Mike Anthony @ engage consultants

Mike Anthony on Shopper Marketing

Integrating consumer and shopper marketing does not mean ignoring the differences

with 3 comments

In a comment to an article on integrating digital into shopper marketing, Matthew Keylock of Dunnhumby argued that “I still struggle with the stubbornly prevailing split between consumer marketing and shopper marketing … they are all people and in the case of many brands they are the same people! You need to understand them through a single view and similarly you should market to them consistently across the different channels”

The argument for integration is strong, and the core essence of what ConAgra (see link) are doing is strong. Integration is desirable, and digital (and in particular mobile) has made this integration mandatory. The idea that shoppers exist in a store, and consumers outside is false – shopping decisions are made outside stores and always have been (which store should I visit is surely a shopping decision!). Now mobile media breaks that artificial barrier completely.

But integration is not homogenization. Shoppers and consumers are different. They make different decisions and think differently about brands. We want them to do different things. He challenge is to celebrate their differences, understand how we should market to not shoppers and consumers, and then integrate them. Assuming they are the same (when they are not) is a step backwards and misses a huge opportunity to move consumer goods marketing into a brave new world. It would be a shame if this new technology did that.


Written by Mike Anthony

November 27, 2011 at 9:34 am

3 Responses

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  1. I think this is too polar. Consumers and shoppers are sometimes the same, but not always. For example, when someone buys a gift for someone else, the shopper is not the consumer. The consumer perspective is based in consumption, actual use or ingestion of the product or service. The shopper is the person who is involved in the pre,during, and post path to purchase and has distinct behaviors that are beyond just use or consumption of a product.

    Some examples… when parents are the shoppers for kids toys, school tools, clothing, etc… Everyone in a household consumes media but children and sometimes spouses are not involved in the shopping decision… Everyone in a home uses cutlery, but not everyone is the shopper… need I go on further.

    it is better for a company to know both the consumer and the shopper, and especially hjow they are different and what you need to understand which is different about consumption versus shopping.

    Corey Canfield

    January 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    • Dear Corey,

      Many thanks for your post and i believe in essence we agree. Whether the shopper and consumer are corporeally the same or different we need to understand them both if our marketing (be it shopper or consumer) is to be as effective as possible.

      Thanks for contributing and I hope to hear from you again,


      Mike Anthony

      January 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

  2. […] a time when people made shopping decisions exclusively inside a store just feels wrong. As argued here – shopping decisions have always been made outside […]

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