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We present results and analysis of our annual survey of consumer goods marketing executives
Have you worked with the digital ad platforms for Amazon, Walmart, Kroger and/or Target?
If so, please rate them in the following areas.
Amazon Targeting effectiveness Measurement capabilities ROI Data sharing
Excellent 30% 20% 12% 4%
60% Good 40% 42% 40% 24%
Average 24% 30% 32% 44%
40% Poor 6% 8% 16% 28%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Excellent 0% 11% 8% 11%
46% Good 34% 34% 29% 24%
Average 53% 34% 50% 34%
54% 13% 21% 13% 32%
NO Poor
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Excellent 37% 11% 7% 22%
YES Good 30% 48% 26% 30%
Average 33% 33% 56% 26%
68% Poor 0% 7% 11% 22%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Excellent 9% 9% 3% 6%
40% 42% 36% 15% 21%
YES Good
Average 39% 45% 61% 42%
60% Poor 9% 9% 21% 30%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Digital Ad Platforms – Amazon, Walmart, Kroger and Target

By Patrycja Malinowska
igital media plays an increasingly im- aging Amazon as a platform for your brand is so lent and 30% as good.
portant role in how consumers are much more than simply ‘winning’ on Amazon Turning the tables on consumer product man-
discovering products, and as retailers through sales on the platform. It’s about brand ufacturers, Cohen says it is CPGs that have a
are evolving their own content and building, shopping experience and expectation wider lens and need to be able to bring data that
advertising businesses, some brands management.” is complementary to the data set a retailer has.
are taking advantage of this “new shelf space.” On the data-sharing front, Cohen agrees with “CPGs today should already have a meaning-
In Shopper Marketing’s annual Trends sur- the 72% of respondents working with Amazon ful data program and roadmap, be it by invest-
vey, nearly two-thirds (60%) of respondents say who rated it as average or poor, though he un- ing in their own first-party data programs or
they are buying digital ads from Amazon, 46% derstands that Amazon needs to retain its hold leveraging a suite of third-party inputs,” he says.
from Walmart, 40% from Target, and 32% from on data to maintain a higher ground. “This will be the best way to drive a more mean-
Kroger and its relatively new platform. “Quite frankly, I’m surprised 24% of respon- ingful value exchange with their retailer part-
Those who aren’t spending with retailers may dents rated Amazon as good; sure they have ners, sharing influences and behaviors outside
be “missing the boat,” says Brian Cohen, chief more than most, but they don’t share it, nor does their experiences at a given retailer.”
operating officer at The Epsilon Agency. “It’s it make sense for them to do so,” Cohen says. In terms of targeting effectiveness, Walmart
surprising that there are so many who haven’t “That said, the data is why their ad platforms respondents gave the worst ratings (13% of re-
made retailer platforms a meaningful part of are so big; they can create and reach audiences spondents rated the retailer as poor and 53% as
their shopper or media programs given the ben- better than most.” average), and Kroger took the lead with 37% of
efits – shopper behaviors, enhanced relation- Responses from those working with Target respondents rating the retailer as excellent and
ships, better attribution. This is not just a shop- were similar to Amazon, with a data-sharing another 30% as good.
per marketing tool, it’s a media tool.” rating of average from 42%, poor from 30%, Walmart was also the straggler in terms of
Cohen makes his case particularly in terms good from 21% and excellent from 6%. measurement capabilities (21% of respondents
of Amazon: “More product searches start on Walmart was more polarizing, with a full 11% rated the retailer as poor and 34% as average),
Amazon versus any other platform on the web, of those working with the retailer indicating it is while Amazon led the pack with 20% rating the
Google included. Yet these numbers indicate excellent at data sharing, but another 32% rating retailer as excellent and 42% as good.
that the investment has yet to catch up. I’m sure the retailer as poor. Target fell to the back of the pack when it
many of these same brands have robust search Kroger came out on top with 22% of respon- came to ROI, with 21% of respondents rating the
budgets that have yet to include Amazon. Lever- dents rating the supermarket retailer as excel- retailer as poor and 61% as average.


