This year’s Groceryshop was another whirlwind industry get-together. The excitement was palpable at the Mandalay Bay convention center as my colleagues and I connected with clients and immersed ourselves in fresh perspectives from influential leaders. 

What We Were Up To: Client Experiences

On Monday, we hosted an intimate dinner of French- and Italian-influenced cuisine at Rivea while enjoying the venue’s breathtaking view of the Las Vegas Strip. We wanted to spend time connecting with our valued brand and agency partners before the week’s activities began.

Aki - Groceryshop Blog 1Some snapshots from Groceryshop

Tuesday through Thursday, we held client meetings in a private suite at the Mandalay Bay and I met with many new and familiar faces during the 15-minute speed-dating style meetings.

Aki - Groceryshop Blog 1Meetings, meetings, meetings

On Wednesday, we jointly hosted a happy hour with Inmar Intelligence across two unique venues: the Minus 5 Ice Bar and the 1923 Prohibition speakeasy. We even recruited an illusionist to entertain clients, who left with Aki- and Inmar-branded decks of cards.

Aki - Groceryshop Blog 3Icey and dicey happy hour

Throughout the week, Inmar also had a show booth that brought to life several personalized seasonal activations. From enjoying influencer-inspired “create your own” charcuterie cups to sipping on bubbles during a live holiday gifting segment, attendees were able to experience the potential magic of tapping into holiday moments firsthand. Marketers checking out the booth found ways to drive shopper engagement across the path to purchase by leveraging media and influencer content to inspire purchases and deliver easy-to-find savings with personalized incentive and loyalty solutions. And we had a lot of fun!

Aki - Groceryshop Blog 4Holiday moments brought to life

What We Learned: 3 Key Trends

I left the event with a ton of inspiration and three key takeaways that marketers need to keep in mind as they address challenges and innovate to win.

#1. There is no funnel. Brands are now talking collaboratively and collectively about what it means that consumers don’t think of products in the funnel nor shopping in the funnel, and how to better align marketing efforts with how the consumer thinks today versus the classical approach.

#2. Brand and demand. Brand storytelling has become essential to marketing at retail. This is the time for brands to think about how to tell their unique differentiation story and how best to communicate their reason for existing. Best practices require pairing that with the opportunity to buy your product, whether by adding it to a list or picking it up in a store.

#3. Personalization at scale. The plethora of personalization variables —by flavor, time of day, occasion, persona, language, culture, etc. — give the brand many levers to pull to connect with consumers at a deeper level.

Reach out to us below to set up a meeting and chat in more detail about current grocery marketing trends and how to leverage them to grow your business.

Risa Crandall, SVP CPG Strategy and Sales at Aki