Ever wonder how an all-star sports team can come together to win, even if they haven’t played together before? Or how musicians can simply jump onstage and jam? The secret is they have a mindset — and a process — that supports great collaboration.
It’s surprising that in the shopper marketing space, where so many entities have a shared stake with the consumer, good collaboration remains rare. At first glance, some fault differing agendas among retailers, manufacturers and agencies. What we have found is that parties easily agree on what they want to achieve — like an increase in sales or a better shopper experience. But differences in policies or marketing protocols can create obstacles, and breakdown occurs.
Here are some of the ways teams can work together to build better retail initiatives.
1. Get all the critical players involved up front. To build greatness, and avoid getting ideas shot down later, engage diverse roles like marketing, category management, operations, and even key vendors.
2. Anchor on what you have in common: the shopper. Irrefutable insights ground teams on what they need to achieve and ignite a shared passion for improving retail experiences.
3. Shift from an individual to a team-results mindset. In our workshops, we don’t bring the answers, but we create forums that celebrate how teams solve problems together.
4. Focus on the task of co-creation. Structured exercises engage different perspectives and different parts of the brain to push ideas in new directions.
5. Leverage collaboration to create momentum. The ownership stakeholders feel in their co-created solution generates a chorus of support that can win over leadership and others needed to deliver the initiative.
Read more: The practice of consumer neuroscience
To sum it all up, believe in the value of the process. It’s tempting to proceed without the right people, or truncate the approach, or shortcut the timing. But by following these tried and tested tips, your future collaboration sessions are bound to move faster, generate higher-quality ideas, and most importantly, elevate the shopper’s experience.
Quick is head of insights and strategy at Shoptology, a shopper marketing agency. She will speak during a keynote during the Shopper Marketing Summit on Wednesday, March 26, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
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