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Top trends in shopper marketing in 2018

With a more and more savvy consumer and digital and technology re-shaping it, shopper marketing became in the last years almost a science, relying a lot on research and customer observation. While in the US, the Shopper Marketing magazine developed a very strong research on this year’s trends that can be read here, we asked 3 local advertising specialists to give us their thoughts as well.

 

Cristina Oncescu, Head of Strategy pastel

What do you believe will be the biggest shopper marketing trends of 2018?

I don’t know if they are the biggest, but they are certainly hot in 2018:

  • Personalised shopping

There are many in-store technologies that can be used to provide a personalised shopping experience. NFC (Near Field Communication) chips, QR codes, iBeacons and Visual Light Communications are just some of the emerging technologies used. These, when linked to previous shopping histories via a loyalty app for instance, can provide disruptive yet compelling interactions with the shopper as they enter the store.

  • Virtual assistance

From voice to chatbots, going through messenger apps, one-to-one communication is on the rise. Being available and being helpful, when the shopper needs you, is making the difference.

  • Augmented Reality

The use of Augmented Reality on mobile devices provides an engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience – it’s quick, easy and very interactive. With the integration of AR on iPhones, it will be easier for marketers to engage larger audiences during their path to purchase.

What are they influenced by and why?

Technology, and especially mobile, led shoppers becoming more and more omnichannel. Now, this is an actual behaviour that the shoppers engage in (of course in a subconscious way). Web, mobile, social, apps – it’s all just shopping to consumers. The separation between retail channels is growing even more blurred by the day. Can they return online products in-store? Can they check if the store has their size and colour on their mobile phone before they leave their homes? Consumers expect a seamless experience across all channels.

What is pastel advising its clients this year?

Great content will always engage. Have an interesting, consistent story and a seamless experience throughout the whole omnichannel path to purchase.

Anton Gherca, Chief Innovation Officer at g7

What do you believe will be the biggest shopper marketing trends of 2018?

We believe that shopper marketing is an area of brand communication that has been kept largely untouched by the digital revolution that is reshaping the advertising industry for the past 10 years. So we expect that „digital BTL” will start gaining momentum, as today’s practices are deeply engrained in traditional approaches of point of sale communication. We think that we will see more connections between social media and shopper marketing, and geofencing and point of sale promotions, with the aim of delivering a more integrated omnichanel shopper experience.

What are they influenced by and why?

Like many things in advertising, the move towards a more „digital” shopper marketing approach is driven by the consumers themselves, or more precisely, by their lifestyle. As of 2017, the penetration rate of smartphones in Romania is 70%, while 41% of the population are already mobile social users. Peer-to-peer ridesharing like Uber makes people understand the benefits of the sharing economy,  on-demand services like Netflix put them in the driver’s seat while the wide 4G coverage makes them want everything now. This means people are getting more and more accustomed to having everything at a push of a button and they expect higher levels of service, increased transparency, embedded interactivity and all in all a better customer experience out of everything.

I know this sounds like a bunch of buzzwords cramped togheter in one sentence, and our agency has never been in the „buzz” business, but the reality is that the shift in consumers’ lives is happening with or without us. I think the bottom line is that today’s shoppers are just expecting something more out of marketing communications. More relevance, more engagement, more customization. This doesn’t mean that we, the shopper marketers, can’t still get away with the old „buy one – get one” or „scratch this to win a prize that you don’t even want” mechanics. But wouldn’t that be a pity?

What is g7 advising its clients this year?

Our agency has embarked in a digital transformation journey and once set in motion, it can’t be stopped. We will continue an initiative started in 2017, of hosting periodic innovation workshops together with our clients for identifying the opportunities put forth by today’s technology, and see where that gets us. Still, there are a couple of areas we keep tightly in our focus: Proximity marketing, Loyalty management and Gamification. We work towards integrating in an organic manner these three capabilities in the approach our clients are already used to: honest creative work, deep understanding of shopper behavior and solid deployment in the retail ecosystem.

Ondina Olariu, Business Director Geometry Global

“Fragmentation, increased competition and e-commerce are key words for 2018 and beyond in our region. After seeing a huge expansion, somewhat even inflated for some of the retail players, we will witness a new battleground, named proximity. As global retailers keep expanding, we will live through a great variety of formats, more flexibility and adaptation to micro-retailing needs. Proximity will be influenced as well by the increasing degree of urbanization, as well as the new generations of shoppers, more dynamic, digital savvy and format switchers (in Romania, 25 cities cover 31.3% of total population and 55.6% of urban population – source:  INS, Romania, 2017).

And when we say flexibility and adaptation, think beyond format, as we see discounters aggressively stepping in the services territory, while share of consumer spend reached 68% in services vs 32% in goods in 2016 (source: Kantar Global Trends 2018). Goods subscription – meaning bundle goods as a service is something that we preached our clients for a couple of years already and it’s approaching it’s turning point in 2018.

