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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.”

 

 

 

US best cities for marketers in 2018

Marketing will always be an incredible field to work on, offering you plenty of times to show your strategic and creative side and, at the same time, offering the chance to be part of a brand’s growth and diversification. We thought you might want to take a look at the US most vibrant cities when it comes to marketing job opportunities.

As Forbes latest list is the following: 1. New York City, NY; 2. Los Angeles, CA; 3. San Francisco, CA; 4. Chicago, IL; 5. Washington, DC; 6. Boston, MA; 7. Seattle, WA; 8. San Jose, CA; 9. Philadelphia, PA; 10. Atlanta, GA, we’ve decided to take a closer look to some of them and not only.

New York City, NY

New York City is the largest regional urban economy, so its number of marketing jobs and opportunities shouldn’t surprise anyone. New York is home to Avon, Estee Lauder, and many other fashion and cosmetics brands looking for talented marketers, more than 17.000 jobs being available. New York carries the highest volume of marketing positions, making it a great place to start and work up the ladder. Media, cosmetics, fashion, clothing, and service giants are all hiring and there are currently.

Oakland, CA

“With a population of about 420,000, Oakland ranks first on our list, offering more than 9,400 full-time marketing jobs at some of the most competitive salaries in the country: over 2,000 employees earn over $110,000 per year, and the average marketing manager salary is $105,249. Still, positions are spread evenly across the spectrum, and several thousand entry-level and mid-tier opportunities are available, as well. Major corporations are in the area – including Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Dreyer’s, and Cost Plus World Markets – and recently more tech companies are moving into Oakland from the other side of the bay,”wrote Best Marketing Degrees.

 

source: Conductor.com

San Francisco, CA

If you prefer to stay on the west coast, San Francisco marketing workers are among the highest paid in the country, as said by BestMarketingDegrees.org: 20% make six-figures; 65% are among the top two-fifths of earners; and marketing managers earn a $110,000 salary on average. Still, there’s room for entry-level and mid-tier positions, too. The situation is influenced also by the fact that some of the largest and most visible companies in the world have headquarters in the city: Salesforce, Dropbox, Airbnb, Wells Fargo, McKesson, Twitter, Del Monte Foods, Charles Schwab, and more, across a wide range of industries.

San Jose, CA

On the other hand, unlike many of the other US American cities present in the top, San Jose is another option in California, with around 5500 marketing job listings. There are positions for entry-level candidates and experienced managers alike,with the marketing managers’ average pay at $110,430. Taking in account its strategic position in the Bay Area, there are also a lot of famous brand looking to hire: Facebook, Apple, Google, Super Micro Computer, Cisco, Oracle, Intel, Intuit, Yahoo!, NVIDIA, Stanford University, etc.

Chicago, IL

Chicago is a great place for working professionals who are looking for a career in marketing. In the city there are more than 9,000 marketing positions, with the average salary for a marketing manager is just under $100k. Companies in the area include: Epsilon, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, The Creative Group, Citi. Chicago is chock-full of opportunities in design, advertising, web development and digital marketing. This city is home to some of the most successful digital marketing agencies in the country including Rosetta, 3Q Digital and Ethology.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. was voted the number one spot for networking opportunities by Mashable.Networking is a huge part of digital marketing and sales, so it’s no surprise that D.C. is a hub for marketing jobs. With one-third of the cities population between the ages of 20 and 34, this represents the ideal audience for digital marketing efforts.

Los Angeles

According to CareerCast, after New York, Los Angeles employs the most marketing managers nationwide and is expected to benefit from healthy growth in the next decade. The California Employment Development Department estimates that the city will gain nearly 2,300 new marketing managers by 2020 – that 16% growth outpaces the industry’s national growth estimate of 14%, per the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Atlanta

Atlanta is one of the fastest growing U.S. cities for marketing professionals. Atlanta’s advertising industry employs 1.99 people per 1,000 jobs in the city, and pays a competitive $121,070 annual mean salary, reports the BLS.

Meet Joe Escobedo, One of Singapore’s Brand Minds

Recognized as one of the “Top 20 Content Marketers” worldwide and awarded the “Most Influential Global Marketing Leader” at the World Marketing Congress, Joe has helped countless organizations and executives transform from relative unknowns to superheroes online. He has also created and led successful digital marketing, branding and PR campaigns for​ both​ ​startups​ ​and Fortune 500 firms. He is a contributor for both Forbes and the HuffPost, as well as an award-winning speaker.​ ​His articles, interviews and talks have been ​read or heard by nearly one million people.

