Archive for September, 2011

Many brands — especially brands in FMCG categories — distinctly and increasingly day by day realize the fact that decision-making powers of shoppers in household consumption have increased much more than they have ever been. Even in the categories not imagined, this vital target group has a significant impact on purchasing decision. Recently, this power of shoppers has been realized in the world of electronic commerce. So nowadays, this price-responsive, fastidious group has the ear of many brands appearing in e-commerce.

To intervene in the moment of making “purchasing decision” becomes more and more difficult as well as being instructive regardless of which sales channel. The number of alternative products increases day by day. The hundreds of marketing messages aim to benefit from each opportunity by using all available channels.

On the other hand, these messages confuse the minds of consumers and the concept of brand loyalty are in the death agony. So intervening in the moment of truth is regarded as the most important issue of marketing. Those above are the reasons why the concept of shopper marketing (shopper-oriented marketing) has come into prominence in recent years and become the fastest growing marketing field in the world.

First, let’s look at the concept of shopper marketing by answering the question: Who is defined as “shopper”? According to the shopper marketing report published in 2007 by Deloitte, shopper is defined as an individual that is in the mood of shopping (or in the act of shopping). Even most of the time, shopper is not the same person as consumer. For example, a mother who is looking for a baby food is a shopper and her baby is a consumer.

From this point of view, shopper marketing is defined in many ways. According to the definition in Wikipedia, shopper marketing is “understanding how one’s target consumers behave as shoppers, in different channels and formats, and leveraging this intelligence to the benefit of all stakeholders, defined as brands, consumers, retailers and shoppers.” Considering the cause and effect relationship between shopping process and purchasing decision, marketing professionals try to find solutions that induce purchasing and to remove the obstacles in front of purchasing by reading shopper’s mind.

Well, where is e-commerce that subjects to our story in this equation of shopper marketing? We can answer this question considering other questions. For instance, when was the last time you received a private letter from your post box? Or when was the last time you specified a place by looking at an atlas? Most probably, internet that has such a big impact on our practices in daily life will change our shopping patterns in a similar way. Maybe we will be asking the question: When was the last time you bought a laptop computer from an electromarket?

In parallel with the rapid increase in internet usage as a channel, e-commerce has become not only an indispensable part of our daily life practices but also an important tool of shopping. Millions of internet users prefer online shopping according to 2011 comScore Turkey report. Here this online capacity attracts attention of shopper marketing professionals as well as media planners, advertisers.

In recent years, a new front has been rising in the intersection point of two important trends, namely shopper marketing and e-commerce. Your colleague forwarding a discount e-mail from a website; your spouse sharing a notice via e-mail about holiday places; your friend priding himself/herself on getting the products of his/her favorite team on the cheap thanks to the notices in social networking sites such as twitter, facebook compose the target group of this new front.

There is no doubt that digital world has very different features compared to traditional one. It changes so fast. Consumers, who have unlimited access to information, want to be a part of dialogue instead of one-way communication. In order to be successful in e-commerce, brands/companies should revaluate e-shoppers, understand their diversifying expectations and enrich communication opportunities offered by online channels with shopper marketing plans. Since it is possible to make comparisons of price, quality, product features with millions of other products in a few seconds; consumer comments and bestseller list hold key for purchasing decision.

Shortly, e-commerce is growing rapidly and increasingly. In this new world order, brands and companies should try to get a bigger share of this cake by improving product presentation, information system, promotions, visuality, pricing, post-sales services. Furthermore, shopper-oriented communication should be diversified, customized and developed.

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Facebook is getting ready for measuring the 2012 London Olympic Games impact on brands by tracking how the sponsorship brands influence is changing. With this step, the social platform giant proves that it can be a useful tool not only for distributing marketing but also measuring the games’ impact on brands. Since the Olympic sponsors struggle to figure out financial effect of their investment, the social network gives them an insight into the changes in sentiment around their brands, says Financial Times.

“Going into the Olympics next year, it’s hard to quantify what the word-of-mouth [benefit] of sponsorship is,” said Kathy Dykeman, Facebook’s lead on measurement for Europe, Middle East and Africa in the interview to FT.

“Capturing who is telling the stories and what impact it’s having will help us going into 2012.” he continued.

Facebook will be able to track how news spreads around its site, and then run polls to see the impact of marketing messages on sentiment around those brands. Thanks to this “real-time” analysis, brands will be able to make changes if their ads fail.

Facebook research and analytics team has already run the same initiative at the football World Cup. According to a Facebook poll, videos by Umbro, the England kit sponsor, were found to make people who saw them more likely to buy its sportswear than those who did not.

However, Facebook is not the only one that implements such techniques of brand impact evaluation. Other social networks also do similar experiments. Last year, researchers at HP found out that sentimental analysis of postings on Twitter about a new movie can predict its opening weekend takings at the box office.

On the other hand, some traditional pollsters argue that such techniques lack sophistication and balance due to the fact that respondents on social networks are self-selecting and results can be distorted by vocal minorities.

All in all, online marketing, which has been relatively untapped by Olympics sponsors in previous years, seems to be useful to some extent and Facebook seems to know how to use it by creating a lot of new opportunities for sponsors to exploit.