26 Aug 2011 Posted by Brian Spencer
Brick-and-mortar walls no longer define the difference between a consumer and a shopper. Technology and culture have changed how we plan shopping occasions in addition to the actual shopping experience. People can switch from consumer to shopper at any time, in any place.
Fred Bidwell, Chairman of JWT Action (parent company of Market and Main Media), wrote about these shifting shopping modes in a recent article in Hub Magazine called, “The New Fluidity.” In the article, Bidwell summarized results of a shopper study.
JWT Action asked a cross-section of people to keep shopping diaries to document the times when they flip in and out of shopping mode. The diaries revealed five drivers which may switch a consumer into a shopper. Here is how Bidwell summarized those motivations with real-world examples:
1. Appease Peers: “Anthony’s friend suggested dinner and movie destinations. Barry does online research about tablets prompted by his wife’s interest in an iPad. Jennifer’s trip to the library with her kids results in an unplanned stop at a local sandwich shop.”
2. Dissatisfaction: “Ryan isn’t sure he’s getting the best service from his auto dealer and elects to shop for others. Barry decides to supplement his trusty work shoes with another pair in a different style and color. Wendy decides she really doesn’t like her bed linens and makes a plan to replace them.”
3. Digital Convenience: “While watching an Ohio State basketball game, Barry starts searching online for “gray” Buckeye apparel. Anthony uses Netflix Instant View to watch a film instead of going to a theater. Laura grabs a Groupon offer for a half-price massage, followed by a local search for deals on an oil change.”
4. Stock-up: “Anthony runs out of lunch food and goes to the grocery store. Nicole takes her last cough drop and heads to the drug store. Wendy runs out of fabric softener and adds it to the weekly shopping list.”
5. Impulse: “Katie goes online to buy her boyfriend a birthday present and ends up ordering a shirt for herself. Upon exiting the mall movie theater, Ryan and family unexpectedly pick up a couple of items at other mall stores. Anthony has no intention to buy when he accompanies a friend to a club store, but ends up getting bathroom tissue because it’s on sale.”
These factors show us that not every shopping occasion is a pre-planned event with a linear shopping path.
Bidwell contends that marketing plans need to embrace the new fluid path to purchase, “This approach enables brands to better understand their empowered audience and develop programs that effectively connect with them across the continuum. Most important, these brands will find that working across the entire length of the new, fluid path-to-purchase is where great opportunities exist.”
Do your messages and media plans cross-pollinate between brand and shopper tactics? Read the entire article in Hub Magazine, and share your thoughts with us.
04 Aug 2010 Posted by Market and Main Media
Consumers who interact with brands online tend to stick to one channel or another, with little overlap between channels. The recently released “Subscribers, Fans and Followers” study (conducted by digital marketing firms ExactTarget and CoTweet) looked at how online consumers choose to interact with brands, either via subscription to brand emails, becoming a brand “fan” on Facebook or “following” a brand on Twitter.
Email is the primary channel for consumers to interact with brands online and there tends to be little cannibalization between the channels. Only 4% of consumers do all three, though there is a greater overlap between email subscribers and Facebook fans with 32% of consumers doing both. Over half (56%) are only email subscribers. This openness to the email channel can be a mixed blessing in that it spells opportunity for marketers but also means increased competition for a consumer’s attention. In fact, nine in ten online consumers receive at least one permission-based email per day.
The study also pointed out the importance of simultaneously entertaining and educating Facebook brand fans, with only occasional promotional messages. This channel requires a more subtle approach in that it is public and the fan’s friends will have viewing access.