MISSY LUKENS Senior Director – In-Store Experience 7-Eleven
Biggest challenge in shopper marketing right now: Staying abreast of ever-changing technologies and tools to integrate into activations.
What trend emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic that’s going to stay: Shoppers have established different mission trips and shopping patterns as hybrid work has become entrenched. 7-Eleven is shifting assortments and go-to-market strategies to adapt and better serve our customers’ evolving needs.
Favorite hobby or new habit to come out of working from home: I have been going into the office for over a year, but I do enjoy the reduced rush-hour traffic.
Biggest challenge in shopper marketing right now: One of the biggest challenges we are dealing with is how to replace sampling products. We are testing some innovative ways to get product into our consumers’ mouths, but we really miss the opportunity to connect people with our brand firsthand through sampling.
What trend emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic that’s going to stay: Online shopping is here to stay. The methods used for fulfillment for pickup and delivery may evolve, but it’s definitely not going away. However, hybrid shoppers seem to have become the norm — some shopping online and some shopping in-store. Even “online” shopping folks have certain items they prefer to pick out themselves and actually interact with the product prior to purchasing.
Favorite hobby or new habit to come out of working from home: I’m not sure if this is a hobby or not, but hanging out with my cats while I work has become very comfortable for us. I do a mix of in-person office time and remote work, and they definitely let me know when I’m not here all day that they missed me by never leaving my side once I get home.
NEIL NORMAN Director of Loyalty & CPG Marketing Partnerships Food Lion
Biggest challenge in shopper marketing right now:Ensuring our entire CPG marketing partnerships playbook connects seamlessly across the omnichannel experience and providing the right analytics tools showing path-to-purchase conversion/return on investment.
What trend emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic that’s going to stay:The importance of convenience by supporting your neighborhood grocery store and how it can best deliver the desired omnichannel customer experience.
Favorite hobby or new habit to come out of working from home:Our neighborhood connects to the park trails, so taking lunchtime walks to break up the day for success.
Biggest challenge in shopper marketing right now:One of the biggest challenges is the consumer desire for a seamless, personalized experience regardless of the location, in-store or online. As multichannel shopping increases, shopper marketers must continue to innovate in all aspects (product, packaging, messaging, process, technology, data, etc.) to deliver on the needs of consumers and retailers.
What trend emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic that’s going to stay: The growth of e-commerce emerged as a pivotal channel due to the pandemic and it will be here to stay, especially for the produce industry where before hesitancy toward online purchases was more prevalent. It has also propelled the expectation of instant gratification and the redefinition of convenience. Continuing to understand consumers’ needs, motivations and behaviors will help companies be ready for changes in the future.
Favorite hobby or new habit to come out of working from home: Not necessarily a hobby or habit, I’ve gained a new “working” skill as a barber/hairdresser because of the pandemic.