Digital Revolution Sparks Radical Changes and Growth in Shopper Marketing: Study | About the ANA | ANA

Digital Revolution Sparks Radical Changes and Growth in Shopper Marketing: Study

Marketers Now Targeting Shoppers at Multiple Touchpoints

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (July 26, 2016) — Shopper marketing, long considered a discipline limited to in-store, point-of-purchase, and end-of-aisle promotions, has undergone a metamorphosis since the advent of digital marketing, evolving into an omnichannel approach designed to reach shoppers at all touchpoints.

Those are among the key findings of new research from the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), conducted in partnership with market research firm GfK and introduced today at the 2016 ANA/BAA Shopper Marketing Conference.

The report came in the wake of an ANA/PQ Media U.S. Brand Activation Marketing Forecast report, which said that between now and 2020, investment in shopper marketing is expected to increase 5.8 percent to $18.6 billion, outperforming the growth of total brand marketing spending.

“The point of purchase is no longer just in-store, and shopper marketers are struggling to reach consumers across the right touchpoints at the right time,” said ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice. “Our research shows that the new goal of shopper marketing campaigns is to make brick-and-mortar visits mirror the effectiveness of the online environment while delivering a seamless shopper experience.”

Liodice added that, as a discipline, shopper marketing is subject to many misconceptions.

“There is little consistency in how it is defined and what the best practices should be,” Liodice noted. “We conducted research to help bring clarity to the current state of the category and make predictions about where it’s headed. We also aimed to uncover the role shopper marketers play within their organizations, and the strategies needed for shopper marketing success.”

In a key finding, the study confirmed that mobile has become an important component of shopper marketing campaigns, attempting to engage people in-store and extend a connection post-visit. Mobile is being furthered leveraged pre-visit with geolocation, targeted mobile marketing, and promotional apps.


The report disclosed some revelations about the state of shopper marketing and its current place in the overall marketing mix:

  • Shopper marketing has progressed from only driving short-term sales to motivating shopper behavior. While the primary role of shopper marketing has always been to convert shoppers, it now has to deliver a combination of short- and long-term benefits, including driving conversion among shoppers, motivating shopper behavior through levers beyond price, and executing solutions to shopper challenges and purchase barriers.
  • A dedicated shopper marketing team is more likely to be viewed as a competitive advantage today than it was in the past. Among respondents in organizations with a dedicated shopper marketing team, 51 percent indicated that shopper marketing was a competitive advantage, and 55 percent said shopper marketing reflected the convergence of brands, shoppers, and retailers.
  • When shopper marketing reports to marketing, it likely to be more strategic and more highly valued within the organization. The discipline began to change dramatically as shopper marketers became more strategic and began leveraging shopper insights. When shopper marketing began reporting directly to marketing rather than to sales or other departments, it created greater opportunity for integration. For example, the focus of shopper marketing shifted from the retailer to the shopper, and the percentage of marketers who felt that shopper marketing was a strategic initiative in their companies increased.
  • Shopper insights are underfunded in many organizations. Shopper insights can drive program development, but only 40 percent of respondents believed their organizations were adequately investing in shopper insights.


The study was conducted in April 2016 in partnership with GfK and represents responses from 185 marketers. Of those, 55 percent primarily work in B2C companies, 25 percent primarily work in B2B companies, and 20 percent work in companies that are both B2B and B2C. The participants had an average of 12 years working in marketing/advertising and approximately 40 percent were directors or above.


About the ANA:

The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

About GfK

GfK is a trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

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