Shopper Marketing to gain ground in India
By Fairy Dharawat | June 17, 2013
Although being present in global markets since 20 years, Shopper Marketing is still nascent and growing in the Indian markets. Saiprasad Prabhu, VP - TracyLocke, gives us more insights on this evolving industry in India, and how TracyLocke is redefining the approach by understanding shopper needs, barriers to purchase, and the whole influence of the environment.
Q) Can you comment on Tracylocke India joining POPAI and the immediate agenda?
The immediate plan is to rope in companies from assorted categories, so that we have a wide base of experienced people working towards a common goal.
Q) Do you have any plans to raise the bar and bring the POP producers to the level of being a brand partner in finding the right retail solutions? What are the challenges there?
The industry is hugely fragmented and due to pressures on business the focus is on the productivity rather than on solutions for the end consumer. The result being that even today the industry has not seen any major growth in technology and digitalization. We need to work together bring out innovative ways of making digitalization affordable.
Q) How would you compare the brand focus on retail in India with that of the rest of the world in terms of merchandising and in store activities?
Every brand today realizes the importance of last mile connectivity. In India, the last mile is dealt using only merchandizing and tactical engagement activities where as globally they are experimenting a lot more with newer forms of shopper engagement. The Indian market still needs to experience the digitalization and use of technology. Globally merchandise is a part of enhancing the overall shopper experience whereas here we are still using them as visibility element.
Q) Do you think there is clear defined focus on shopper marketing in India? How would you compare it to any other market?
Shopper marketing globally has been around for last 20 years, but in India it's still a very nascent and growing industry. Our country is hugely driven by the traditional trade whereas shopper agenda predominantly is defined in the western countries which are modern trade driven. Hence the biggest challenge which stands in front of us is to adapt the concept and the science within the traditional trade.
Q) What sort of budget is allocated for Shopper marketing initiatives in India, as compared to other markets of the world?
Even if we see globally, the percentage spend in the category is low but for the last decade the spends have seen an upward growth. In India, the industry is very nascent hence the spends are also miniscule but having said that, the brands are progressively investing a lot more into the science of shopping.
Q) How challenging is it to find the right talent in Shopper Marketing?
There are very few trained people and the awareness about the industry itself is low. The whole concept of shopper marketing is perceived differently and there is a lot of ambiguity about the vertical with people trying to confuse it with retail and activation which are far easy to understand and established. Even though the industry lacks people with the relevant skill sets, we at Tracylocke, with the advantage of global learning, are quipped to train people who show interest in this area.
Q) Could you tell is a bit about your clientele and your role in directing their retail and shopper marketing initiatives?
We are currently trying to create awareness within the existing client base that we have, by brining the insights of shopper marketing to their ongoing projects. The gamut of shopper tools which we have can provide a host of approaches to the challenges that these brands are facing at the point of purchase. This is also helping us build some local case studies of how shopper marketing can work equally well in the traditional trade.
Q) What are your plans in the area of Shopper marketing in the coming years?
The communication at the last mile is very ATL/ consumer driven without much thought going on how the same consumer behaves in "shopper modeâ€. The challenge for us is to redefine the approach with the understanding of shopper needs, barriers to purchase, and the whole influence of the environment.
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