P2PI March/April 2024

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Research focuses on retail media, budgeting, social commerce & more


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MARCH/APRIL 2024 P2PI. com



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Hall of Fame 2024

The Path to Purchase Institute shines the spotlight on this year’s honorees: executives from Mattel, CVS Health and Treasury Wine Estates.


Path to Purchase Trends & Tactics

Part 2 of our Trends 2024 report focuses on a survey that includes retail media, social media, e-commerce, in-store and more.

P-O-P Showcase

Our latest display gallery presents a sampling of eye-catching and effective in-store activations representing a variety of product categories and seasons.

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18 28 36
Follow the Path to Purchase Institute here: Contents 4 l March/April 2024 Dana Barba The Lemon Perfect Co. Stephen Bettencourt CVS Health Lianna Cabrera L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics Mia Croft Native Christiana DiMattesa Houser Under Armour Gregg Dorazio Giant Food (Ahold Delhaize) Paige Dunn FIJI Water, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, Landmark Vineyards & JNSQ Wines Tony Fung Bob Evans Farms
Hallberg Apple Travis Harry Home Depot Carter Jensen General Mills Brendon Lynch Jushi Holdings José Raul Padron The Hershey Experience Jonny Rigby Amazon Jeff Sciurba Dyson Americas Kelly Sweeney The J.M. Smucker Company Joseph Vizcarra The Coca-Cola Company Rodney Waights Beiersdorf Editorial Advisory Board DEPARTMENTS 5 Editor’s Note Now Trending 6 P2PI Member Spotlight 7 P2PI Member Perspective 8 Retail Media Summit Canada A recap of P2PI’s February event 12 The New Consumer All About Gen Z 13 Brand Watch A campaign from Bob’s Red Mill 14 Brand Watch Colgate Taps Into AR 15 Brand Watch Promoting Splenda Peel & Pour 16 In-Store Experience BJ’s Wholesale Club 41 Solutions & Innovations 44 Activation Gallery Nostalgia Marketing 46 Insider Intel Silk, Target and Sustainability 8 41 44 12 16 46 15 14

Now Trending

Every year, the Path to Purchase Institute conducts our annual Trends survey, polling our audience of CPG brand commerce marketers on everything from investment and budgeting to new strategies they’re leveraging and challenges they’re facing. This year, we split the survey into two parts: part 1 (which was released in the January/February edition of P2PI Magazine) asked respondents to rate the retailer media networks with which they work based on their relative strengths in targeting effectiveness, measurement capabilities, ROI, data sharing, sales growth, creative freedom and traffic-driving capabilities. This fi rst half of the survey also delved into retail media a bit deeper, polling our audience on investment and budget allocations, measurement, organizational mapping and predictions for the “next frontier” of retail media.

In this edition of the magazine, we now share the results from part 2 of the survey, which focuses on broader topics in commerce marketing, like overall budgeting, instore marketing, social media and artificial intelligence (AI), among other subjects. However, retail media still rose to the forefront of part 2 of the survey. When asked how their organization’s investment in certain areas had changed in 2023 vs. 2022, 70% of respondents said their investment in retailer media networks had increased, the most for any area we identified. Social media (66%), e-commerce content (58%), digital media other than retail media (55%) and insights & analytics (54%) were the other areas most identified as having increased.

Furthermore, when asked to select up to three strategies/tactics from our list that have been most important to their organizations in the last year, 40% identified retailer media networks. Only e-commerce content (48%) was selected more, while search (SEO/SEM) and social media garnered similar percentages to RMNs.

In addition to retail media, AI was also (unsurprisingly) at the top of our survey takers’ minds. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said their organizations were already leveraging AI in their 2023 marketing strategies — 48% qualified their use as minimal and 11% as moderate or extensive. For 2024, 87% said they will leverage it — 61% minimally and 26% moderately or extensively.

These are just some of the factoids you’ll fi nd in our report, which you can dig into further beginning on page 28. (Editor’s note: Members of P2PI also get access to the full research deck at P2PI.com).

Also in this issue, we bring you another longstanding P2PI tradition — our annual Hall of Fame inductees. Each year since 1994, the editors of the Path to Purchase Institute have selected three industry leaders for induction into the Hall of Fame. From their daily business practices to the work they produce, these honorees represent the very best of the commerce marketing industry. Collectively, these professionals have proven that they don’t just follow the path to purchase; rather, they help build it. The 2024 inductees are Tammy Ackerman, Treasury Wine Estates; Stephen Bettencourt, CVS Health; and Pamela Velarde, Mattel.

We profi le these inspiring individuals and their contributions to the commerce marketing industry starting on page 18. And this spring we’ll celebrate these honorees at an awards ceremony and reception during Future Forward, May 13-15 in Philadelphia.

As our industry rolls into the rest of 2024 after a very busy, fast-paced Q1, I think this advice from inductee Ackerman is particularly good to keep in mind: “Follow your passions with experiences and exposure to things, and then prioritize relationships, stay tech-savvy and always keep the consumer at the forefront of your decisions.”


