Build a Shopper Marketing Model and Strategy

When facing how to approach a Shopper Marketing Model in the organization, one of the main challenges is how to organize it internally and define effective ways to assign clear roles to Marketing, Sales and Trade teams.

The Shopper Marketing Model or approach 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.


In a more concrete sense, setting up a Shopper Marketing Model means:

  • Translation of shopper insights into relevant brand proposition and experience in store
  • Define a strategic way of working with retailer
  • Ensure effective execution at Point of Sale

The objective of a Shopper Marketing Model is to adapt company strategy into clients one and to influence it.

Most companies find the need to ensure right translation from strategy to excellence in execution, and this is why a stronger priority needs to be assigned to the final “moment of truth”, when shopper decides which product to buy or order.


Some companies define Shopper Marketing as:

  • Leverage shopper insights for assortment wins. Clorox
  • Connexion between retailers, brands and consumers/ shoppers. Danone
  • “We are engaging every aspect of our system to become a shopper-insights led, shopper marketing driven organization”. Coca Cola

When coming to functions definition, most companies tend to define two basic functions (adopting different names) to bring life the Shopper Marketing Model:

  • Category Marketing: responsible to understand shopper behaviour and definition of category strategies and plans. Input in terms of shopper and customer, to build category strategy and indentify growth opportunities. Its focus is to develop Shopper Strategies, Channel Strategy (or Category Strategy) or identify growth opportunities
  • Customer Marketing: responsible to adapt category strategies at retailer level and definition of category plans and promotional plans adapted per retailer. It can help covert trade allowances to become a fuel for growth, by building arguments to develop category and support account management. Its focus is to ensure delivery or execution and support Sales in their actives

Based in the different Shopper Marketing Model projects we participated, some interesting points we identified are:

  • Companies are in search of excellence in execution when defining new shopper approach
  • Companies willing to emphasise a shopper marketing approach appoint Shopper/Trade Directors reporting to CEO / President
  • If change is required on the organisation, momentum needs to be designed, with clear Roles and Responsibilities (R&R), Objectives, KPIs, bonus definition and Budget split
  • It’s a JOURNEY!!! It needs to be led by the management

Define a Shopper Marketing Model in your organisation means placing higher focus on execution excellence and make organisation more action oriented, assign clear responsibilities for plan execution, with one basic unique objective: deliver growth.  And implementing this new approach requieres to define new and clear R&R within your team to minimise task duplication.

Douwe Egberts

In our last mission, we helped Douwe Egberts Netherlands (Former Sara Lee DE Group) to define its new Shopper Marketing Model and Organisation, to better balance brand equity with retailer equity to gain trade and shopper relevance allowing growth development.


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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.