Working With Walmart’s Connected Partners

By Patrycja Malinowska
As digital content gains priority, Walmart is provide “insight into how Walmart works” as “We do what Walmart says because they own
relaunching its content provider program and well as a “better understanding of the shopper 34% of our sales.”
asking brands to work with select “connected mindset online.” In the minority, respondents who are deci-
partners.” Some are aligning with Walmart’s priorities to sively opting out (14%) included those that have
Ahead of the program’s relaunch in 2019, the “improve the perception that we are easier to do invested in their own content programs, and
majority of survey respondents (62%) indicated business with” and to “get programs through for those who say they don’t do enough business
that they “don’t know” if they plan to work with activation,” with one respondent simply stating: with the retailer to support digital spending.
the retailer’s partners.
These third-party partners scale and opti-
mize content from suppliers to retailers and are
investing in Walmart by maintaining an onsite
presence to ensure that technical issues and
business objectives are addressed efficiently. 62%
Brands working with Walmart are now encouraged DON’T KNOW
The quarter of respondents who indicated
they would be (or already are) working with
to work with one of 11 select digital content partners,
but they are not required to. Do you plan to work 25%
Walmart’s partners cited various reasons, in- YES
cluding that the partners are “very good” and with one of these 11 digital content partners in 2019?
will make publishing content to multiple retailer 14%
websites easier and faster, and that they will

Complete this What percentage of your digital media activity
sentence: In the next 35% is dedicated to the following objectives?
year, my company’s
investment in the Brand awareness/consideration 40%
Walmart Media Group
25% Sales in physical retail stores 30%
(formerly WMX) ad
platform will . . . ? Sales on retailer websites 18%

16% Direct sales on brand's website 9%

Other 2%

0 10 20 30 40

Grow Stay the Shrink Be Don’t
same nonexistent know

How familiar are you with Amazon letting advertisers 28%

Not likely
target related products by buying an ad on a How likely are you to use this 32%
competitor’s product detail page? method of advertising in 2019? 40%
Don’t know
Never heard of it 25%
10% NO
Heard of it, but never used it 53% 33%
Have any of your competitors YES
Have used it 22% used this method to advertise
their products on your pages? Don’t know
0 10 20 30 40 50 60


How Departments Value Shopper Marketing

By Dan Ochwat
With a simple “yes” or “no,” survey respondents portive. Media buying pretty much split the vote. the planning process from the very beginning.
rated whether or not certain departments “value Christopher Brace, founder and CEO of Syn- “If shopper marketing is not changing how
shopper marketing,” and while nearly all depart- tegrate Consulting, feels shopper marketing has brands build strategy upstream, then being
ments fared positively, more than 60% felt those a bigger issue than being valued by the finance ‘valued’ isn’t enough,” he says, adding that the
in the finance department did not. department, saying he doesn’t believe shopper question to truly ask is: Does shopper marketing
As for their reasoning, some of the respon- teams are being given an equal seat at the larger change how brand teams build strategic growth
dents say the finance sector has a “lack of un- strategy table and that they need to be pulled into initiatives at the beginning of each year?
derstanding” of shopper marketing, they’re “not
directly involved” with the discipline, and they
“view it as more of a variable expense.” In your opinion, Brand marketing Category management Customer field teams Finance
The survey includes only those working at con- do each of the
sumer goods companies, and nearly a third of following areas of 89% 77% 89%
respondents work directly in shopper marketing your organization 37% NO
while another third work in brand management, value shopper 23% YES
marketing and promotions. So, the opinions NO
heavily reflect those closest to shopper marketing. 11% NO 11% NO
The respondents rated the following depart-
ments: brand marketing, category management, Insights/research Media buying Sales force Upper management
customer field teams, finance, insights, media
83% 81%
buying, sales and upper management. YES YES 67%
54% YES
While most of the departments received high ap- 46% NO 33%
proval ratings (brand marketing and customer field 17% YES 19% NO
teams had the most “yes” votes – 89% each), ap- NO NO
proximately 63% said those in finance are not sup-

Thinking about all of the shopper marketing programs What are the top THREE benefits of shopper marketing
your organization works on, what percentage are . . . ? to your organization?

Increased retailer support 72%

Mostly/completely driven
by our own objectives
41% Mostly/completely driven Incremental sales 70%
by retailer objectives
Brand awareness/equity 64%

A true collaboration Brand share 20%

Category share 20%

Incremental volume 19%

In your opinion, what is the BEST training
approach for shopper marketers? Short-term ROI 15%

Formal internal training for

Long-term ROI 12%
key functional areas/roles
Informal internal training
Other 1%
(info sharing, case studies, etc.)