E-commerce in Europe is predicted to reach 10% of total retail (source: Kantar 2018 Global Predictions, WPP Data), with a clear future towards what we call omni-channel, especially since gen Z takes the scene as newest shoppers. At global level we see the switch and struggle of most pure e-commerce players in becoming physical as well, to the level where blogs impersonate the physical space in temporary shops where experience blends with sales, while in Europe we are taking steps into developing the brick-and-mortar into e-commerce, especially for FMCG area, which are the most shopped for categories. Retailers will continue or start monetizing opportunities through their own apps, following the evolution of more mature markets, such as Spain (+210% in app sessions growth in the last 2 years) or Germany (+130%). Here again, it seems that pure digital players have a degree of advancement, since digital-first retail apps saw more that 2x the average sessions / user each month and saw stronger growth in the last 2 years. (source: App Annie 2017 retrospective report). This means we will see accelerated growth for digital players apps, as the new arrivals from physical retailers will need to extract good lessons and apply on fast track.

Blending online and offline expresses also in automation, such as automated cashiers. As retailers will increasingly see value, watch for a retail unemployment crisis, especially in more mature markets. The proliferation of private labels will increasingly force out brands from the physical shelf. Most of these private labels continue to be supported as brands rather than price options, from food to fashion (see Esmara for Lidl and Tex for Carrefour) and home appliances (eg Carrefour Home consumer electronics). Health and Wellness is an increasingly appealing theme, for both brands and retailers. Watch the shelf space growth in store, as well as the latest positioning of certain private labels, trying to capture value and exploit the trend.

As a shopper agency, we are not only advising but already working with our clients on the omni-channel shopper journey models, including retailer strategies and new channels opportunities in this process. We build with them strong e-commerce fundamentals for the Romanian market and expand to e-commerce experiences and integration of channels for more mature markets. We operate with an increasingly complex model that includes data management and A/B testing applied to shopper initiatives and integrate thorough shopper knowledge in every solution we bring to the table. Bonus: an emerging trend, still less visible to this market is the return to D2C (Direct to Consumer). It will be highly influenced by retailers’ behavior, however, more brands become conscious they cannot rely exclusively on retailers and distributors in building their relationship with shoppers and consumers, therefore they’ll be trying to find ways to cut it short to them and bypass the “official” channels.”

 

 

 

7 Things you might not know about Robert Murray

Based out of the Vancouver Lower Mainland, Robert Murray is a #1 Best Selling Author, Global Speaker and Business Strategist. He has written three critically acclaimed books on leadership: “It’s Already Inside,”​ “Unlocked,”​ “Simple Leadership – Simply Said.” that are a collection of short stories that help his readers relate to and nurture the leader within themselves.

  1. He believes in people and their limitless potential. He wrote Unlocked to help leaders unlock their remarkable greatness through using their ‘whole brain’ – both the logical brain as well as the emotional mind to become a more complete leader – the leader he calls a ‘Practical Leader’.

2. He is able to see simple, executable and engaging solutions where others see only problems. Has worked with senior executives of multi-billion dollar ventures to improve their future, further engage their community stakeholders, and essentially fix their problems. Bob is experienced in virtually all areas of the corporate development, and he is passionate and energized about helping companies be the best they can be.

3. Bob is a storyteller. He is a visionary, he is dynamic and he is engaging. He shares his energy, enthusiasm and knowledge in hopes of helping people discover their limitless potential. He tells stories which help people find the keys to unlock the innate leader that lies within.

4. Coming from a farming family in the heart of Canada, and working my twenties as an industrial electrician, he learned life skills that are hard to find in a classroom. Expertise such as: problem solving, emotional intelligence, and how to selflessly serve others.

5. Getting his marketing degree at University at night, while working through junior level marketing roles during the day, he learned discipline, drive and to always chase his passion.

6. The single biggest mistake he sees virtually everyday in businesses on every corner of the globe are leaders that don’t take culture seriously and think that the way to success is complex strategies that no one understands. Robert believes that successful businesses have values aligned cultures and simple strategies.

7. He has built strategy for over 200 organizations from Fortune 50 to small 10 person businesses.

 

Tips & tricks on how to create a successful video campaign on Facebook

Today is all about finding your vision and place on the market and targeting it the right way. Specific messages, created and translated in a specific way, for each media in part. What works for YouTube may very well not work on Facebook or cinema. Even if we talk about the same brand, campaign, positioning and target. So how does one create a powerful and successful video for Facebook, in order to really help the brand? According to kissmetrics.com, over three billion videos are watched on Facebook daily. Video is eye-catching, engaging and, when used properly, is a great way to bring life to a product or brand. The website editors identified 4 main rules that you can find here.(credit photo: shutterstock)

As Facebook says, while video continues to grow as a storytelling medium for people and brands, it has been working with hundreds of businesses on building and analyzing video ads to discover what makes great video creative. What they found what was that, like advertising of all kinds, building effective video ad creative requires both art and science.

Some rules that would anyone help create a good Facebook video are:

  • Tailor your story to your audience.


People are more likely to pay attention to content that’s relevant to their interests, which means you’ll likely get better results if you customize your ad’s message for the people who see it. Consider creating unique videos (or different versions of the same video) for different audience segments.