What is the significance of Joe Escobedo “The Brand Builder” and what is the story behind it?

“The Brand Builder” is a moniker given to me by my colleagues when we were trying to create ‘superhero’ names for the team.

You worked with companies from U.S., China and Singapore, which market did you like the most and why so?

The safe answer would be Singapore, but my five years in the gauntlet known as China made me what I am today. It taught me humility and the importance of guanxi (relationships).

Name one situation that made you want to quit and change your career.

I want to learn something everyday so there were times in my career where I felt like I wasn’t learning anything new or pushing myself hard enough. It’s during those times that I’ve transitioned to a completely new field or market. Sometimes I’ve failed miserably, but I learned from each experience and have grown from it.

Name one situation that made you want to go forward.

I’m driven when people tell me I can’t do something. I’ve been told that more times than I can count throughout my career. During those times, I think in my head, “hold on a second and watch this!”

What do you think are the most difficult challenges marketeers have to face in Asian markets nowadays?

Taking a long-term view. Too often, global headquarters look to the regional office in Asia and say, “You’re our growth engine now so you should be growing at a double-digit rate.” The problem with that is that it forces marketers to look only at the month ahead, rather than what’s going to rise up and disrupt their industry next year.

Investment matters. If you would invest in one particular business field nowadays. What would that be?

If I were looking for some quick cash, I’d say anything A.I. related. But I generally play the long game so I’d invest in things people always need, like food and toilet paper.

If you could change something about Singapore’s marketing community to improve it in any way what would that be?

I’d encourage the Community to take risks and invest more in digital. An ad plastered over the MRT may look great but what’s the return on your investment?

What made you settle down in Singapore?

The short answer: love. I followed my wife who received a job offer before I did.

Meet Joe Escobedo, The Man behind the suit

Name one good habit that helps you deal with your active life.

Reading to my daughter, because in that moment, I’m not Joe “The Brand Builder.” I’m whichever character I’m reading in the book.

Name one bad habit you can’t quit.

Speed walking. I tend to walk like I’m always 15 minutes late to a meeting.

If you could be anything else but a marketing leader, what would you be?

In another life, I would’ve been a film director. I wrote, directed and edited a sketch comedy movie when I was in college. I loved the experience and think I could’ve been a third-rate Christopher Nolan.

You are recognized as “One of the Most Influential Global Marketing Leaders”. What’s your favorite movie of a global marketing leader?

Don’t know if it’s about a global marketing leader per se, but Game of Thrones. After over a decade as a marketer, I see too many similarities between that show and the marketing world, albeit slightly less violent. For instances, strong alliances with the “right” groups can help you get closer to the corporate Iron Throne.

Tell us your favorite book. What’s the best thing you learned from it?

“How To Win Friends & Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. I’ve read the book at least 10 times and everytime I ‘learn’ something new. My favorite lesson is about putting yourself in the other’s shoes – thinking about what they would want rather than what you’d want them to do.

Name the most important value you have.

Grit. It’s the only reason I’m still around and kickin’ in the professional world. Because even when I get battered to the ground, I claw my way back up. It’s an invaluable trait for any marketer or entrepreneur.

Name the most important value a leader should have.

Empathy. Every boss wants to make the most profit they can but they can only do so with a strong team behind them. And the only way to build and retain a strong team is to empathize with your staff’s situation. If they get demotivated because a client scolded them, then give them a pep talk. If there are unseen circumstances that caused them to miss a deadline then be understanding to their situation.

If you could compare your journey as an entrepreneur with a song, what song would you choose?

“Highway To Hell.” Just kidding! Instead of a song, my journey can be best described by “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. From my move to China when I was 22, my career has been characterized by these lines: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Tell us the funniest experience you had this year related to your work.

Some of the funniest moments during the past year happen behind-the-scenes. For instance, we use to have “Happy Friday” dance parties at my company. And I’m not one to brag but my rendition of “Hotline Bling” by Drake stole the show.

If you would give our readers one advice from your professional experience, what would that advice be?

To quote the great Conan O’Brien, “If you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” I truly believe that. Because everyone wants to help the hardworking nice guy or gal.

 What is your biggest expectation for the Brand Minds ASIA event?

I’m looking forward to seeing Gary V walk on stage to a deafening cheer, unleash some savage knowledge and drop the mic.

