SM2 Commission Releases Updated Industry Playbook

Patrycja Malinowska
Director of Retail
Patrycja Malinowska profile picture
a person standing in front of a store

The Commission to Standardize the Measurement of Shopper Marketing (SM2) has released an updated version of its Industry Playbook, which was unveiled on Oct. 20 during P2PI LIVE and is available for download below.

Designed to illustrate the impact shopper marketing can have beyond incremental sales lift, the first edition of the Industry Playbook established the vital role that shopper marketing plays in overall consumer engagement, giving brands and retailers the tools they need to better plan and evaluate shopper investments as part of the overall media mix.

The update incorporates the results and learnings from three modeling pilots conducted over the last two years that provide the industry with further guidance around measuring effectiveness, including standards, benchmarks and best practices. 

Steve Tobias, an executive in the media COE practice at IRI, was one of several panelists during the P2PI LIVE session, where he shared the details of the pilots, which tested the hypothesis that access to more granular inputs — such as impressions by tactic, by retailer, by creative, etc. — would both enable the models to isolate out the true effects of shopper marketing and to be more descriptive on what actions could be taken to drive a desired outcome. He revealed the results as falling across three buckets:

  1. Confirming the incoming hypothesis. "The most basic premise that was supported from the pilot models was that if we benchmark shopper marketing impact as an aggregate effect versus measured down at a more tactical level, the models with more disaggregate shopper marketing inputs actually produce a greater total contribution and ROI.  This somewhat infers that marketing mix has been understating shopper marketing," Tobias said.
  2. Providing insights beyond what was expected in the original design of the pilot models. "Interesting results from the pilot models given the more granular inputs was that tactics with an attached incentive drove both higher contribution and ROI, and traditional shopper marketing was more efficient than digital campaigns," Tobias said.
  3. Producing a somewhat surprising discovery. "The result that was most surprising to the commission is that campaigns focused on innovation outperformed campaigns focused on base. This is surprising because launching innovation is often seen as a strategic investment with significantly lower level of base sales to operate against," Tobias said. "However, an alternative view on this could be that when using shopper marketing to support new innovation but also tying back to the equity in the base business you can actually achieve both purposes. This is caveated by three singular studies and the likely range on this is highly variable."
a group of people sitting on stage in front of a curtain
From left to right: Kelly Kachnowski, Matthew Sharp, Cheryl Policastro, Steve Tobias, and Patrycja Malinowska.

While the findings from the modeling phase of this work aren’t conclusive and immediately scalable, they provide some really nice hypotheses and opportunities for further testing, added panelist Matthew Sharp, marketing science partner at Meta. "I’ll be using those ideas as I build out learning agendas with the shopper teams I partner with," he said.

Additional panelists were Cheryl Policastro, chief strategy officer at TPN, as well as Kelly Kachnowski, VP, commercial development, Marilyn Platform at The Mars Agency.