Senior Vice President, Brand Director Eric Savitch esavitch@ensembleiq.com


Editorial Director Jessie Dowd jdowd@ensembleiq.com

Executive Editor Tim Binder tbinder@ensembleiq.com

Managing Editor Charlie Menchaca cmenchaca@ensembleiq.com

Digital Editor Jacqueline Barba jbarba@ensembleiq.com

Managing Editor, Member Content Cyndi Loza cloza@ensembleiq.com

Editor, Member Content Heidi Bitsoli hbitsoli@ensembleiq.com

Director, Events Content and Strategic Engagement

Lori Pugh lpugh@ensembleiq.com

Contributing Writers Michael Applebaum, Ed Finkel, Erika Flynn, Jenny Rebholz, Bill Schober


Associate Director, Brand Partnerships Arlene Schusteff 847.533.2697, aschusteff@ensembleiq.com

Regional Sales Manager Orlando Llerandi 678.591.8284, ollerandi@ensembleiq.com


Director of Retail Patrycja Malinowska pmalinowska@ensembleiq.com

Sr. Director, Membership Development Nicole Mitchell 203.434.5733, nmitchell@ensembleiq.com

Membership Experience Manager Ann Estey aestey@ensembleiq.com

Manager, Membership Development Brady O’Brien bobrien@ensembleiq.com

Membership Experience Manager Heather Kurtik 724.553.0093, hkurtik@ensembleiq.com


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Meet the Marketers


Main job responsibilities: I work as the agency’s multicultural strategist and subject matter expert across verticals. I am a member of the strategic planning and research team. Through research and data mining, I work to uncover multicultural insights that matter.

How you win with shoppers during uncertain economic times: We help clients get more from their existing marketing budgets by uncovering new consumer opportunities. To do it, we show them how cultural values they haven’t noticed or understood are informing consumer purchasing decisions. These values are gateways to brand connections that clients need to grow their businesses.

New marketing tactic that you use: Triangulation is powerful. By combining quantitative data, anecdotal narrative and observation, we create a congruence that takes the guesswork out of multicultural marketing. When the stories that people tell us about what they buy and why match our observations and data, we have clear direction and proof.

Best career advice you’ve received: Do what you love, and the rest will follow.

Memorable aha moment in your career: There have been many. Someone I’m interviewing tells me something about their life, and the wider opportunity crystallizes. Most recently, I was working on a campaign for military families. As retired Air Force lieutenant Marcenia Cofield told me about her deployment experiences, all the data we had on military families came to life. We needed to focus on their widely shared, lived experience.

What you are reading or watching right now: I’m always reading peer journal articles. And I’m deeply passionate about immersive, cultural storytelling. No surprise there, right? The “Shogun” TV series has recently captured my imagination.

Summer travel plans: Honestly, that feels light years away. I’m not exactly sure just yet. I have a couple of fun destinations in mind, though. Please wish me luck that I get to one of them.

Main job responsibilities: I work with our clients to make a brand impact. From concept to retail execution, my team is leading the charge to solve stubborn brand challenges with compelling creative, strategic point of sale (POS) and delivering to market utilizing our trade marketing operating system known as Brandhub.

How you win with shoppers during uncertain economic times: With our operating system, every user has the information they need to feel empowered and make good decisions. It helps marketers see how much they are spending on retail marketing, on what tactics, in what location and — most importantly — what results they are getting.

New marketing tactic that you use: We are really focused on solving for sustainability and waste that comes with the POS territory. Impactful displays are only impactful if they actually make it to the floor. We obtain the data our clients need to spend the right dollar amount on the right pieces that truly drive sales.

Best career advice you’ve received: Do what you say you are going to do and don’t be afraid to take a risk.

What you are reading or watching right now: My free time is mostly dedicated to my two daughters’ busy schedules — from hockey to soccer, and dance to track. I’m soaking in every minute and will catch up on binging some good Netfl ix shows in a few years.

6 l March/April 2024 Member Spotlight

Unlocking an Untapped Channel


In 2022, the U.S. digital coupons market was estimated to be $150.8 billion, and expected to grow by 18.5% over the next five years. Changing consumer preferences, new technologies and a shifting digital landscape are driving rapid growth and innovation in this market.

Digital coupons are delivered through retailers, on coupon platforms and savings apps. As a result of this growth rate, it comes as no surprise that other industries with high consumer engagement seek ways to participate.

In addition to having fi rst-party shopping data from roughly 200 million consumers, U.S. consumer banks have strong engagement: 66% of their customers open their apps at least once each week and often visit their banks’ rewards programs. These programs are designed to drive card spend by offering deals from major retailers. However, there is one major limitation. The offers are not funded by brands or applied to specific SKUs.

Moreover, these deals don’t include everyday purchases such as groceries, primarily because banks cannot track item-level spending, limiting offers to percentages off the entire basket. Thus, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have been locked out of this valuable market opportunity.

It was always our ultimate goal to provide 100% attribution from CPG ad impression to in-store purchase, and then price it so the media buyer only pays when the shopper purchases the product. Our journey took years of trials and several challenges to overcome. In the end, we overachieved through a series of unexpected triumphs.

Companies such as Snipp Interactive have worked with CPG brands for more than a decade to drive shopper acquisition, retention and engagement. There are tools for tracking proof of purchases made in-store. The detailed basket data that is captured by these platforms is a critical value add.

We couldn’t help but wonder, after years of supporting customers’ campaigns when placed in third-party audiences, how could it be made better? While 100% attribution is essential, brands also wanted to reach all types of shoppers, not just coupon seekers. A fortuitous and unique relationship between Snipp management and several tier-one U.S. consumer banks came into play. What if we combined core technical capabilities with fi nancial institutions’ massive and loyal cardholder base? All the pieces fell into place. There is a mountain of fi rst-party shopping data, an engaged and untapped user base, a trusted and secure environment, and a broad targetable demographic and psychographic audience that no CPG was ever able to reach.

