Denver-headquartered agency The Integer Group was born out of the MillerCoors marketing department 25 years ago, when the brewer decided to focus its in-house capabilities on brewing alone. The marketing team was spun off to become Integer, now owned by Omnicom under TBWA.
Working with some of the biggest CPG companies in the world, Tisha Pedrazzini, who recently became President of the Integer Group’s Denver office, is at the forefront of shaping the future of shoppers, retailers and the space where they meet.
We spoke with Tisha about what she sees as crucial for all brands looking to convert on digital, in-store, and everywhere else.
Integer Group defines itself as a “commerce agency” rather than a shopper insights agency—what does that mean for your approach to your work?
A couple of years ago, we were asked all the time by clients, “What will the future of shopper marketing look like?” We just sat down and started looking at things: Where is this world going—from technology interfaces and in-store shopping to being a consumer—and what does that really mean? So what we realized is that they’re really one and the same. Commerce is the future of shopper marketing. Everything we do is to drive a transaction, wherever that may be.
We talk a lot about living at the intersection of branding and selling, which means you have to know how to build brands, but you also have to know how to sell them. You can’t just deliver one side of that equation. And that’s what sets us apart from other agencies, that we can truly deliver on that commerce side.
We work with some amazing CPG brands, and we work really deeply with those clients all the way into the retail base. We spend a lot of time on behalf of our clients embedded with all these retailers, so it is that knowledge of the intersection between retailers and CPG brands that sets us apart.
How can brands better plan for seasonally-driven products? Integer Group's Nicole Vinson provides her POV https://t.co/GX2OgPNiY5
— The Integer Group (@IntegerGroup) October 4, 2017
How do you see shopping changing, both in the United States and globally?
I always answer this with two sentences: One is you have to look at how the world is changing, and that will show you how culture is changing. And two, consumers expect an extension of their world. They expect brands to know who they are and what they do. It’s not just shopper or consumer.
Everyone is walking around with access to the world in their pocket, so it’s eliminated the silos of how we think of the context of shopping. It would be really difficult for me to tell you when I became a consumer living my life and when I switch to becoming a shopper, because right now everyone is always shopping.
How do organizations need to think differently about commerce and the shopper experience in relation to their brands?
You have to back up a little bit and realize that millennials don’t consume advertising, they choose to participate in a brand. And that is a huge shift. The motto for stores used to be, “Stack it high and let it fly.” But now that model no longer exists.
Brands need to recognize that shopping is happening all the time and everywhere. So virtually every engagement opportunity, from awareness to transaction, when people are simply living their lives to when they’re looking to buy and actually buying, is a chance to connect with consumers and drive them to purchase.
— The Integer Group (@IntegerGroup) September 18, 2017
We talk a lot about activation through the lens of what we call “Living, looking, buying” and think of that as a new commerce funnel. When we’re living our lives, we’re not looking to participate in a brand, and we don’t want to be disrupted. But what are those contextual points that we can connect that may spark us to drive a transaction on our smartphone?
You have to evolve at the speed of retail. Culture is crucial. What are those cultural insights, and how does that apply immediately to what’s happening in your consumers’ lives? Because that is a real genuine way that brands can connect.
What are some ways that brands are using new technology and platforms to create more engaging retail experiences?
For many, it’s about creating relevant stories—not content. There’s too much content out in the world already, and we don’t want to create content for the sake of creating content. For example, working with Pampers, they were marketing a pull-up that was more like underwear. The idea was, not only does it feel more like underwear, it’s a better tool for potty training.
So we created a digital pop-up storybook with a rhyme on each page. It became a tool to sell the mom on the product, but also for children to watch to empower them to feel like they want to be potty trained because now they get to wear underwear. So it was not only a great way to drive traffic, it was also a content driver because we created that relevant story.
— The Integer Group (@IntegerGroup) July 31, 2017
Connecting e-commerce and physical retail experiences is a major goal for many brands—how does Integer recommend brands approach this problem?
It’s definitely something we think about all the time. I can’t even think of one brand we work with that we don’t do e-commerce for because it’s all integrated. All transactions have to be seamless.
There are two stats that really drive the importance of e-commerce home. One is that 55 percent of all shoppers are starting a product search on Amazon, versus Google. That’s huge. These detailed product pages are the new brand building, when you think about how many more page views they receive versus the home page of your website.
The second is that 56 cents of every dollar spent in stores is influenced by digital interaction. So you have to have both. You can’t have the digital and in-store experience in separate silos. Consumers expect an extension of their world, and they’re crossing back and forth across the physical and digital when they buy. Both have to be seamlessly integrated.
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