Emerging With Urgency
Sorry, fellow kids, but it’s back to school in this edition of your favorite marketing-to-shoppers journal. So, turn in your flip-flops, beach books and SPF 30. Fear not: As we pivot into Q4, this is not an issue full of yesterday’s school bus displays, but instead one that’s focused on emerging growth ideas.
The first item on our syllabus is P2PX, the Path to Purchase Expo, scheduled for Oct. 2-4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We’re never shy about promoting this annual confab because we believe so much in its value. Much like this magazine, it rewards those who are willing to take a deep dive into the emerging issues covered by our programming. Our seminars and symposia are grad school, not chatbots; there’s nothing “virtual” about the show floor because you can take control of the conversations; and if you want true interactivity, work the social events.
The P2PX keynotes usually get the headlines, and this year is no different. We are featuring some of the brightest minds from Forrester, an outfit that always seems a step ahead of the digital crowd; Ahold Delhaize, who will explain how CPG companies fit in across their many banners; experts from The Mom Complex who’ve taken a look at those Millennial moms, who – shock of shocks – actually like brands; and most intriguingly, Dave Sommer, the director, CPG, shopper marketing and e-commerce at Facebook. Considering we’ll be just 33 days away from the election, I’d say “getcha popcorn ready” for that one.
Now it can be revealed: I am the editor behind the “Editors’ Choice” feature. (Yeah, I know – duh.) But consider the emerging innovations being displayed, demoed and available for examination at P2PX: A hub for creating scalable interactive content customized to specific retailers; a marketing campaign sales dashboard in near real time; an AR experience that shoppers can now access via native smartphone features; data visualizations of complex consumer behaviors and purchase patterns ... and those are just the first four, folks.
Next month, we’ll pass an interesting milestone as we complete our first quarter century of Design of the Times (DOT) competitions. These finalists, which are being featured in the DOT Gallery at P2PX, serve as a reminder that roughly 95+% of CPG sales still happen inside brick-and-mortar.
I’d also direct your attention to a complementary feature in the September issue, an unusual Activation Gallery of “Clicks & Bricks” marketing ideas that physically marry the online and offline shopping worlds.
Looking forward, it is my hope that DOT 2019 will also feature optimized, back-end, last-mile, “purposeful” packaging designs that are emerging for e-commerce delivery, a still-nascent area of merchandising.
We’ve also reached part three of our series on the evolution of retail environments, in which writer Michael Applebaum explains how and why brands and retailers must make themselves more mentally and physically “available” to shoppers. This is a true “thought leadership” piece in every sense of the word, and one that merits routing (along with some conversation) all around your team. I imagine we’ll release a package of all three articles, which were created in collaboration with the smart minds over at FCB/RED, at some point as well.
You can also get a glimpse of the next generation of marketing leaders that are emerging from brand marketing, e-commerce, shopper and category management at a host of CPG powerhouses. “People to Watch”is one of our most popular annual features, but I feel I must apologize in advance to all nine of our profilees in case they find headhunters stalking them on the phone, following them to Starbucks and/or waiting in their driveways at night. It kinda comes with the territory, I’m afraid.
Finally, a wonderful announcement: The Path to Purchase Institute (P2PI) has launched a new membership tier specifically designed to support emerging companies and brands. The new membership tier will allow standalone companies that meet P2PI’s emerging company and brand criteria to enjoy the same benefits as larger member companies, including:
- Member status to an exclusive community of more than 400 companies and tens of thousands of professionals.
- Participation in member-only industry share groups, forums and councils that explore best practices and tackle current industry challenges.
- Access to the industry’s No. 1 resource for up-to-date, searchable information on marketing to shoppers.
- Complimentary subscription to Shopper Marketing magazine.
- Member-only pricing at Institute-sponsored events, award ceremonies and contest entries.
“Emerging companies have the same needs as their more established peers for vital market information, research, award-winning journalism, and professional development,” says Joan Driggs, managing director of the Path to Purchase Institute. “We support shoppers through the brands, retailers and solution providers that serve them.”
Anyone interested in learning more about this new tier can contact us at [email protected]. See you all next month in Minneapolis.