Shifting focus to the mindset of shoppers

With consumers given more choice than ever, it’s time for marketers to focus more on understanding the mindset of customers, writes Will Feutrill, head of Melbourne at 31st Second.

“We just need to roll out the global key visual across the POP, oh and a resize for our Facebook – it all has to be inline with our TV ad – so just use those assets.”

For shopper marketing aficionados, these words are the stuff nightmares are made of – yet this is what we hear far too often. So why does this simplistic direction fill us with dread? Shouldn’t a big comms idea translate into shopper? Well actually, no, it doesn’t work like that. Big brand communication ideas are still relevant, but they need to be translated into the shopper journey to be truly effective.

Let’s face facts, the only time you have 100% of your target’s attention is at the very point of purchase. So you really want to shout an overarching brand message? Or do you want to have a one-on-one conversation inviting them to participate with your brand and products? Surely that’s a no-brainer? If only…

We live in a ”me-economy” where people have the real power in relationships they have with brands. Now, more than ever, we all have choice. Choice of the media we consume, choice of the way we shop and choice of the brands we buy. It is increasingly complex to map a “typical customer journey” yet marketers continue to think they can pour enough into the top of the funnel, the ATL, to get sales out of the bottom. This is such an archaic model and it quite simply doesn’t work anymore.

We need to understand the people we’re communicating with in the place that we are communicating. What is their mindset? What is the barrier we’re trying to overcome? What is the value we’re trying to create for them? What is going to make them buy our brand over the one a few centimetres away? We need to get pointy, we need to get focused and we need to convince them to reach out and grab our brand without hesitation. Next time you’re in Coles, Woolies, Bunnings or even your local Milk Bar – take a look at how brands are displayed. The vast majority are either in a generic branded shroud or at best they’re in a display unit that has talent from the TVC with their thumb up. How is that convincing you to buy?

Don’t get me wrong, above the line is fantastic for creating awareness and an overall higher level engagement with the brand, in fact it is critical to the success of any brand. However, we need to be looking at creating integrated campaigns that have a deeper connection to the shopper and their mindset. Shoppers buy for occasions and when they are in that mindset they are in a vastly different one from when they’re at home relaxing in front of the TV. They are on a shopper mission and we need to understand what that mission is before we can really resonate with them…

So the next time you sit down to ponder how your beautiful TVC might go viral, it might just be worth considering; is the theme of it broad enough to really mean something to your shoppers when they are actually opening their wallets?