After several decades creating and deploying innovative digital media and loyalty products, you learn that the dogs don’t always eat the dog food, no matter how good the chef. Thankfully we partnered with banks, and the effort proved consumers were indeed hungry for the offers. In March 2024,

There is a mountain of first-party shopping data, an engaged and untapped user base, a trusted and secure environment, and a broad targetable demographic and psychographic audience that no CPG was ever able to reach.

Snipp’s new payments media network launched to 70 million active and loyal shoppers. Solutions like these do not only provide access to a massive and loyal cardholder base. They also offer a secure and trusted environment for consumers. By combining cutting-edge technology with a broad range of data, we have paved the way for the next era of shopper acquisition, engagement and attribution.

About the Author

Tom J. Burgess, president, Snipp Media, is a serial entrepreneur and innovator with a career spanning more than 20 years focused on advertising, digital media technology, data and loyalty. He has been granted multiple patents for his pioneering work in these fields. Burgess is an active board member and advisor with a focus on sales acceleration, guerrilla marketing, culture management, corporate development and investor relations.

Member Perspective P2PI.com

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Retail Media Summit Canada Recap


The Path to Purchase Institute brought its popular Retail Media Summit to Canada in February. Retailers, brand marketers and solution providers alike gathered on Feb. 6 at the Toronto Congress Centre to unpack the retail media challenges and opportunities unique to Canada as well as across the globe.

Topics and themes from P2PI’s inaugural Retail Media Summit Canada ranged from the importance of closed-loop measurement and an omnichannel approach, to organizational mapping and enhancing a shopper’s experience across the path to purchase. Read on for some of the highlights from the day.


The numbers surrounding retail media’s growing influence and power in the marketing industry are usually huge across the globe, and it’s no different in Canada. Retail media ad spend is expected to reach 5 billion Canadian dollars by 2027 (a huge jump from 2 billion Canadian dollars in 2022) and, in fewer than three years, will double the ad spend of traditional TV.

While it continues to grow in importance, retail media has also become commonplace in the commerce marketing industry. “This is no longer an emerging media format. [Retail media] is here,” said Jeremy Vianna, vice president and general manager, audience and ad products, Advance powered by Loblaw, noting retail media will account for 1 in 5 digital ad dollars spent in Canada this year. “It’s not in the startup phase anymore. It’s a trusted part of a marketer’s playbook.”

8 l March/April 2024
Jeremy Vianna, vice president and general manager, audience and ad products, Advance powered by Loblaw

In his session kicking off the event, Vianna urged attendees to consider a few key practices and trends to inform and advance their retail media strategies and campaigns. Among them, Vianna suggested taking into consideration both the e-commerce shopper journey (opening email, browsing deals in a digital circular, checking out online, etc.) as well as the in-store purchase journey (hear or see an in-store ad, etc.). Analyzing campaigns run though the retailer, Vianna said advertisers that are layering tactics across different modalities (onsite and offsite) are seeing major lift in their conversion success (versus those activating offsite media alone).

“People move in and out of different buying behaviors,” he said. “When you think about the myriad and drastic increase in marketing touchpoints that you have available, you have to have a plan to be able to address all these things. The idea is not to think about the physical journey or the digital journey as an ‘or’ but to think of them as an ‘and.’”

Another trend Vianna highlighted was the adoption of connected TV and streaming platforms among consumers, and that connected TV ad spend in the country is projected to reach nearly 1 billion Canadian dollars by 2025. Responding to this shift as well as the deprecation of third-party cookies, retail media networks are partnering with streaming and connected TV platforms to align with consumer habits embracing streaming and smart TVs and offer better, measurable solutions to advertisers.

[Retail media] is no longer an emerging media format. It’s not in the startup phase anymore. It’s a trusted part of a marketer’s playbook.

Jeremy Vianna, Advance powered by Loblaw

Lastly, Vianna spoke about three key measurement requirements to unlock the opportunity of the next wave of retail media:

• Credible. We don’t want RMNs grading their own homework, like platforms have done in the past, explained Vianna. Third-party verified data is foundational to building trust.

• Scalable. Lack of measurement standardization hurts scale. Simple metric defi nitions and consistency across networks will allow marketers to speak the same language, Vianna said.

• Actionable. Moving from purchase attribution to telling the story of incremental sales.


Retail media is akin to a very high-level sport, said Claire Wyatt, reflecting on her career with retail media network Roundel and now with Albertsons Media Collective as vice president of business strategy and marketing science. “It feels like you have to show up every day and be very aggressive [and] you kind of fall a lot,” she said.

If you examine retail media’s emergence and evolution over the years, the fi rst wave of retail media in the U.S. began with a focus on monetizing a retailer’s own digital properties (solutions like onsite search and display) and driving gross margin. “Retail media 2.0” was a pivot to retailers operating more like a media publisher.

“Retail media 3.0 is a complete integration of the entire business that perpetuates the flywheel of retail media,” Wyatt said. “It is ... [about] how do you gather as much data about your customers, in a very privacy-focused way, as quickly as possible, and then use that data to then monetize what we now call retail media — but my expectation is, in the future, it’ll be something different and something even more data-centric.”