Informal external training 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

(conferences, agency presentations, etc.) 23%
Formal external training for
key functional areas/roles 19%
Compared to last year, is your company investing more
0 10 20 30 40
or less (money and/or attention) in the following areas?
Shopper marketing In-store marketing Consumer promotion Trade promotion
How do you predict your company’s shopper 42%
65% 54% 58%
marketing budget will change in 2019? MORE MORE MORE MORE
35% 46% 42% 58%
It will increase more than 5% 19% LESS LESS LESS LESS

It will increase, but less than 5% 17%

Mobile E-commerce content
Digital media (SMS, mobile app/ (PIM, DAM, delivery Traditional media
It will stay the same 43% (paid search, Internet ads, social) website advertising) packaging, etc.) (TV, print, etc.)

88% 65% 80% 23%

It will decrease less than 5% 10% MORE MORE MORE

It will decrease more than 5% 6% 35% 20% 77%

0 10 20 30 40 12% LESS


Women comprise half of entry-level
CPG/retail managers, but just 13% in
the c-suite. Why do you think that is?

The CPG/Retail Glass Ceiling

By Cyndi Loza

“CPG is an old-school mentality. A boys club with old-fashioned

‘relationships’ and favors.” … “Organizations prioritize confidence
over competency.” … “Women don’t want c-suite roles.”
These quotes were among the responses from finding there’s more fulfilling work, there’s more
Trends 2019 survey participants who were openness to what they bring to the table often
asked why women comprise half of entry-level/ in other sectors. So we’re losing people to other
manager positions in the CPG and retail indus- industries I think far more than we’re losing
tries but just 13% of the c-suite. Based on the people to the ‘mommy track.’”
responses, the question clearly struck a nerve Other respondents cited an “old school men-
with survey participants, all of whom work for tality” and “boys club” for reasons why women
a consumer goods company. do not advance. While Quick believes that these
We then chatted with Julie Quick, Shoptology types of behaviors are called out in a negative
senior vice president, head of insights and strate- way in the industry nowadays, she said CPG and
gy, and Julie Jones, Procter & Gamble managing retail are mature businesses, and many of the old
director, grocery channel and home hardware, paradigms – including dated views around what
to get their take on the survey responses. In Oc- makes a “great leader” – die hard. “If you look at
tober, Quick presented at the Path to Purchase CPG and retail, women do really well right up
Institute’s “When Women Lead” symposium, to that top level, and it’s because ours is a ‘doing’
part of the Path to Purchase Expo. In November, industry overall,” Quick said. “There’s a lot of
Jones gave a passionate presentation at Progres- projects and there’s a lot of things that have to
Here was the agenda from the Path to Purchase
sive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery event. execute and come to life, and I think the indus- Expo’s “When Women Lead” symposium, which
try rightfully trusts focused on women breaking barriers.
women very much
to deliver those kind positive experience and felt supported at P&G.
of executional results “If women don’t support each other how can
and we do.” we expect men to support us. … I think it’s
“ We’re losing people to However, there are important for everyone to have a tribe of people
old paradigms and that they can count on – both women and men.”
other industries far more biases that keep the
CPG/retail industry
than we’re losing people from believing wom- SURVEY METHODOLOGY
en can deliver other In late October 2018, several thousand U.S.-based
to the ‘mommy’ track.” kinds of results and
have qualities such
CPG marketing executives were emailed a question-
naire to be completed online. The names were drawn
Julie Quick, Shoptology as strategic vision from Shopper Marketing magazine subscription, Path
and financial acu- to Purchase Institute membership and EnsembleIQ
men, according to registration lists, with an emphasis on those with
The most typical answer for why women ap- Quick. “So they succeed really well at the doing, director, manager or senior executive titles.
pear to be locked out of the top in CPG/retail delivering and executing, and then they’re ready From those emailings, 81 consumer goods market-
was the notion that women have family com- to make that step up the ladder and someone ing executives submitted completed surveys. Each
mitments and take time off from their careers to from the top says, ‘I don’t think they’re vision- respondent was entered into a drawing for an Apple
raise children. Quick said she had to park some ary enough. I don’t think they’re leader enough. Watch Series 3, which was awarded to Marc Bennett
of these responses aside. “I realize that is a fac- I don’t think they’re financially savvy enough. of Johnsonville. The survey was administered and the
tor, but it doesn’t explain our industry’s specific … [There’s] that skill shift that isn’t necessarily data compiled by EnsembleIQ Research Solutions.
lag in senior leadership,” Quick said. “I know trusted in leadership.”
hundreds of [women] in this industry – and One response that stuck out to Jones is that FOR ALL CHARTS
they are married and unmarried, and mom and women in leadership positions are holding other Respondents: Consumer product marketing execu-
child-free – who are all leaving CPG/retail at a women back. “Honestly, that makes me really tives. Please source all charts to: the Path to Purchase
faster pace. … And I think it’s because they’re sad,” said Jones, who added she’s always had a Institute/Shopper Marketing magazine.


