Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Major Professor

Daniel J. Flint

Committee Members

Matthew B. Myers, Robert W. Mee, Mark A. Moon

Abstract

Shopper marketing is an integrated marketing strategy increasingly used in the retail channel for Consumer Packaged Goods. The main characteristic of shopper marketing is close collaboration between retail channel partners with the objective to engage customers and potential customers prior to, during, and after shopping trips. The goal of shopper marketing is to create a mindset and physical store environment that facilitates shoppers’ purchasing decisions. The in-store manifestations of shopper marketing represent the culmination of the channel partners’ joint efforts and are crucial to the success of shopper marketing as a newly minted marketing strategy.

In-store shopper marketing may well take the form of traditional product and sales promotions, but they are fundamentally different: First, shopper marketing initiatives are mainly based on shopper insights. Second, they are often customized for different stores. Third, the initiatives are highly dependent on cross-organizational execution. Notwithstanding this inherent strategic charge, empirical studies show that the execution of shopper marketing events in retail stores remains at a low 40% to 60%.

Studies 1 and 2 of this dissertation are micro-level studies of the interactions between consumer goods sales representatives and store department managers. Study 1 is an exploratory, grounded theory-based investigation of the social and business processes that comprise the in-store execution of shopper marketing initiatives. Study 2 is a survey-based explanatory study that investigates to what extent the degree of fit between the individual actors’ intrinsic motivation and relationship commitment is a predictor for the level of execution of the in-store promotional events.

The results of the research show how the functional aspects of frontline relationships are more prominent that extant sales and marketing literatures would lead one to expect. The theoretical and managerial implications of these findings are discussed in the context of fielding a dedicated CPG sales team.

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