  • Invest in production.

Whether you use a camera phone or a production team, secure the best available creative resources and set a realistic production schedule and budget. People are more likely to watch and remember videos that are well-crafted and designed to play on every device. Remember, cheap doesn’t sell anymore and doesn’t give the “authenticity” feel anymore. Treat the channel with the proper respect and attention and you will get the wanted results.

  • Make sure people will relate to the story, by keeping it real and close to them. Use situations that feel close to people’s lives and habits.

 

  • Use the first few seconds wisely.

Bring your story to life quickly, so as people scroll through News Feed looking for content, your video ad quickly piques people’s interest. Consider showing brand or product imagery in the first few seconds.  Almost half of the value of a video ad is delivered in the first three seconds, according to research that Facebook commissioned from audience ratings and research company Nielsen. Seventy four percent of the value of a video ad is delivered to the audience in the first 10 seconds.

 

  • Focus on storytelling.

Video length is less important than telling a cohesive and concise story. Your video ad shouldn’t be longer or shorter than it takes to tell your story well, so create a storytelling arc from the first frame to the last that keeps your audience interested along the way.

 

  • Create empathy / entertain them / make them laugh or cry.

Everyone feels close to a good, real story that captivates them and brings their emotions to the table.

 

  • Tell your story with and without sound.

Since videos on Facebook autoplay with sound off, it’s important to make sure your video ads entice viewers even when muted. When sound is off, beautiful imagery and on-screen text can help tell your story. When enabled, your video’s sound should offer additional value to viewers and further bring your story to life.

 

  • Use the Groups’ section

Meeting friends, and sharing your life with those friends, is the business of Facebook. The platform’s ‘Groups’ video perfectly portrays how it helps people connect with others who share similar interests. It creatively identifies how users can benefit from using Facebook by providing a clearly defined problem and a beginning, middle, and end.

 

6 Big Instagram 2017 Trends Any Marketer Should Know

 

User-friendly and making the most of one of people’s favorite activity related to owning a smartphone: taking pictures, Instagram becomes steady and sure one of the Romanians main used social media tools, especially among the trendy persons. Brands are also starting to notice its impact and are taking advantage of this positive trend.

According to Zelist Monitor, quoted by instagramology.ro, 2017 started with a performance on the Romanian market: 50,518 more users in January 2017 compared to December 2016. This is the biggest growth from December to January stated in Romania so far, the predictions for February being that the total number will reach half a million users.

In this context, marketers should make sure they know the biggest 6 trends happening out-there and be ready to adopt them as fast as possible. They might fly as easily as they arrived.

  1. Using Trends To Get Noticed

Being aware of the latest trends can give the marketers insights into what people are looking for on Instagram. In fact, a lot of trends can be determined by doing hashtag research and finding popular content. According to sproutsocial.com, as a business, you want to be seen in some of the most popular places on Instagram. By paying attention to the latest Instagram trends, you can help get your content noticed and in front of more eyes. Branding is all about building your audience and increasing awareness about you.

  1. Instagram Stories

Boomaballet ??? by @clarice_lantalilly

A post shared by Boomerang from Instagram (@boomerangfrominstagram) on

Launched in August 2017, stories aims to change the way people use Instagram. Stories allows you to tag people in updates, add a link to your content (useful for brands directing people to their site), and it even supports  Boomerang.

  1. Instagram Direct

It’s all about fast connection to your consumers. Last year Instagram updated Direct, the messaging side of the photo-sharing app. Since then, user numbers worldwide have grown from 80 million to 300 million. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder Instagram will continue to improve this part of the service to encourage people to use the app more.

4. Instagram Shopping

Recently, Instagram trialed shoppable product tags with 20 fashion brands, allowing the tagging of certain items in a photo. This presents a much more seamless shopping experience for the user. Rather than having to find a link in the bio, users will be able to click a tag for a detailed view of the product. The shopper can then continue researching the product without leaving the app. If the user wants to continue with the purchase, a Shop Now button will take them to the product landing page on the businesses website.

  1. Instagram Business Tools

The new feature allows accounts to be verified as a business account for the first time. Therefore, the marketers can add contact methods, directions to their business and unlocks access to promoted posts and analytics. Moreover, Insights on Instagram allows businesses to uncover details about their followers, such as behavior and demographics. Better knowing your customer means better business and a prolong success.

  1. Video is still the king of the game

I’m missin my broadway life @chicagomusical ?#roxiehart 8 shows a week singing live and didn’t cancel 1 show no matter what was going on in my life boom,over 60 shows performed and still was a nervous wreck on my last show haha

A post shared by Mel B (@officialmelb) on

According to wersm.com, One of 2017’s buzzwords is video; and  video content, whether pre-recorded or live, should be leveraged by social media marketers in the next year.  Instagram itself says that video will account to 75% of data in the next four years, so brands need to learn how to effectively create it and use it. The many tools that Instagram offers, have lead to the democratization of video creation, so everyone has the ability to create engaging content with little or no budget.

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