How is "shopper insight" different from "consumer insight?"
One of the key tenets of shopper marketing is that we need to pay more attention to how people make decisions and buy. The rationale here is pretty compelling -- most brands have spent bazillions understanding who their customers are, but relatively little on how they approach an aisle and what drives them to choose one offering over another.
Here's an example: Companies that make laundry detergent know who buys the most product, what forms they prefer, what stains they find the toughest, etc. But, as to how they make an in-store brand choice, the research probably gets a little sketchier. Do they shop by form? Stain? Color of clothes? Package size? Washer type? Which matters more, price or brand? If price is primary, do they compare price per ounce or price per load? Do consumers think there is one best brand or that they get better results by alternating brands? Do some people get confused and walk away from the aisle without buying anything?
Of course, many brands have examined these sorts of questions in the past. But most brands spent less time on this than on advertising research and the like. And if more than half of purchase decisions are made in store, does it really make sense to spend 80 percent of your time testing TV ads?
That isn't to say that the "who" of marketing isn't important. Rather, we need to improve the balance between demographic, psychographic, and behavioral research.