Expanding on this, Wyatt highlights how retail media is not just a media channel (with solutions on retailer-owned properties), but also a layer that supports other channels. First-party data from RMNs can be leveraged for targeting and attribution on digital ad channels such as Roku, Facebook and Google.

Claire Wyatt, vice president of business strategy & marketing science, Albertsons Media Collective

Retail media is not just a media channel, but also a layer that supports other channels, says Albertsons Media Collective’s Claire Wyatt.

“When we talk about spend shifting into retail media, it is somewhat shifting to retail media from other channels, but it is actually really a different way to activate those channels,” Wyatt explained.

The value proposition of a retail media network is closedloop measurement and audience data, Wyatt said. When it comes to measurement, there are three key considerations for Albertsons:

• Closed-Loop Measurement. The importance of being able to tie the advertising (inclusive of online and in-store) to a sale. (If this is an issue, Wyatt advised leveraging third-party partners for help.)

• Incrementality. Incremental return on ad spend (ROAS) showcases the true impact of media. There are various methodologies to incrementality measurement but, the most important is not which is employed, but rather an RMN’s transparency with its clients, Wyatt said.

• Key performance indicators (KPIs) tied to objective As retail media moves up the funnel, it’s important to add more KPIs than just ROAS. KPIs like “new customer” or “customer lifetime value” will become more popular as retail media networks expand into more awareness channels.

When considering campaign objectives, such as awareness and sales, there are related and appropriate strategies, channels and KPIs. A campaign with an upper-funnel, awareness objective, for example, should not have ROAS as a KPI, but instead a KPI such as “new to brand,” Wyatt said.


When it comes to in-store retail media, the shopper experience needs to be top priority, according to Chris Riegel, chief executive officer of Stratacache, a global in-store retail media, digital signage and advanced sensor solution provider.

“We walk into retailers around the globe all the time [asking,] what are you trying to accomplish? ‘I want more money.’ Cool. Wrong, but cool. How are you going to improve that customer’s journey ... should be the question,” Riegel said. “Improve her experience in-store. Help her achieve that strategic goal and give her a reason to come back to your store more frequently to have a better experience.”

Riegel highlighted a few solutions and examples to engage with shoppers in-store, including entryway kiosks displaying a

touch-enabled circular and custom promotional content, and digital, interactive fi xtures that offer product comparison, selection, and education similar to an e-commerce site.

He also shared a retail media three-point plan for retailers to consider. First, they should decide on whether they want to build a shopper marketing or digital out of home network. There are categories where DOOH makes sense (billboards, etc.), but if they want to build a shopper marketing network, they need to own that customer journey, Riegel said.

“I ask retailers all the time, ‘Who is your competition when you’re selling a shopper marketing network?’ It’s not Loblaws

Who is your competition when you’re selling a shopper marketing network? ... You’re competing with TikTok, you’re competing with Meta, you’re competing with Google.

competing with Sobeys or Kroger competing with Walmart competing with Target. You’re competing with TikTok, you’re competing with Meta, you’re competing with Google,” Riegel said. “The difference is you have the shopper in your store and you have the product on your shelf and the ability to convert that sale. They do not.”

Additionally, Riegel emphasized having digital screens instore is simply not enough and a measurement infrastructure needs to be in place from the start. He also encouraged executives to start having dialogues with their loyalty and shopper insights teams to implement a streaming/CTV strategy.

Wrapping up his takeaways for the audience, he highlighted:

• Embrace customers as audiences in store and at home.

• The use of in-store media networks onsite and CTV offsite can open new paths to high-margin revenue that can significantly impact a company’s bottom line.

• All uses of media should enhance a shopper’s experience and yield a more successful journey.


There’s no question that retail media has become the media darling. Sharing results from a “Canada Retail Media 2024” study eMarketer produced in conjunction with the IAB Canada, Sonia Carreno, IAB Canada president, highlighted a few insights that painted a picture of the current Canadian retail media landscape:

• Search will account for 65% of retail media ad spend this year. (“That’s no surprise,” Carreno said. “We’re very

10 l March/April 2024

comfortable with the fact that retail media plays a lower-funnel role in most of our media spending and it feels like the sure thing. It feels like it’s contextually relevant. It feels like it’s going to have a high ROAS, and I think that’s a very Canadian approach.”)

• 35% of retail media ad spend will be directed to display and video in 2024.

As part of the study, the top media buyers in Canada were also asked what the most important attributes are when buying ads in retail media.

“Traffic quality” was cited as the most important attribute, Carreno said. “I suspect that Canadians are looking at this from a lower formal opportunity lens,” she added.

Among some of the opportunities and challenges to work through within the Canadian market:

• Conservative attachment to lower-funnel performance advertising.

• First-party data jitters with new regulations in Quebec requiring consents and more rules to come.

• Tech stack limitations (self-serve platforms are coming, Carreno said, but not at the speed and scale of the U.S.).


From organization mapping to emerging trends and strategies in the space, executives from Threefold, Keurig Dr Pepper and Google Canada shared their insights and positions on a variety of topics for a panel discussion examining the current retail media landscape in the U.S., Canada and across the globe.

