Insighting In The Omni Channel Era
The retail world is transforming as consumers, manufacturers and retailers are all undergoing fundamental shifts. The shopper is connected more than ever and the new Path to Purchase is a complex tapestry that weaves in and out of multiple channels, sources of information and influence. Enabling the shopper to seamlessly navigate this new Omni channel landscape is the new marketing paradigm. As marketers grapple with this new challenge, they must also redefine the role and deployment of insights if they are to effectively raise their marketing game.
The Insights Pillars: 1. MAP THE SHOPPER JOURNEY:
In building the insights framework, a good starting point is to put the shopper first. With the shopper at the core, the first step is to map the shopper journey for the category across all the possible touchpoints. In today’s world, the shopper journey is no longer linear or sequential – progressing from need triggered through awareness to interest, desire and purchase (the old AIDA model). Instead, the consumer moves in complex and non-sequential ways across various touchpoints – for eg. an online review could have been the first exposure to a product, leading to further online research or calls to the call-center followed by a visit to the offline store to check brands followed by a purchase offline to avail of an offer. This could be followed up with further social media reviews and possible engagement with the brand through loyalty programs – thus extending the shopper journey into a complex tapestry of constant engagement.
In this scenario, marketers need to ensure the building block - constructing a comprehensive map of the shopper journey from need triggers to shopping to consumption, identifying the overlaps and criss-cross patterns in the journey. Building this foundation in itself calls for deep, explorative qualitative research and possibly, quantified validation as a critical, first step.
2. IDENTIFY BUSINESS OUTCOMES:
The shopper journey mapping is usually a foundational exercise (if done comprehensively) that will only need to be refreshed every two to three years depending on the rate of change in the category and market. Once this is done, marketers should then revisit the overall business and marketing goals and then dovetail these into specific business outcomes sought.
These could be, to name a few possibilities, acquisition, retention, engagement or brand loyalty. As a next step, marketers (or Insights teams) will then need to mine existing business data to generate hypotheses on which areas along the Shopper Journey needs interventions (and hence, further insights). For eg. if acquisition is a goal, then where do the opportunities lie?
Building the framework: Insights Pillars with shopper-centricity at the core
Brand Switch or trialists or category expansion?
If category expansion, new consumption • occasions or line extensions or new geographies/segments etc?
Again, this step in the process must be dataled. Mining of various internal business