Tuesday, July 21, 2015

You had me at Kit-Kat...

What better way to kick off a presentation than to hand out candy? Better yet- Immediately after- read off trivia questions in exchange for Hershey’s newest products?

Shelly and Tony delivered an intriguing presentation offering insights around touchpoints. With OmniShopper the focus of this conference- understanding touchpoints is an important aspect to truly reach success. 

First off- what exactly is a touchpoint? It is a point in time when a brand comes in contact with the audience. Ex – packaging, instore promotion, coupons, flyers, etc. Hershey used a qualitative approach, focusing on shop-alongs, mobile shop alongs (both for exploration), as well as shopper diaries for validation. They asked consumers who they were buying for, when are they buying, etc. This led them to reveal the best touchpoints to focus on and in turn maximize shopper reach at core retailers.

This approach also included steps to better understand the consumer:
o   Where
§  Where do we look for consumers and thus focus on these touchpoints?
o   How many
§  Using TURF, they looking into the impact of how many touch points are needed to maximize sales.
§  About 4 touch points are necessary.
o   Which Ones
§  What is the best combination of touch points.
·         Segmentation
o   This is key as all consumers are different. Did consumers plan to purchase this confectionery or was this an impulse purchase? While this may seem simple and all end up in the same place- with a sale- it is actually very important to understand how and when to reach this consumer based on their motives.
·         Opportunities
o   Using data they found that some consumers just need to be reminded. Perhaps an in store ad seeing the treat at check out- a simple touch point on their trip is enough to drive a purchase.

They also offered a set of truths about touchpoints:
·         The shopper ecosystem is cluttered with touchpoints but shoppers really only see 3 products on average in the confections category. How is this possible and how does this impact strategy? This drives the importance of understanding the segments and learning how influential each touchpoint can be. 
·         Most touchpoint usage occurs for planned trips since consumers are being hit with something pre-store so they then add to their list- essentially leveraging many more touch points
·         Shoppers recognize and use more touchpoints on involved trips- especially for stock up trips that are planned.
·         On unplanned trips alone, touch points form 4-6 increased dollar spending about $2.00
·         Allocate spend across different touch points: you can reach most consumers using 4 touch points
·         The most influential touch points differ by channel: Grocery relies most on coupons.
·         Word of Mouth is most important: Case in point- the presenters mentioned candy to the audience yesterday and people were overly excited to join!
·         Digital provides an incremental space for touchpoints, adding 4 additional touchpoints for consumers.
·         Higher income use more touchpoints yet least involved

·         Life stage: we know Millennials are big users of digital which goes hand in hand with the additional touch points exposed earlier. 

With these points we realize just how many touch points exist, how important it is to leverage these touchpoints based on consumer segments, and how these are continuing to change as technology advances. 

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com.

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