Considering retail media’s defi nition, Richard Rodgers, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada’s marketing director – Keurig, said he approaches it as an

enabler for a seamless omnichannel experience, allowing for personalized consumer experiences when they’re in the shopping mindset. Building on Rodgers’ comments, Sean Crawford, managing director, North America, Threefold, emphasized the shopper is (or at least should be) at the heart of retail media.

“Retail media is not ad sales,” Crawford said. “I think if we put shoppers at the heart of everything that we’re doing, that’s the true defi nition of retail media. And it’s important that any marketing we do helps, absolutely, enhance their experience — whether that is in store or on [a retailer’s] website.”

As far as organizational mapping, Rodgers shared omnichannel efforts were being pushed internally at his company even before the COVID-19 pandemic, which only accelerated and forced the issue. Traditional shopper marketing and digital shelf teams merged and, most recently, the brand marketing team was brought into the mix (keeping the function separate but under one leadership).

I think if we put shoppers at the heart of everything that we’re doing, that’s the true definition of retail media.
— Sean Crawford, Threefold

“I think there’s a lot of organizations that are interested in doing that or exploring that,” Rodgers said. “We’re lucky enough to [have taken] that plunge, and it’s been very successful for us and we anticipate other companies will follow.”

Emphasizing the importance of brand presences and engaging shoppers across the path to purchase, John Fanous, head of omnichannel retail, Google Canada, shared that during the course of the 40-minute panel there will be 7,300 searches for shampoo and 3,000 videos viewed on YouTube on how to get lustrous hair. Moreover, he also shared that a third of Canadian consumers are actively seeking out an alternate brand to the one that they are used to buying.

“That means a lot of opportunities. Also, means a lot of risk,” Fanous said. “Retail media’s ability to actually leverage the knowledge of the customer to essentially bring the right message to the right customer has never been more important.”

Sonia Carreno, IAB Canada president From left to right: Jessie Dowd, P2PI editorial director; Richard Rodgers, marketing director – Keurig, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada; John Fanous, head of omnichannel retail, Google Canada; and Sean Crawford, managing director, North America, Threefold

The New Consumer

All About Gen Z


Gen Z is a unique demographic and more multicultural compared to previous generations. They grew up in the age of the internet and social media. Many understand AI and the problems facing their future, like climate change and social issues, and their behavior as consumers is shaped by the reality and cultures they’ve grown up with.

Clean-Label Sentiment

While the majority of consumers think clean labels are important, Gen Z (along with Millennials) are the strongest advocates. Gen Zers plan to buy more of these products in the future, support more legislation and want retailers to provide these products and defi ne what “clean” means.

According to Acosta Group’s 2024 Clean Label Insights study focused on the food/beverages category, some notable stats include:

• 55% of shoppers (72% of Gen Z) believe more regulations are needed.

• Gen Z and Millennials particularly value natural or certified organic products.

• Younger consumers primarily cite health benefits as the driving force to these products.

• 70% of all shoppers want retailers to help them understand clean label products.

In terms of clean beauty/personal care products, Ulta’s latest ESG report (2022) indicated that:

• Over 50% of Gen Z look closely at ingredients prior to making a purchase.

Gen Z at a glance



PERCENT OF U.S. POPULATION: about 21% $360 billion (as of 2021, per Bloomberg)

• 90% of Gen Z and younger Millennials are interested in purchasing clean beauty products in the future.

Preferred Search Engine

Gen Z consumers are also leading another pivotal shift. According to a U.S. consumer study from marketing platform SOCi Inc., traditional search engines like Google and Bing no longer reign supreme among this age demographic. Instead:

• 67% of Gen Zers (or in this study’s case, 18- to 24-year-olds) favor Instagram.

• 62% favor TikTok.

• 61% favor Google Search, which is still the undisputed search engine champ for older generations.

Other Interesting Gen Z Trends/Stats

• 58% of Gen Z in the U.S. begin their online product searches on Amazon and 43% start on Walmart.com, according to a February 2023 Jungle Scout survey.

• One in three Gen Zers have bought from an influencer-founded brand in the past year, according to eMarketer.

• Nearly a third of Gen Zers bought or planned to buy their 2023 holiday gifts on TikTok Shops, per CivicScience research.

• 67% of Gen Z fi nd brand purpose important or critically important to maintaining brand loyalty, according to Marigold’s 2024 Consumer Trends Index.

• 52% of Gen Zers in the U.S. and U.K. say they are likely to switch retailers for checkout-free stores, according to 2023 research from Avery Dennison.

• That same study found that 49% say they would likely spend more at a retailer with a connected or automated checkout experience.

12 l March/April 2024
 Google Search  Google Maps  Facebook  Instagram  Snapchat  TikTok 18-24 61% 37% 39% 67% 45% 62% 25-34 68% 60% 50% 54% 37% 44% 35-44 76% 65% 57% 50% 30% 36% 45-54 74% 51% 57% 21% 12% 19% 55-64 79% 48% 60% 15% 3% 11% 65+ 72% 29% 44% 8% 0% 3%
Usage of Local Apps by Age Group
AGE GROUP AGE GROUP Source: SOCI Inc. (2024)

Bob’s Red Mill Unites Media, Shopper


Bob’s Red Mill customized its approach with key retailers this year in a cohesive campaign for its rolled oats products.

The “Start with the Best Oats” campaign, which ran from Jan. 10 through March 24, combined the brand’s media and shopper marketing efforts for the fi rst time. The program was created by agency Blue Chip with the goal of increasing sales with high potential shoppers and priority retailers such as Albertsons Cos., Kroger and Walmart.

