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Why you can’t just copy & paste your creative across all shopper platforms

What does good shopper creative really look like? Well, that depends on the touchpoint, the audience and the context. We look at how shopper creative differs from wider brand marketing communications and what really drives engagement at that critical point of purchase.

Sali Davies 2 Min
Written by Sali Davies on 18 Jun, 2019

As marketeers, it’s easy to believe that once you have a great campaign idea, you simply need to roll out the same collateral across all channels and retailers. After all, in a world where we are constantly browsing and consuming content on multiple devices at any time of day, and with Neilson claiming that creative could be responsible for as much as 47% of sales uplift*, aligning communications across every part of the journey has never been more important.

But, that alignment and consistency doesn’t simply mean using the exact same communication and creative in the retail environment as you’ve got in all your other channels. For example, reminding ourselves that the consumer is not always the shopper, or that when you’re shopping you’re in a different ‘mode’ is an important starting point.

A one size fits all approach to creative simply won’t give you the return that you’re after. Instead, as shopper marketeers, we must tailor our approach and messaging based on several considerations:

Your objectives

A campaign’s objectives will have a significant impact on both the media choices we select to reach our intended shoppers and the communication we use on each of them. And with the increasing power of technology, the touchpoints that we’re able to use to communicate directly to shoppers is increasing. Yet, to reap the rewards, you must be clear on the key objective of the touchpoint chosen and the role the communication needs to play in order to achieve that goal. If your aim for example, is to improve conversion, a clear call to action is going to be key.

Your intended audience tailored to the retailer

When it comes to your ATL and brand marketing activity, this is generally targeted at one core consumer - the prime prospect, however, when it comes to the retail environment, using the same approach won’t quite cut it. If you want to maximise campaign effectiveness in retail, the messaging must be tailored. For example, you have to take into consideration the busy retail environment, the retailers’ look and feel and the shopper/consumer type.

Think about it - where did you purchase your latest TV? John Lewis? Amazon? Currys PC World? How did you decide where you were going to purchase from? It’s likely that you started at your go-to for a reason; credibility, accessibility, price, credit offering or simply brand affinity. Shoppers already have certain perceptions, attitudes and behaviours towards different retailers based on previous experience, or even non-experience.

A few years ago we worked with a computing manufacturer who had a phenomenally detailed understanding of their target market – their national campaigns focused on males, aged 40+, living in the south of England who were very early adopters of technology. But when it came to selling their brand at Very.co.uk they had to get to grips with an entirely new demographic – women, aged 20-40, who really weren’t engaged in the category. In short, what they were doing everywhere else simply wouldn’t work at Very, and they had to adapt their approach.

As customer profiles and purchasing behaviour are likely to differ across retailers (even if the product is the same) it’s crucial that you understand these nuances and tailor your communications accordingly if you truly want to engage with them at a deeper level (and get that all-important return on investment).

Distance from the checkout

Based on our testing, your approach to creative should differ based on where the customer is seeing it. How? Ultimately, the further away from the checkout you are, the more branded you can be. For example, if you’re running some PPC ads, shoppers will engage best with fully branded creative. Yet, as soon as you land on the retailer’s e-commerce site or get to the shelf the shopper is in a different ‘mode’ and will deselect communication which is not consistent with signage or the retailer’s brand. For many marketers there is a concern that their branding is less visible, but we’ve run multiple tests to recognise that creative simplicity at the point-of-purchase is key.

Simplicity is key

If you take anything away from this post, let it be this. Versus traditional ATL channels, space on shopper touchpoints to communicate is limited. We’re all guilty of trying to squeeze a packshot, lifestyle image, roundel, claim (you name it) into a 500x500 banner, but boy, that does not look good, or even work – simplicity wins every time.

In a world of distracted engagement where Facebook users spend on average 1.7 seconds on any piece of content, where 23% of brand awareness and 25% of purchase intent is driven by video impressions shorter than two seconds*, it’s essential to drive the message home instantly. Don’t make your creative so busy that your audience don’t know where to look. A clever claim and clear call to action will win each time.

Working in tandem with your retail partners will be essential to cut through the noise and maximise the impact of your shopper activity. Plus, with a wealth of data and knowledge built from hundreds of shopper campaigns, we’re here to guide you through.

*Nielsen, Marketing Week