I was at the IGD recently and caught up with an old colleague who'd made the leap from agency to client-side in one of the biggest consumer goods companies in the UK. She thought being Head of Shopper Marketing would combine the best bits of agency life - cool ideas, variety and fast pace - with a more long-term, meaningful relationship with the brands we both loved. So why the pained face when I asked how it was going?
"We have a real problem in the business" she said. "Everyone else has a clear remit, mandate and measures for success, and we just sort of sit in the middle. No one seems to be able to land a killer blow for shopper marketing. How exactly do you establish the value of shopper marketing so the business takes it as seriously as it does brand marketing or retailer relationships?"
My first reaction was that this was a 3-pint problem, not a bad conference coffee problem. Nevertheless it triggered me to write down some of the things that clients that do it well have in common, and some of the mistakes and pitfalls that will stop you getting to success.