The brand sought health-conscious women ages 25 to 54 with a high propensity to be future Bob’s Red Mill consumers in the Florida cities of Miami and Orlando as well as locales such as Baltimore, Boston and Hartford, Connecticut.

“We can grow substantially by outsmarting, not outspending, our category competitors,” says Ally Borozan, Bob’s Red Mill chief growth officer and leader of the brand’s revamp. “We are unifying our marketing to give our best consumers a consistent, relevant brand experience that supports their complete product journey. One audience, one agency team and one focus give us significantly more punch.”

The brand’s integrated media strategy relied on video to tell the story, audio to drive traffic and paid Facebook and Instagram placements for food curiosity and inspiration. Offsite display ads on websites such as Allrecipes.com were used for retargeting. Near-store and in-store media rounded out the mix to drive sales.

Photo and video creative from the Bob’s Red Mill team highlighted the value of the oats’ premium taste and texture. In Kroger chains, a SmartSource shelf talker positioned next to Bob’s SKUs had detailed oatmeal imagery and “the best breakfast is in the blue bag” messaging. The campaign’s offsite display ads were used to court curated audience segments based on fi rst-party data from 84.51.

Bob’s prioritized incentive-based platforms such as Prodege for Walmart’s price-conscious shoppers. Then at Albertsons, an ongoing sales lift study will test iROAS for future campaign considerations.

“Engaging potential consumers from their kitchen to the breakfast aisle is key to growing household penetration in the crowded breakfast category,” says Erich Parker, senior vice president, integrated media, at Blue Chip. “By meeting consumers wherever they are on their path to the aisle, we can build brand health, motivate purchase and increase the lifetime value of Bob’s Red Mill consumers.”

Engaging potential consumers from their kitchen to the breakfast aisle is key to growing household penetration in the crowded breakfast category.

Erich Parker, Blue Chip


Brand Watch

Colgate Taps Into AR Experience


Colgate-Palmolive plans to expand use of an augmented reality tool that goes beyond superficial claims of whiter teeth.

Colgate worked with Perfect Corp., a beauty and fashion tech solutions provider, to launch its Teeth Whitening Virtual Experience in the fall of 2022. Since then, the manufacturer has seen a more than 40% increase in consumers clicking “Buy Now” buttons associated with the product, according to a written case study.

The AR-powered function simulates results that might be achieved from using the Colgate Optic White overnight teeth whitening pen after two weeks.

“As a science-based company, Colgate wanted to provide consumers with a realistic augmented reality experience so they could see for themselves the difference that our whitening products can make for their own teeth,” said Gary Binstock, director of technology, strategic innovation and technology alliances, at Colgate-Palmolive, in the case study. “We needed an AR system that reflected what our researchers had found in laboratory settings.”

The experience was developed through extensive research and collaboration between Colgate scientists and Perfect Corp.’s engineers. Perfect worked with the scientists to integrate a specialized algorithm to bring vivid results to life through AR simulation.

While most consumers access the virtual experience through Colgate’s website, the company also is expanding access on an omnichannel basis, including on-pack QR codes. The tool was initially promoted in earned media coverage and on Colgate’s corporate news blog.

“We can embed access through our URL on retailer websites or by placing QR codes on product packaging, or on retail shelves and displays,” Binstock said in the study. “We have many ways to invite consumers into our virtual experience.”

The intent to purchase actions have been strong compared to any kind of standard engagement. Colgate found consumers stay on the company’s Whitening Hub website longer when they engage with the virtual tool.

“Our AR experience captivates consumers and they are spending more time on our site, including reading about products and watching videos,” Binstock said in the study. “All of this makes it easier for them to decide on making a purchase.”

Colgate looks to extend the virtual experience to other Optic White products and roll the AR visualization out to additional global customers.

As a science-based company, Colgate wanted to provide consumers with a realistic augmented reality experience so they could see for themselves the difference that our whitening products can make for their own teeth.
Gary Binstock, Colgate-Palmolive
14 l March/April 2024

Splenda Embraces Trends, Occasions


Heartland Food Product Group’s Splenda is leveraging hot and timely topics for successful results across channels.

The brand worked with The Krazy Coupon Lady (KCL) to promote its Peel & Pour product in various campaigns over the past year. Although the campaigns last only one or two weeks at a time, they center on trends that keep Splenda top of mind for consumers.

“We use KCL as a way to endorse our products through authentic content and drive trial,” said Olivia Malatestinic, Heartland social media specialist, in a written case study. “When we need to not only drive awareness but also get in front of consumers who are ready to take action, we turn to KCL.”

A campaign for Splenda Peel & Pour in June last year set out to bolster brand recognition, generate sales and increase foot traffic at Giant, H-E-B, Publix and ShopRite stores. The brand offered a SmartSource coupon for $3 off any Peel & Pour six-pack. There was also in-store signage in more than 6,000 stores and an FSI with “try for $0.99” messaging.

The KCL editorial team wrote a post for the campaign to align Splenda with #Watertok, a trend that debuted on the TikTok social media platform in April 2023. The focus is on enhancing water with flavorings to encourage consumption. The campaign utilized Facebook, Instagram, email and text messages.

