Happy New Year! May it be a New Year full of New Thinking!
Here in the greener pasture, we’re calling 2012 the ‘Year of AND’: forecasting that the big trends in shopper marketing will be defined by ‘additive thinking’ – doing away with some of the divisive definitions of the past.
Here’s the top 3 reasons we’re going to hear the word AND a lot in 2012.
#1: ‘Online AND offline’ rather than ‘online OR offline’
Multi-channel retailing was a high-trending buzz topic of late 2011, and will surely keep gaining momentum. This little sheep is looking forward though, to a more pronounced shift in the discussion from “online versus offline” to a paradigm in which we see more retailers adopting an “online AND offline” (‘clicks & mortar’) approach to satisfying shoppers.
Bricks & mortar retailers have started to take online more seriously, and with Amazon running holiday circulars and eBay opening high-street shopfronts, the new world seems to be upon us. The message should be clear: if you’re a retailer betting on a wholly online OR wholly offline strategy, I don’t expect to see you amongst the big movers & shakers in 2012.
#2: Value AND Quality AND Convenience, OH MY!
With the mass-customization and shopper-to-shopper sharing enabled by online retailing and social networking, and an economy (at least in the developed world) putting new pressure on shoppers in 2011, more and more have realized that with a little more homework, they don’t need to make trade-offs between value, convenience, quality and shopping experience any longer.
Retail banners like Trader Joe’s are delivering quality, perceived value AND a fun shopping experience and growing rapidly. Morrison’s in the UK has promised that their new small-format convenience fascia will NOT charge a premium over their supermarket prices: they want to deliver convenience AND value. And retailers everywhere are diversifying to offer hyper AND super AND smaller formats to satisfy different shopper missions.
In 2012, shoppers will have their cake AND eat it too!
#3: More FMCG’s to treat Shopper as ‘Sales AND Marketing’
So many shopper marketing fora still discuss the question of “should shopper marketing/insights live in Sales OR Marketing?”. I’ve simply started answering this question with “No”. It should most definitely be alive and well in both parts of your company, and it should be driving both sales AND brand health.
Sure, it’s messier organizationally, and means some people might initially get pushed from pillar to post, but if more FMCG / CPG companies can get beyond the internal tugs-of-war and get some cross-disciplinary teams working on shopper marketing initiatives, I believe we can see some really fantastic programs in our stores and online that benefit shoppers AND brands AND retailers.
And so, we commence “The Year of AND” – hopefully the year that Shopper Marketing hits its straps and proves it is no fad, and makes the retail world a better place for all.
To my readers and twitter followers, I hope that 2012 is a great year for you all, full of happiness AND prosperity for you AND your families.
Happy New Year!
the orange sheep