Shopper Marketing Media Consultant for Hire
The majority of my career I have marketed to consumers, but that all changed when I came back home to Arkansas.
Shopper is completely different.
Walmart is completely different.
Living in Bentonville, learning Walmart & Sam’s Club, and living shopper marketing are akin to getting a degree in higher education. It’s like learning a second language. And if Walmart is French, Sam’s Club is Quebecois.
Walmart is a behemoth and what surprised me most was how agile they are! I had envisioned the retailer, having more than 5,000 stores nationwide alone, as a giant ship. Making smaller movements to alter its course and direction. Nope. Instead there are constant innovations and as soon as you learn the newest passion project, and feel caught up, they’re 10 steps further down the road and you’re playing catch-up.
And then there’s the shopper lens that you need to overlay.
For me, it wasn’t just about learning “below the line”. It was about discovering a catacomb of possibilities that could be used to reach our shopper in an engaging and relevant way at the point of purchase. Bringing the connection store-level is exhilarating. Pinpointing a shopper’s journey on their path to purchase and being able to speak to them in-store, in-aisle, and at-shelf is an incredible opportunity. It’s like having the last word in an argument.
Working at both Saatchi & Saatchi X and The Mars Agency allowed me to learn shopper marketing on category leaders. With each new campaign I was able to hone my craft and bring the personalization and engagement that is the key point of differentiation in my own brand. Before I even knew I had a brand.
These agencies allowed me to work on an enormous list of brands that provided knowledge on how to market “across the box” to every department within Walmart & Sam’s Club.
I met with countless vendors who would come in to pitch their products, and I always told them that working with me is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is if we execute a campaign and it significantly over-performs against KPIs and ROI, they will have the key to open the door to all the brands I represent within each company’s portfolio. However, if it doesn’t, it is highly unlikely that I would ever put them on a plan again.
I felt bad for many of the vendors – especially those coming in from out of town. They definitely fell into the trap of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” The presentation would be going along swimmingly and then WHAP! they’d say something (so infinitesimal I knew they didn’t even realize it) and the door would shut. The opportunity gone. They hadn’t done their homework.
They learned the lesson the hard way: Shopper Marketing isn’t Consumer Marketing.
And I get it. I came from Consumer. I didn’t realize the enormous difference between the two. But there most definitely is.
In addition to planning and buying media & working with agencies and suppliers, I am also consulting with vendors – many are out of town and don’t have representation here in Northwest Arkansas. I love sharing my experience and being able to personally help them navigate this space – some who have been coming down to Bentonville for years and have not seen any progression.
If you’re struggling with the complexity of this market and could use a good Sherpa, I would welcome the opportunity to help and provide guidance and direction on everything Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Here’s how I can specifically help:
· I have worked with both Consumer and Shopper Teams and can help navigate this space
· I am a Walmart & Sam’s Club expert
· I can speak each retailer’s “language” and help you sell-in your product offerings
· I can help ideate and brainstorm
· I know what Walmart Buyers are looking for and how your product/brand can merge with their needs/expectations
· I know what Suppliers are needing to hear in order to trust you with both their brands and their budgets
· I know what Media Planners are looking for and what you need to say to get a seat at the table
My 15+ years of advertising and marketing expertise working on top Fortune 500 brands have given me the business acumen to educate those outside the market what shopper marketing truly means and how to thrive in the microcosm we have here in Bentonville.
Reach out and connect, I’d love to see your work up and running on-platform, in-store, and in-club.
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