Saturday , 23 March 2019
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Defining shopper marketing for 2013 and beyond

The onward journey

defining shopper marketingWhilst thinking about project and workflow planning for my strategy consultancy, GD | Inspires, I started to think about defining shopper marketing in my own context.

Shopper marketing is a big buzz word, it has been for years and agencies from packaging design to brand design to retail and interior design have been trying to claim their own slice of this pie, emphasising uniqueness in a world that is actually quite straightforward.

I’ve seen agencies talk about ‘pretail, retail and post-tail’, talk about the different between customers and consumers and spend ages discussing what standardised touch points there are in a consumer’s journey from awareness to purchase.

One thing that struck me as I started mapping these is how little agencies to date have focused on the ‘onward journey’ that product and consumer goes on.

I often instil the virtues of thinking about how presentations and outputs are onwardly presented when building them so that the meaning is not lost by designing an amazing deck with mostly full-bleed images and only five words on a page. Don’t forget that the people who may need to buy into it are the C-level execs who have not worked with us on the project and won’t get much from such a deck.

With that in mind my thoughts focused in on defining shopper marketing and how, if we think about it, we don’t want people just to buy the products we are selling but we want them to become advocates and to use their daily lives to become walking advertising boards for our brands… right?

That is where the GD | Inspires shopper philosophy / strategy comes in… “Everyone’s a marketeer“.

Using this as our shopper strategy, we plan and strategise around what happens next (post-sale) as well as what needs to happen now (making the sale) in order to understand consumer motives and reactions so that we can, in turn, empower consumers with the tools they need to tell their story through our brands.

So what does that mean for you as strategists?

Essentially it is a way of framing the notion that the customer journey does not stop at the check out, nor does it stop when the customer is in their car and off of the brand’s forecourt, it lasts a lot longer than that.

A brand experience lives in the hearts and minds of consumers until either that experience is superseded by your next great brand experience or until the brand does not deliver on promises.

We aim to close this gap and build future consumer stories in to the journey through clever design, brand insight and great service.

How do you talk about shopper / consumer journeys? What stands you out? How do you go about defining shopper marketing?

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About GregDillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic. Feel free to email him at: or follow on Twitter @StratTalking


  1. Shopper marketing for me is similar to you, it is an appreciation for how people think, act and navigate right down to the fixtures. It is all about getting people to talk about brands, experiences and product experiences. That’s the new frontier.

  2. Could not agree more – onward journey, there’s a lovely quote: Brands are no longer what we tell customers they are, they are what they tell each other they are.

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