Reaching shoppers on the go


Paul McGann, Managing Partner at Brass Agency, shares how geo-targeted marketing can help brands effectively reach shoppers on the go. 

How do you reach shoppers on the go?

We’re shopping more and more on the go.  Convenien8ce stores.  Delis. Kiosks. Specialist shops. New pop up formats are opening every week.  The lines are blurring between grocery retail and foodservice.  This exciting, dynamic environment is causing many marketers a headache. How do you effectively reach shoppers on the go?

We used to be creatures of habit.

For years, most British families would do a huge weekly shop at one of the big 4 grocers. If you were an FMCG brand and wanted to launch new products or build awareness for an on-pack promotion, you simply chose a mix of supermarket media and the advertising job would largely be done.

Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury’s seized the opportunity, creating large media teams to cater for the demand and offering a growing range of advertising and display options to target their shoppers.  Car park poster? “No problem”. Shelf barker?  “Of course”.  Bollards?  “Thank you very much”.  It seemed like almost every surface of the supermarket could be bought.

They had a captive shopper audience and priced accordingly.

Now it seems we’ve become promiscuous!

We’re shopping little and more often. Using a much wider variety of supermarkets, discounters, vending machines and OOH stores to satisfy our ever changing food and drink needs across the week. From grabbing breakfast at the station on the commute to work, to a quick top up shop midweek or picking up the ingredients for a Big Night In pizza.

More impulsive shopping behaviour makes it challenging for brands to effectively target out of home with one promotional advertising campaign.

So how can you reach shoppers effectively on the go?

Traditional out of home advertising media like outdoor posters, bus media or radio advertising typically talks to the masses.  Everybody in one location sees or hears them. They can be prohibitively expensive and inflexible for many brands, especially start-ups and challengers.

Fortunately, there are a number of digital media channels coming on stream that can really help cut through.  Most use the mobile in your pocket to target shoppers directly when they are on the move.

How does it work?

Shopper mobile campaigns typically create a geo-fence (a virtual campaign boundary) around any or all of your stockist locations so you can instantly trigger an advertising or promotional offer to those that are in close proximity to act upon it.

More clever targeting means you can serve messages only to those shoppers that best meet your brand campaign’s audience.  There is a wealth of data available meaning you can use a mix of socio demographic, interest or behavioural criteria to build detailed profiles.

Looking to reach gym-loving flexitarians on the morning commute in Manchester?

Well now you can!

Your campaign can be activated at any day part across any number of geo-fenced locations, from c-stores to supermarkets, train stations to coffee shops! There are literally tens of thousands to choose from or you can program your own.

Is it effective?

At Brass, we’ve found geo-targeted mobile media works particularly well for smaller challenger brands that have niche audiences of shoppers, selected store listings or multiple promotional offers.

We’ve seen sales uplifts of up to 20%.

And because the media is targeted, the ROI can be pretty attractive too.

The future looks even more exciting!

The roll out of 5G and ever more sophisticated mobile handsets means the range of creative formats available is likely to blossom.  From interactive videos to augmented reality, engaging promotional mechanics to navigational maps that ‘find your nearest store’.  The possibilities are endless.

Now you can reach your shopper audience when you want, where you want and with what you want.  What’s stopping you giving geo-targeted mobile a go?

If you would like to find out how Brass can help you, get in touch with Paul McGann at