Expect Adoption to Rise for These Technologies

By Peter Breen
When it comes to potentially game-changing expects 85% of brand-consumer interaction to searches will be conducted via voice by 2020.
consumer technologies, it appears as if many be managed by AI-driven tools within two years. And with “try on” apps already commonplace
shopper marketing organizations are still mov- And it’s happening for good reason: IDC Manu- in the cosmetics category (L’Oreal even took
ing a little slowly to the starting line. facturing Insights believes that AI adoption will the step of buying market-leading tech supplier
The relatively low numbers of respondents improve productivity by 30% and results by as Modiface last spring), it shouldn’t be too long
already using or developing capabilities involv- much as 20%. The potential benefits for improv- before AR moves off the smartphone and onto
ing artificial intelligence (37%), voice-enabled ing both consumer engagement on the front line packaging and product displays, as the survey
engagement (22%) and augmented reality (also and the consumer insights process internally are results suggest.
22%) are somewhat surprising, given the buzz too strong to avoid for much longer. In all three cases, companies are also learning
that these technologies have made over the last Voice commerce, too, should soon move that these technologies can be implemented to
few years. beyond the Alexa-inspired gimmick phase to improve internal communication and workflow,
These numbers should ramp up pretty quick- become a legitimate marketing tool: Online re- as well as external collaboration with service
ly, however, especially in the case of AI: Gartner searcher comScore Inc. predicts that 50% of all providers and retailer partners.

Is your organization currently developing For which marketing vehicles is your organization currently
voice-enabled (conversational commerce) developing conversational commerce marketing tools?
marketing tools? 80
NO 60

33% 40
Don’t know
16% 16% 16% 16%

Voice Social Brand Retailer Retailer On the On Brand Other Don’t know/
assistants media website website app primary product app not sure
(e.g., Alexa) networks shelf displays

22% 37%
Is your organization Is your organization
currently developing 53% currently utilizing artificial
25% NO intelligence/machine learning?
augmented reality tools? 63%
Don’t know

For which marketing vehicles are you currently In what ways is your organization utilizing
developing augmented reality tools? artificial intelligence/machine learning?
30 80
26% 26% 70 67%
21% 21% 21% 21% 60
20 50% 47%
16% 50
15 40 33%
10 17%
5% 5% 20
5 10
0 0
Brand Brand Retailer Retailer Social On the On product Other Don’t know/ Consumer insights Performance Media planning Direct consumer Other
website app website app media primary displays not sure analysis measurement engagement
networks shelf


Omnichannel Tools Lead Store of the Future

By Dan Ochwat
In the answers to a set of questions that look Walmart and Sam’s Club are doing.” so the adoption curve is already well established
at technology today and in the future, it’s clear Munk notes that with some technology like compared to AI, AR, voice and subscriptions.”
there is an excitement around retail, with vi- voice-based shopping that has seen some disap- In a question asking what trends or topics
sions of a “store of the future” that includes inter- pointing reports, marketers need to exhibit pa- would provide the “least practical value,” a third of
active displays, voice-based shopping platforms tience and get comfortable with the technology. respondents said AR and VR, and 17% pegged AI.
and use of augmented reality. “Technology is a tool, not a strategy,” he says. If not practical in the short term, it doesn’t mean
However, when estimating the “practical val- Respondents in the survey showed optimism in CPGs aren’t looking to innovate. Looking closer at
ue” of these tools in the coming year, respon- both voice-based messaging and AR, nearly 60% what organizations are doing to address product
dents in the survey expressed great caution. of respondents saw both tools being a standard innovation, 52% of respondents said they’re both
When asked which tools will become estab- part of retail in the future. Conversely, when asked increasing their existing internal activity around
lished parts of the “store of the future,” 77% of which trends will provide the most practical value innovation and also launching new capabilities
respondents said interactive displays and just in the coming year, only 2% of respondents picked such as innovation centers of excellence and idea
shy of 70% said in-store access to offline buy- voice-enabled commerce and only 5% saw AR or labs. When isolating a view from the top, 61% of
ing. The two answers represent a view of a truly virtual reality providing value now. In addition, those at a senior executive or director level said
omnichannel shopping experience. artificial intelligence saw little support, with only their organizations would increase internal activ-
“We are very enthusiastic about technology 6% seeing it provide value in the coming year. ity and 55% said launch new COEs or labs.
and shoppers are helping us refine and define Leading the way, nearly a third of respondents The increased focus on innovation is bright
the technologies that work best for retail,” says said influencer marketing would provide the for the industry but as Munk notes, “innovation
Curt Munk, EVP, group strategic planning di- most practical value. Munk says that’s simply has to be intentional, supported, measured and
rector, FCB/RED. “Omnichannel technologies the “reality of access to technology.” He adds: rewarded for it to take hold in almost any orga-
have been with us for some time and they con- “Influencers are popular short-term because they nization. It is hard to do, but each organization
tinue to get better and better — we love what are an existing consumer and shopper behavior, has to find its own cadence for new ideas.”

