Organising Shopper Marketing in your company to deliver point of sale excellence

Shopper Marketing has been described as one of the key success drivers for companies that want to reach excellence in execution. And sometimes when it comes down to applying it in practice or organizing it into the company, this is not necessarily easy to do.

As we described in our last post on Shopper (See post “Build a Shopper Marketing Strategy and Model“), Shopper Marketing can be defined as the use of insights-driven marketing and merchandising initiatives to satisfy the needs of targeted shoppers, enhance the shopping experience, and improve business results and brand equity for retailers and manufacturers.

At this point, some organisations already face a challenge when it comes to differentiating between Shopper Marketing and Trade Marketing. To keep it simple, Shopper can be understood as a methodology or approach on how to transform shopper insights into effective commercial actions; while Trade Marketing is usually the name of the department in charge of making the link between Marketing and Sales. But this is not the only difference.

In general, since Shopper Marketing tends to be “a philosophy”, there are different ways of approaching it and integrating it into the company’s roles and functions. The boundaries between Shopper Marketing and Brand Marketing or between Shopper and Sales are always fuzzy and can differ from one organisation to another.

After developing several Shopper Marketing and Commercial Strategy projects, at Connociam we proposed a framework that can help to understand what Shopper Marketing means in practice and how it can be broken down into functions, roles and processes integrated into your organization’s way of operating.

In a general sense, Shopper Marketing should be organised to maximize return of shopper insights to the company and the effective allocation of resources to support sales, taking advantage of the characteristics and needs of each type of point of sale. To carry out this process, we can identify four steps.

By dividing the Shopper Marketing approach into four concrete steps we can clarify team roles, gain focus and obtain better results at the Point of Sales.


These 4 steps are as follows:

  1. Obtain actionable knowledge: to understand shopper and the channel and manage different sources of information
  2. Define Channel Strategy: integrate Channel and Shopper information with Brand and Category strategy and develop a unique strategy for each type of channel or PoS. Channels need to be privatized and some specific channels could be difficult to cover.
  3. Trade Plans definition: translate channel strategies into concrete Trade or client plans, objectives, execution standards and materials for each channel or customer, and supervise results
  4. Implementation: execute the Trade Plans and implement execution standards at the Point of Sale

All these steps can be assigned to a specific team. Depending on the size of the organization, these can be developed by the same team, or split between different functions to ensure a better focus and a deeper knowledge and specialization. When split across the organization, it is crucial to ensure optimal coordination and responsibilities. Clear R&R, process and leadership definition ensure this coordination.

One of the keys on execution is to narrow the control scope and specialize functions. Following this principle, the four Shopper Marketing areas outlined above, tend to be organised into 4 different functions as we can see on the following chart.


Shopper Marketing wheel


In terms of departments, we see different options on how to organize these 4 functions, according to company characteristics and resources.

  1. Obtain actionable knowledge: this can be done by Market Research, Customer Insights or Category Marketing. In some organisations, the Market Research position is global for all types of research, be it consumer or shopper, while in others it can be divided up between the Marketing and the Sales team
  2. Define Channel Strategy: this can be executed by the Revenue Growth Management or the Category Marketing/Manager. CocaCola, one of the best practices companies in Shopper Marketing, has built a very relevant function with Revenue Growth management, integrating all strategic analysis and commercial opportunity build up. Depending on the organization’s level of “Shopper maturity”, a higher priority can be assigned to this function, while in very mature organizations, priority tends to be assigned to keep execution right
  3. Trade Plans definition: the teams in charge of implementation are usually Customer Marketing/Development, Trade or the Channel Manager. In some companies this part of the Shopper Marketing process receives the name of Trade. However, in order to differentiate it from traditional Trade Marketing, most organisations call it Channel or Customer to indicate that this is the part of the organization closer to clients and dealing with their plans
  4. Implementation: this is the area where you can find a greater diversity of names and detailed functions. This part of the process can be either integrated into the Sales team or can be another part of Trade. Some organisations have specific implementation teams, such as Coca Cola with RED, or have appointed specific PoS Managers within the sales organisation

The way you finally choose to organize the different Shopper Marketing functions within your organisation may vary depending on your Shopper maturity and competitive dynamics. However, in any case, you should have a clear vision as to how to split the functions and who you are going to assign them to in order to build a strong Shopper Marketing culture in your organization and make sure you build up strong processes to deliver excellence at the Point of Sale and maximize the value of your brand portfolio at the “moment of truth” or “last three feet”, as many companies call it.