Instagram story posts tied to the campaign delivered 769,000 impressions, four times the original estimate, according to the case study. A Facebook post for the campaign

delivered 476,000 impressions, and the editorial post delivered 386,000 impressions. In all, the program saw a 48% sales lift, says Summer Beale, Heartland associate shopper marketing manager.

A two-week campaign this February to promote Peel & Pour at Walmart had a 214% sales lift. This time, KCL tied in to Galentine’s Day, which is a holiday dedicated to celebrating female friendship and a play on Valentine’s Day. The content encouraged consumers to make day drinks using Peel & Pour products and sip them from the popular Stanley brand of tumblers.

KCL’s content also plugged a monthlong deal ending March 1. Shoppers that purchased six-count packs of Peel & Pour at Walmart received $5 cash back after scanning their receipt in the Ibotta app.

Although the Galentine’s Day campaign did not have any in-store activations, the campaign had a presence across text messages, newsletter, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok, Beale says.


The demographic reach of The Krazy Coupon Lady’s June 2023 Splenda campaign was:

89% 30% 33%

Women Ages 35-44 Ages 45-54

Brand Watch

BJ’s Wholesale Club


Marlborough, Massachusetts-based BJ’s Wholesale Club is the third largest warehouse club chain in the U.S., operating 244 clubs and 175 BJ’s Gas locations across 20 states (as of March 7).

The fi rst BJ’s club opened in New England in 1984. It remained unique to the East/Southeastern Coast up until the early 2000s, when it expanded into parts of the Midwest, (i.e., Ohio, Michigan and Indiana). More recently, BJ’s expanded further in the South, opening clubs in Tennessee and Alabama for the fi rst time in 2023, while also continuing to grow its footprint in existing territories. In early 2025, BJ’s plans to open its fi rst Kentucky location in Louisville.

BJ’s clubs range in size from 44,000-177,000 square feet, usually based on how dense/populated a market is, though the typical size is around 100,000 square feet. The clubs carry a notably slimmer product selection compared to supermarkets or supercenters, roughly 7,000 SKUs, comprising both brand name and private-label items.

BJ’s clubs offer two divisions: grocery and general merchandise/services. Grocery makes up about 85% of the retailer’s annual sales, while general merchandise and services (e.g., small appliances, TVs, electronics, seasonal goods, etc.) make up about 15%.

The Path to Purchase Institute recently visited a few BJ’s locations in Florida. The clubs offer ample fresh foods and produce, a full-service deli, household essentials and pet supplies as well as a selection of local products.

While most clubs follow a similar format, they do differ from Costco and Sam’s Club. For instance, the retailer sells 50% more fresh food per member each year than its channel rivals. It also heavily promotes its food and household offerings in an effort to compete more directly with supermarkets.

BJ’s also has enhanced its product assortment in recent years after reinventing its fresh offerings in 2022. The retailer also made moves to drive own-brands penetration and expand into high-demand categories, including better-for-you snacks, fitness, recreation and seasonal products.

Also, unlike channel rival Sam’s Club, pallet skirts are still very prevalent in BJ’s stores. (Sam’s banned pallet base wraps in 2018 due to low ROI.) Many BJ’s pallets are also typically slightly shorter than a traditional 52-inch pallet to stack a larger variety of products.

BJ’s also generally accepts more manufacturer-supplied P-O-P materials than Sam’s Club and Costco, including pallet displays/skirts, stanchion signs, shelf trays, demonstration/sampling kits, neckhangers, take-one dispensers, wall banners, floorstands and inflatables.

One popular and plentiful space for brands to take over are display rolling racks positioned on the side of endcaps, facing the aisle, usually coupled with a branded sign and shelf trays/cases. These spots are often used as secondary

In-Store Experience 16 l March/April 2024

merchandising space, usually stocking a smaller number of SKUs, and sometimes featuring account-specific signage.

Some account-specific displays also depict QR codes linking to branded sites or BJs.com, including one spotted during our visit from General Mills’ Blue Buffalo that linked to a product video via a BJ’s QR code.

There are not only rolling racks, but sometimes other displays, including one permanent co-branded metal display rack by BJ’s and Procter & Gamble’s Gillette stocking Gillette razors with branded shelf trays and signs.

Additionally, in-aisle merchandising space can be used to showcase out-of-box products next to boxed SKUs.

BJ’s also runs routine retailer-led promotions incorporating brand involvement and account-specific activations in stores, providing an opportunity to dangle savings to members.

In other 2023 activity, BJ’s teamed with Simbe Robotics to roll out the tech company’s Tally inventory analysis robots chainwide. The robot’s cameras and AI roam the stores and collect real-time data, ensuring products are stocked, shelved correctly and priced accurately.


Introducing Our 2024 Hall of Fame Honorees

Each year since 1994, the editors of the Path to Purchase Institute have selected three industry leaders for induction into the Hall of Fame. From their daily business practices to the work they produce, these honorees represent the very best of the commerce marketing industry. Collectively, these professionals have proven that they don’t just follow the path to purchase; rather, they help build it. The 2024 inductees are:

 Tammy Ackerman, Treasury Wine Estates

 Stephen Bettencourt, CVS Health (page 22)

 Pamela Velarde, Mattel (page 25)

For a complete list of Hall of Fame inductees, visit P2PI.com/HallofFame

18 l March/April 2024

Tammy Ackerman

Vice President, Retail E-Commerce TREASURY WINE ESTATES

Tammy Ackerman believes in the power of storytelling. It’s a skill she learned while in college, and one she has continued to master throughout her professional journey.

