Richard Nicoll
Jan 30, 2015

There’s nothing wrong with asking for the sale

It’s how you ask that matters, writes Richard Nicoll, chief shopper marketing officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China.

Nicoll:
Nicoll: "Shoppers know that good value is harder to come by than good price"

A common discussion among creatives and clients has to do with the tension between ideas and their impact on sales.

Will a great creative idea lead to higher sales? The simple answer to this is a resounding ‘yes’, as this is the basic premise and intent of advertising.

However, such an answer downplays significant changes that have taken place to the brand and business playbook over the past 10 years. As advertisers, we are no longer just responsible for delivering return on investment, but we are also tasked with creating return on involvement, through return on ideas.

Shopper Marketing teams have to deal with a new generation of incredibly discerning consumers who, when in shopping mode, have more choice than ever before. They are price savvy, value-driven, and want transparency on both products and services.

They consciously align themselves with brands that support causes they believe in and are more inclined to switch loyalties. They want to be educated, entertained and involved.

It certainly takes more than a direct offer on price to get your product consistently into their shopping cart. So, to make a successful sale we need to intentionally create ideas that inspire a purchase, in ways which both meets the needs and engages the interests and passion of the individual shopper. 

At Saatchi & Saatchi, when we talk about an approach to shopper marketing we use a five-pillar system to build and evaluate winning ideas that sell.

These are the ingredients that we bake into our briefs, our strategy and our ideas:

We ask ourselves, does the idea...

Evoke emotion: There is always an emotional driver behind a purchase, but it’s often deeply hidden and unconscious. Our job is identify these triggers and appeal to them. Is it to get a laugh? Is it to have a sense of charity and helping others? Some say that 2015 is the year of ‘love’ in branding, with many big brands looking to generate deeper, more meaningful connections with consumers. We’re been talking about ‘love’ at Saatchi & Saatchi for a long time. It is the greatest of all the emotions and when there is love for a brand there is loyalty.

Encourage participation: An idea is not an idea until people participate in it. This is pretty good criteria on which to judge a creative concept. Greater engagement leads to a higher probability of sale and more opportunity to create emotional connections. We want the work we do for our clients to be the most loved and the most shared in the world. To drive purchase in-store or online, we need to win the attention of shoppers with great ideas and reward them for participating. However, we need to be aware that getting shoppers to spend effort is as tough as getting them to spend dollars.

Create occasion: There are no limitations to when and where we can shop in today’s highly connected world. Mobile is a significant player in the future of retail, which means that people are able to shop at any time it strikes their fancy. Regardless, people still enjoy having the permission to shop, and occasions likes festive holidays and national shopping days get people spending. Alibaba’s Singles Day (11 November) is an excellent example. It is now the biggest shopping day in the world, with 2014 sales numbers exceeding those of Black Friday’s in the US.

Highlight benefit: “What’s in it for me?” is one of the catch cries of the Millennial generation. Thanks to showrooming and online comparison shopping, price is tablestakes. Shoppers need to instantly see and understand the tangible and intangible benefits that a product delivers. Putting the benefit upfront and being clear about it is critical to any sale. These benefits need to be relevant to the shopper and help them improve their lives.

Deliver priceless value: Value is more than just price, and shoppers know that good value is harder to come by than good price. Much of what we find on shelves today are commodities. Same price point, similar value proposition. Few brands can make discounting a sustainable strategy, and reframing ideas in terms of value allows sale at a premium. This is what we mean by delivering priceless value. Delivering uplifting life solutions tuned to how people are feeling, living, spending, and sharing.

Richard Nicoll is chief shopper marketing officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China

 

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