Generating Sales Anywhere, Anytime

Over the last few years, changes to shopper media along with pandemic-altered lifestyles have caused significant changes to consumer shopping behavior. The typical shopper journey is now blurrier than ever. But one thing is clear: brands that adjust accordingly will enjoy better sales than ever.

COVID has accelerated consumer adoption of e-commerce. People are spending more time shopping and purchasing on websites and social channels. Yet they’re still influenced by TV and other mass media. Some consumers could be in the awareness phase on a retailer site, yet be in ready-to-buy mode when exposed to any number of online communications on the open web.

Retail ad networks have unlocked retailer first-party data, giving brands unprecedented access to their customers throughout their shopping process. New technologies, like Smartcommerce and AKI, have made adding-to-cart and state-tailored messaging available at every touchpoint.

Consequently, today’s consumers are shopping and purchasing anywhere, anytime. So now more than ever, brands need to maintain seamless integration across all media and all touchpoints.

Below are some tips to ensure you have this critical integration and to make sure it’s your brand, not your competitor’s, that makes the sale.

1. Save money every chance you can.

What do consumers need to know about your brand in order to buy? If they’re already aware, they may just need reminder messaging in order to be top of mind. Perhaps they just need a bit more information about your product that you can provide with some quick-hit banner or social ads. Both of these are much cheaper than a full-on OTT/CTV awareness-building effort. Think carefully about what you need to accomplish and pick the right media tool for the job, so you can keep costs low and effectiveness high. Stretching your media dollars has never been more critical.

2. Always be where your shoppers are.

The distance between awareness and purchase is getting smaller. So, it’s vital that your brand is visible everywhere consumers spend their time. Once you get your brand on the consumer’s radar, then use add-to-cart and add-to-list tactics (Smartcommerce, Chicory, AdAdapted, even Ibotta/Catalina) to bridge the gap between passive awareness and active purchase. By adopting new technologies like ATC, shoppers can easily save a product for future consideration and purchase.

3. Use the power of retail ad networks.

Since CPG brands have traditionally been sold through mass retailers, they’ve had to rely on various third-party data for most of their digital ad targeting. Those mass retailers have now come to realize the value of their first-party data and have launched their own retail ad networks. CPG brands can use these ad networks to target users both on retailer sites while consumers are shopping, as well as on the open web. Put these great tools in the hands of a media partner who can plan all aspects of your media plan, brand and shopper. Break down the traditional shopper and brand advertising silos to ensure all your media are working together and your ROAS will soar.

4. Find the right balance.

Sales don’t happen without awareness; but awareness alone won’t deliver sales. To drive purchase, you also need targeted and timely shopper ads. The key is finding the right combination of both. For budgeting, we typically start with a 50/50 split. As the campaign proceeds, if your shopper media is not producing to your expectations, don’t just throw more money at them. It could be your awareness spending is too low. If you don’t have enough people in the top and mid funnel, you won’t be able to cost-effectively generate sales at the bottom. Try shifting your split to add more awareness spending. Or, you could try narrowing your focus to your highest potential prospects by adding retailer-specific ACV and/or BDI/CDI programming. The point is, test and learn, but not too many at once; be methodical and consistent.

5. Integrate, integrate, integrate.

With the complexities of today’s ever-evolving consumer and media landscape, it’s more challenging than ever to thrive. It’s far more likely you’ll succeed if you bring together all brand-building and sales-driving marketing communications — across all traditional, digital, social and shopper media — into one seamlessly integrated and coordinated approach and team.

Remember, your consumers are shopping anywhere and anytime. So, you need to be everywhere, all the time. Since you don’t have unlimited money, and everyone knows what happens when you spread your efforts too far, these tips should help get the most from what you have.

Julie Stephens

Director of Shopper Marketing

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