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Credit by Mike Anthony

Possibly the biggest challenge to consumer goods companies is making their retail activities be more effective. The consumer goods industry pours billions of dollars every year into retail marketing activities, yet every analysis I’ve ever seen suggests that most of those activities are simply not effective. As the pressure to spend more at retail increases, more and more businesses are seeking a solution to effective retail marketing.

Why Is Effective Retail Marketing Such A Challenge?

There are many reasons for the problem, but from conversations and interactions with hundreds of companies, we can see that the core reasons for poor performance at retail are as follows:

  1. Teams aren’t clear which shopper they are targeting, and don’t have clear objectives for their activity beyond driving sales

  2. Teams don’t consider the broader alternatives of how to deliver these goals, settling typically on activities that have been used before

  3. Teams struggle to persuade retailers to do anything differentiated, and the retailers simply demand more promotions anyway.

  4. Teams don’t have a clear methodology to evaluate activities comprehensively and so struggle to identify which activities are effective and which are not.

As always, I’m going to share a simple framework to follow in a short while. But there is only so much I can share in a blog post, so if this sounds familiar to you in your role, in your team or in your company, you really should check out a brand new program by Shopper Marketing Experts – Effective Retail Marketing. Its a blended approach with coaching and workshops, supported by a world class online toolkit. Its jam-packed with content: written, audio and video to help introduce all of the concepts, as well as having all of the tools and templates that will step you and your team through the entire Effective Retail Marketing Process.

Before we go any further, full disclosure is required. I’m part of the Shopper Marketing Experts team, and so my fingerprints are all over this product (along with my face in a number of videos!) But regardless, I still wanted to share the product with you, simply because, based on my experience, this is the ONE THAT MOST PEOPLE NEED. It compresses the learning of thousands of hours of workshops, consulting and practical experience of how to make each retail activity more effective. I rarely advertise in this blog, so I hope that you’ll forgive me just this once!

How To Create More Effective Retail Marketing Activities

So how does it all work? Well here is a sneak preview! There are a number of steps to creating and executing effective retail marketing activities. The process is built around the Total Marketing Process, and has three broad phases:


Too often activity objectives focus on selling more volume or value. That’s great, but it isn’t enough. The quality of any outcome is proportionate to the quality of the objective, or in this case, objectives. Yes we need to have commercial objectives (such as sales or profit growth), but we need more. We need to consider the desired impact on consumer and shopper behavior, as it is by changing behavior that real value is created. And, given that we need to persuade a retailer to support us, we also need to consider the impact on a retailer’s business. As suggested here, the consumer goods industry needs to consider three customers. Therefore effective retail marketing begins with (at least) three objectives, each focused on one customer.


The next step of the process is to decide which activity is most likely to deliver against that objective. Here we can be creative, and brainstorm wildly, and then use our objectives to help us select the best activity for those objectives.

And the planning stage needs to incorporate how we will secure execution. Firstly, getting retailer agreement, and secondly how to ensure that we get maximum compliance too. If an activity isn’t executed in the store, then it is unlikely to deliver the returns we are looking for.


Finally, evaluation. And by this I don’t mean simply seeing whether we’ve sold more than usual, and whether the extra sales cover the cost of the activity. This is where we review the activity against our objectives, and see whether our retail marketing activity was effective or not. From this we can decide whether we wish to repeat this activity, or adapt it, or dump it.

Effective Retail Marketing brings the power of shopper marketing to every activity It sounds rather simple doesn’t it? Yet there is so much nuance in there, that one blog simply can’t do it justice. Just as well that Shopper Marketing Experts have gathered all this together in one place then! Your coach will take your through each of these steps with case studies, videos, audio and written content. They provide templates and tools to use, as well as quizzes to check your progress. They have packed so much into this product – pretty much everything you need to deliver effective retail marketing. How to do shopper segmentation: how to define your retail channels: How to prioritize channels, and how to select activities. How to evaluate each activity. How to build a great selling presentation to persuade a retailer to support your initiative. The list goes on.

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