A new age of marketing for food stores?

The Lempert Report
January 22, 2013

Could supermarkets recapture trips from other channels if their marketing were more effective?

Could supermarkets recapture trips from other channels if their marketing were more effective? If they took credit for all they do right today to feed the nation efficiently—and for their pioneering work over eight decades to fit food neatly and safely into people’s lives? It is time for supermarkets to push back more strongly against supercenters, clubs and other formats to restore some of the 15 share points it lost over the past 11 years. Sharper marketing is the key. Our own current nationwide research findings reveal 10 factors that influence a consumer’s choice of a primary supermarket before low prices come into play. Our presentation at The National Grocers Association Show in February will tell more—for now the point is supermarkets have many positive aspects they could leverage without touching price. Supermarkets talk a lot about customer-centricity—but actions speak louder than words. A new study by RSR Research identifies the top marketing business challenges for retailers—and indicates a challenging road ahead. The RSR report, Marketing in Retail: Making the Case for the CMO, pegs the top three challenges as: • Customer retention has become more difficult and building customer loyalty is challenging (cited by 51% of retail respondents) • The uncertain economy constrains our marketing budget (47%) • Customer segments are fragmenting, making it harder to reach our consumers (41%) Just 23% of respondents to a new state-of-retail-marketing survey say the highest-level marketing executive at their chain is the CMO with the right span of clout and control to advance customer-centricity. Yet no one is clearly in charge of the customer experience, say 24% of respondents. Retail Winners understand that to target successfully, they should know who their best shoppers are. By a 66% to 44% margin, the winners say they target more effectively by capturing more detailed customer preferences, and they say they can develop better products and services through more direct customer input. It is all about having the right internal retail structures, mining of consumer data, and direct communications with customers to maximize the opportunity and sales.