Big influencers attract thousands of dollars for just a post on social media

Only 3% of the marketers said they planned to cut back on influencer marketing in the coming year, versus about 75% who anticipated spending even more on it, says emarketer.com. Moreover, according to the website, companies are paying the most for celebrity posts, especially on certain platforms. On average, posts by celebrities with at least 1 million followers (considered as influencers) cost nearly £65,000 each ($87,731), with Facebook posts demanding a leading rate of approximately £75,000 ($101,228).

Influencer marketing costs are going up in the UK, according to research by  Rakuten Marketing and  Morar Consulting, but prices per post vary considerably depending on reach and platform. This month, polling of UK marketers working directly on influencer programs from sectors including fashion, beauty and travel, approximately two-thirds of respondents had seen the prices influencers charge for posts go up in the past 12 months. In some industries, the costs were even higher, with some premium fashion brands, for example, paying celebrity influencers more than £160,000 ($215,954) per post.

“UK marketers are willing to pay celebrity influencers on Facebook up to £75,000 for a single post mentioning the brand they want to promote, a new survey has revealed. They are also prepared to pay celebrity influencers £67,000 for each YouTube video that mentions their brand, while key influencers on Snapchat can expect to be paid as much as £53,000 per Snap,” writes www.warc.com.

Spending was much more modest for so-called micro-influencers—those with 10,000 or fewer followers, due to the fact that only a fifth (20%) of marketers claim they are able to demonstrate the impact of influencers through indirectly influenced sales. Prices averaged at close to £1,350 ($1,822) per post, with YouTube and Facebook commanding the highest prices—more than £1,500 ($2,025)—and Snapchat the lowest at just over £1,000 ($1,350).

“Decision makers questioned from across a variety of sectors including fashion, FMCG, beauty and travel admitted that they would shell out as much as £53,000 per  Snapchat post, which despite coming in at significantly less than the value they placed on other platforms, is notable given that Snapchat’s ephemeral nature means videos and pictures disappear within 24 hours of being posted,” said Rebecca Stewart for thedrum.com.

Overall, respondents said they would devote an average of 24% of their marketing budgets to influencer marketing in the next 12 months. That figure’s higher than the share of budgets that the largest percentage of marketers in the UK and US said they devoted to influencer marketing in a March 2017 study by  Econsultancy. In that study, between half and six in 10 luxury and non luxury brand marketers said they invested less than 10% of their overall marketing budgets to influencer marketing. But the second largest shares of respondents were similar in their spending allotment to those in the Rakuten and Morar study.

Affiliate marketing firm Rakuten Marketing spoke to 200 UK marketers working on  influencer programmes and found that post-for-post they were prepared to pay 12% more for Facebook endorsements than they were for YouTube. The research also found that despite the value brands clearly place on high-profile influencer slots, the majority of those asked (86%) admit they aren’t entirely sure how influencer fees are calculated. Which is pretty odd, especially after the last years of change in the media buying market, the restriction of budgets and the overall risen caution.

Why are the influencers so important for marketers when it comes to social media? According to The Economist, social media offer brands their best opportunity to reach cord-cutting millennials: Snapchat, for instance, reaches 40% of all American 18- to 34-year-olds every day.

“Moreover, these platforms can make consumers feel they have gained unprecedented access to the lives of the rich and famous. That lets sponsors interact with their target audiences in ways that traditional advertising cannot match. In turn, demand from marketers for these channels has made social media lucrative territory for people with large online followings,” wrote the famous business magazine.

On the other hand, while 59 per cent of marketers state the influencers they work with will take guidance from them around best practice, 56 per cent of premium fashion marketers admit to a situation in which influencers hold all of the power. For example, only 20 per cent of marketers state influencers are prepared to follow their lead when it comes to guidance around billing.

Less than a third (29 per cent) believe that the influencers they work with are entirely concerned whether their content drives sales for the brand. Interestingly, when asked what would encourage marketers to invest more in an influencer programme, greater transparency and better reporting of influencer contribution to sales now rank as the highest factor (50 per cent).

James Collins, Rakuten Marketing’s SVP/managing director, global attribution, comments, “Influencer marketing can be hugely effective but marketers are commissioning expensive posts without understanding the real impact on the purchase journey. It’s essential that marketers question influencer fees and use attribution tools to measure the effect of this activity in order to create strong, value-driven relationships between brands and influencers.”

 

 

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