Which of the following topics will be of MOST practical And which of these topics would be of LEAST practical
value to your organization in the coming year? value to your organization in the coming year?

Influencer marketing 30% Augmented reality/VR 30%

Health & Wellness 23% Artificial intelligence 17%
All-inclusive marketing 12% Voice-enabled commerce 11%

Artificial intelligence 6% Subscription services 10%

5% All-inclusive marketing 9%
Augmented reality/VR (pride/lifestyles)

Emerging brands 5% Ethnic marketing 7%

Ethnic marketing 4% Health & Wellness 7%
Subscription services 4% Influencer marketing 2%

Sustainability 4% Sustainability 2%

Voice-enabled commerce 2% Emerging brands 2%

Transparency 1% Transparency 1%
Other 4% Other 1%
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 0 5 10 15 20 25 30

In your opinion, which tools will be standard elements of What actions, if any, is your organization taking to
a brand’s marketing strategy in the “store of the future”? address the need to intensify product innovation?
Increased existing
Interactive displays 77% internal activity 52%
In-store access to offline buying 69% Launched new internal
capabilities (innovation centers of 52%
excellence, idea labs, etc.)
Voice-based messaging 58%
Acquired emerging brands 40%
Augmented reality 57%
Launched our own incubator
Text-based messaging for emerging brands/products 36%
(SMS or other)
Invested in third-party
Traditional product displays 51% incubators 7%

Interactive packaging 44% Other 1%

Virtual reality 41% We haven't done 10%
much of anything
Facial recognition 25%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Other 1%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80


Packaging Trend: Special Doorstep Delivery Packs

By Dan Ochwat
Approximately a quarter of our survey re- a positive turning point. e-commerce packaging so [consumers] really
spondents said they are already developing Add in some of the qualitative remarks, and have an experience having it delivered and are
and shipping specially branded e-commerce there seems to be real excitement around spe- fully attached to the product at that moment.”
packages directly to the consumer or through cialty e-commerce packaging. One respondent Of the respondents not furthering this pack-
an online retailer. Factor in that a third “have shared that “it’s been an effective marketing tac- aging trend, some shared that it’s simply because
looked into it,” and the trend seems to be facing tic for us.” Another said: “We use special branded their category isn’t applicable (like tires), or they
produce a product that contains hazardous ma-
terial and can’t be shipped, or they work in a
Does your company use special branded e-commerce heavily regulated category like alcohol.
packaging for doorstep delivery? Knowing that shows that the positive results
could have been higher. But make no mistake, a
Yes 25% good portion of the negative respondents show
some brands are very far from this trend.
No, but we’ve looked into it 30% Some wrote that it’s too expensive or they do
zero direct-to-consumer selling. Many flat out
No, and we haven’t looked into it 46% said they had no knowledge on the topic and
remain in the dark.
0 10 20 30 40 50

Who in your organization is most responsible

for e-commerce?
Sales 21%

Marketing 20%

E-commerce Center of Excellence 20%

It’s still a piecemeal operation 20%

Distinct e-commerce organization 16%

Other 4%

0 10 20 30 40 50

On which social media platform 45

has your organization had the 40%
most success? 35 40%
10 7% 7%
0% 0% 1%
Facebook Instagram Blogger Pinterest YouTube Snapchat Twitter Other