Here’s what you need to know about achieving Shopper Satisfaction, Collaboration and Effective Shopper Marketing — Are “Shopper” and/or “Collaboration” on your 2016 Strategic Pillars? For most organizations the answer is yes, but many are struggling with how to get any traction. It doesn’t have to stay that way. To succeed, Shopper and Collaboration need to be well-defined and go beyond transactional, one-off projects. Both Retailers and Vendors should begin with these three steps: Step 1. INTERNAL COLLABORATION Before collaborating with each other, Retailers and Vendors need to get on the same “internal“ page. An aligned, collaborative approach to Category and Shopper across their multifunctional teams will include: Define Internal Strategies, Guidelines and Processes associated with their target consumer / Shopper, competitive differentiation, brand and category (including private label or store brands), category roles and strategies, tactical strategies and supply chain strategies. Identify Assets & Best-fit Business Partners, including data & tools, personnel and research. Not all collaboration is created equal and this is a critical step for any organizations who have “collaboration” on their corporate strategies for 2016. Train Multi-functional Teams on Category Management foundations, data and analytics, and category and Shopper understanding (see the FAQs later on in this blog). Step 2. EXTERNAL COLLABORATION Once Retailers and Vendors have their teams working toward the same goals with a unified strategy, they are ready to collaborate externally based on the partnership guidelines they established in Step 1. The Category Management Association has created a free whitepaper on “Strategic Collaboration for Shopper Satisfaction” that delivers big picture perspective on how Retailers and Vendors establish and maintain true collaboration. Step 3. SHOPPER SATISFACTION Through successful collaborative business partnerships between Retailers and Vendors, both can reach consumers with integrated Shopper Marketing across the omnichannel at any point in consumers’ Path to Purchase. Strategy& and PWC’s whitepaper on “Reimagining Shopper Marketing” identifies good models of brand building through omnichannel experiences.