Organizing your shopper activities in a smooth and relevant way inside your organisation allows you to optimize your Trade Marketing investment and ensure Point of Sale excellence in execution, two critical success factors for competitive marketing today.

Are you ready to install the Shopper Marketing approach in your organization?


The following two tabs change content below.
Xavier is an experienced executive, consultant and lecturer. He has worked over 15 years as marketer at Nestlé, Sara Lee and Panrico-Donuts, and over 10 years as Marketing Director and Board member, leading national and international teams. Since 2005 he has been acting as a consultant for several international growth projects. Between 2010 and 2015 he also acted as Innovation Leader at ESADECREAPOLIS, ESADE’s Collaborative Innovation Ecosystem. Since 1999, Xavier is also a renowned Marketing, Innovation and Branding lecturer at ESADE, as well as other international universities and companies. He participates in several entrepreneurship initiatives, as well. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Xavier es un experimentado directivo, asesor y profesor nacido en París y afincado en Barcelona. Ha trabajado más de 15 años como profesional del marketing y las ventas en Nestlé, Sara Lee y Panrico-Donuts, y más de 10 años como Director de Marketing y miembro del Comité de Dirección, liderando equipos nacionales e internacionales. Desde 2005 ha venido desarrollando su faceta de consultor y asesor en diversos proyectos internacionales de crecimiento. Entre 2010 y 2015 también lideró las actividades de Innovación y Emprendimiento de ESADECREAPOLIS, el centro de Collaborative Open Innovation de ESADE. Desde 1999, Xavier también es un reconocido profesor que imparte cursos de Innovación, Marketing y Branding en ESADE, así como en otras universidades internacionales y renombradas compañías. Además, Xavier participa en diversas iniciativas emprendedoras, como inversor y asesor experto o Professional Board Advisor.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. CONNOCIAM CONSULTIMG, S.L. | Marketing, innovation and commercial strategy (hereinafter CONNOCIAM) is the titular entity of CONNOCIAM portal or website to which you access. Access to portal CONNOCIAM and information regarding any of the products and services contained therein implies acceptance of the general conditions provided in this Legal Notice. Therefore you should read carefully if you want to access and use information and services offered on the website of CONNOCIAM. Validity of information The information contained in these pages is accurate at the date of the last update. CONNOCIAM reserves the right to modify at any time, in which case enter into force upon publication and apply to all users of the portal from that date. The contents of any web pages, especially information and advertising, unless expressly indicated otherwise, not binding. CONNOCIAM reserves the right to modify or partially or totally omit the current contents when deemed appropriate, as well as prevent or restrict access temporarily or permanently. CONNOCIAM may include in any third party content websites and links to third party websites, always with the consent of their owners, such as social networks and other information. In none of these cases CONNOCIAM be responsible for the pages and content of third parties and the functioning and availability of data. Intellectual property The portal and websites CONNOCIAM, comprising pages and the information or elements contained therein include texts, documents, photographs, drawings, graphics, databases, computer programs, as well as logos, trademarks, names commercial, or other distinctive signs protected by intellectual or industrial property, of which CONNOCIAM are legitimate owners or licensees. Permitted and prohibited uses Any form of exploitation is prohibited, including any reproduction, distribution, transfer to third parties, public communication and transformation, through any medium and through the aforementioned works, creations and distinctive signs without prior express permission of their respective owners. Violation of this prohibition constitutes an offense punishable by law. However, at your own risk, you may download or make copies of such items for personal use, provided they do not infringe any intellectual or industrial property of CONNOCIAM. In particular, you may not be altered, modified or deleted in whole or in part. In any case, this means a permit or license under the ownership of CONNOCIAM. Is prohibited, except where expressly authorized from CONNOCIAM, establish links or hyperlinks from portals or websites of third to CONNOCIAM websites other than the home page of your website and submit CONNOCIAM websites or the information contained in them under frames, logos, trademarks or company or trade names of another person, company or entity. EMAIL DISCLAIMER This message may contain confidential information, subject to professional secret or whose disclosure is prohibited by law. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete it and notify us immediately, do not forward it or copy its contents. If your company does not allow receiving such messages, please let us know immediately. The Internet e-mail neither guarantees the confidentiality of messages nor the integrity or proper receipt transmitted. CONNOCIAM CONSULTING, SL assumes no responsibility for these circumstances. If the recipient of this message does not consent to the use of Internet e-mail and message recording, please notify us immediately so.