing, trade promotions and shopper marketing. To convert shoppers into buyers, it's important for the marketing department on the manufacturer's side to come together with the marketing department on the retailer's side. This will not only help in generating shopper insights, but also help understand their behaviour a great deal.

Another challenge is to develop a performance metric for the retail business. Traditional sales and marketing metrics such as volume, distribution and ROI (return on interest) are not valid for shopper marketing. Retailers also find it difficult to decipher complex data of shoppers segregated according to segments, occasions, regions and stores.

Some efforts that have worked in this direction include attractive packaging to break clutter, creating buzz for new brands and ensuring the target audience doesn't miss it, and getting permanent visibility of the product through strategic placement. Providing brand experience to consumers through product demonstrations and free trials has been successful too.

Subramanian cited the example of the Parachute Advansed 'Gorgeous Hamesha' campaign. The objective of this campaign was to make the target group feel gorgeous inside the store. Marico set up an innovative stand with a mirror and headphones, which played the 'Gorgeous Hamesha' jingle. Women could look at themselves, listen to the jingle and admire their own beauty.

Marico ran another campaign for the same brand called 'Personalized Magazine Cover'. A large fictitious magazine cover was created, titled 'Gorgeous Hamesha', and placed in various malls. Women could stand before the cover image, get themselves photographed and get a personalised cover of the magazine with their picture on it.

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