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Advertising Age reports this morning that “senior executives from the world's biggest advertiser, biggest retailer and biggest media-buying agency turned up at the In Store Marketing Expo in Chicago last week to tout a new way of measuring shopper marketing by the world's biggest research firm, Nielsen Co.

“It was just one more milestone for shopper marketing, which is growing faster than internet advertising -- doubling since 2004 and on pace for a compound annual growth rate of 21% through 2010, according to a draft study by Deloitte from the Grocery Manufacturers Association.”

Recent figures, according to the story, suggest that Procter & Gamble may be spending upwards of $500 million annually on in-tore or shopper marketing – and that, in fact, P&G may be behind the wave a bit in this area.

Key to all this discussion is Nielsen’s Prism initiative, which essentially is a methodology to rate in-store advertising with the same precision as other ad vehicles are measured – TV ratings for in-store marketing efforts.

Two interesting paragraphs from the story:

• “P&G Chief Operating Officer Robert McDonald politely declined to predict whether better measurement would lead P&G to shift more media money in store. But he noted another recent Deloitte study, this one showing that nine of 10 trade promos don't have a positive return on investment.” McDonald did say that he thought Prism would allow P&G to make better choices.

• “…The same marketers planning to spend more on shopper marketing are planning to spend around 2% less annually on trade promotion, the Deloitte/GMA study found. In the end, Prism could help manufacturers pry more money out of the black hole of trade promotion and put it into some form of measurable, brand-building media.”
KC's View:
I found especially this latter paragraph to be intriguing because it has been my experience that a lot of retailers get all sorts of ornery when people try and mess around with their trade promotion dollars. Those dollars, as oft has been said, are the heroin of the supermarket industry, and many retailers will not take kindly to having their supplies shut off.