Monday, March 2, 2009

Is there a word...

Here is the quandary - we have consumers and we have shoppers. In marketing terms, the distance between the two is increasing everyday. Especially when we now make the marketing distinction between the person who consumes a product and a person who buys the product. For example, mom buys a 12 pack of carbonated soft drinks - she is the shopper - but her children are the the ones to drink it - they are the consumers.

Now that Shopper Marketing is the mot du jour and we are officially making the distinction between consumer marketing and shopper marketing when it is one and the same person, what do you call that person when they are both? I can't think of any other word than... person.

What I mean by this is - for the sake of simplicity* - when I am outside of the store I am a consumer, when I am inside the store, I am a shopper. So how do we qualify me when I am the target who does both. The easy answer is, by marketing definition, a consumer. So does consumer include shopper as part of its definition?

I think we are entering a new era where marketing has to create new terminology to allow both consumer and shopper to exist separately AND together.

So I throw out the challenge to all my marketing brothers and sisters to create that new Marketing 2.0 term that describes a target as BOTH consumer and shopper.

* To clarify, this is only to illustrate a point BUT my belief is that we become shoppers NOT when we pass the threshold of the sliding-glass doors, the shopper mindset begins when a need has been identified. For example, when we run out of Diet Coke, we go into shopper mode: where will I shop, when will I go there, how much will I get, do I need anything else, etc. The role of a shopper marketing strategist is to understand that path, the shopper journey, and begin to affect it, seducing and engaging the consumer/shopper with a relevant and compelling brand experience.

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