One of the enduring legacies of the 2008 financial crisis is that marketers have become focused on short-term sales over brand building activities. Manufacturers spend up to two-thirds of their marketing dollars on in-store promotional activity. Shopper marketing is important and will become more so; the moment of purchase is at the top of the agenda of many companies. Yet, in spite of such budgetary commitment and focus, it is rare for companies to test the effectiveness of their shopper marketing activities ahead of roll-out. The testing of shopper marketing activities poses problems for traditional research, and effectiveness is typically only surmised after the event. This paper describes how the research industry can use Virtual Reality (VR) simulations to predict and produce the effectiveness of shopper marketing activations. We propose a VR pre-testing programme for companies keen to understand and hone the effectiveness of shopper activations. We set out how, by combining the latest thinking from psychology and the best-in-class VR technology, we can unlock growth for brand owners and retailers alike.

Moving power, not stopping power