Over the past three years at Treasury Wine Estates, Ackerman has led entrepreneurial efforts to build the foundational knowledge, digital infrastructure and continuous process of testing, learning and sharing retail e-commerce best practices, while creating a strong bond among crossfunctional teams and fostering progress within the company.

She tells stories through her work to affect change, and she encourages those around her to do the same. “In business, storytelling is the catalyst that transforms ideas into impact, connects brands to hearts, and turns vision into reality,” she says.

Ackerman is the company’s vice president of retail e-commerce, responsible for leading a three-tier e-commerce department that includes strategy, insights, activation, performance media and trade business planning.


Ackerman’s personal journey began in Taipei, Taiwan, where she was the oldest child born to hard-working parents. She and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 6, and along with learning English before she could go to kindergarten, she recalls navigating cultural differences throughout her childhood — an experience that heightened her awareness of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Her journey into the workforce began in high school. From her fi rst job at a movie rental store, she says she “found the appeal of working, earning and gaining independence irresistible.”

Ackerman was the fi rst of her large immigrant Chinese family to go to college when she entered UC San Diego to study political science. “The program’s emphasis on writing assignments significantly honed my writing and storytelling skills that I still use today,” she says. She then went on to earn an MBA in marketing from the University of San Diego.


Ackerman’s post-graduate career took her into the world of fi nancial services at John Hancock for a few years before she took a job as an expansion coordinator for her collegiate co-ed business fraternity, and then as an events coordinator for the Senior Olympics.

She briefly considered pursuing other nonprofit work, but something still didn’t hit home. These “detours,” as she calls them today, helped her understand where she didn’t want to land long term, and gave her a basis for mentoring others in their own search.

Ackerman’s next move was as a marketing associate at San Diego beer wholesaler Mesa Distributing Co., where she gained experience collaborating with suppliers such as Miller Brewing, Sam Adams, Heineken and Tecate.

It was the beginning of her work in beverages and her fi rst role that focused on the consumer journey. “I just fell in love with the whole process of how to get a product marketed and distributed to a consumer at the end,” she says.

After a few years, she joined Miller Brewing Co., fi rst as an on-premise sales manager in California and later as a local marketing manager in Pennsylvania, which became the top-performing designated market area in the U.S., earning her team the Frederick Miller President’s Award in 2006. “Despite not being a major market at the time, we surpassed much larger markets, making it a momentous win for the entire team,” she notes.

Her next stop at PepsiCo broadened her consumer and retail expertise when she was charged with overseeing brands such as Pepsi and Mountain Dew across 14 states on the East Coast. Her responsibilities included aligning franchise bottlers on forecasting as well as merchandising,

Follow your passions with experiences and exposure to things, and then prioritize relationships, stay tech-savvy and always keep the consumer at the forefront of your decisions.

innovation product launches, and achieving core portfolio sales targets. “Collectively, these roles equipped me with the skills to adeptly partner with wholesalers, drive profitable growth for both established and emerging brands, and execute large-scale and grassroots marketing campaigns,” she says.


In 2010, wanting to transition from the East Coast back to California, Ackerman joined Treasury Wine Estates as a trade marketing director. Her passion for wine combined with her marketing experience made it a great fit. She held the role for two years and then assumed two brand management positions, one in innovation and then a global role for the company’s Beringer brand.

In this role, her team was faced with the challenge of demystifying wine for shoppers. Collaborations with agency TwinOaks to develop the Beringer Taste Station — a non-alcoholic wine sampling station at shelf dispensing taste strips — drove double-digit category growth, increased shelf dwell time and attracted new wine

consumers. For its efforts, the team earned a 2016 North American Effie.

Her next roles within TWE were director of marketing services and then senior director marketing strategy and capability, leading efforts in strategic planning, insights, innovation, process and capability across eight brand marketing teams.

At the end of 2017, she left the company to join Mezzetta, take on a new challenge of building their shopper and e-commerce capabilities, and broaden her expertise in a category outside of CPG.

Just over a year later, a new opportunity arose at TWE that Ackerman couldn’t pass up. Michelle Terry, then global CMO, created a marketing and sales execution role for her that was the largest team leadership opportunity of her career, overseeing a total of 32 professionals across five departments. She was in this role for less than a year when the pandemic hit. A staunch advocate for increasing the company’s e-commerce activities, Ackerman credits Carl Evans, CMO, and Ben Dollard, president of the Americas, with contributing thought leadership, allocating dedicated resources and underscoring the significance of three-tier e-commerce in the company’s overall sales and marketing strategy.

It was then that Ackerman assumed her current post.

Today, Ackerman says her most impactful work involves leading highperforming and diverse teams across various marketing disciplines as well as building on the development of TWE’s e-commerce capabilities. “This journey, marked by personal and professional growth, involved collaboration with key internal and external team members to create a new capability from scratch, significantly impacting our overall business,” she says.

20 l March/April 2024
Tammy Ackerman, right, and her sole team member, Kelly Winkler, Treasury Wine Estates retail e-commerce manager.


Ackerman has served on the BevAlc Commerce Initiative (BACi) Advisory Board since its inception. The Path to Purchase Institute industry share group was established to unite thought leaders in the BevAlc industry, fostering a comprehensive understanding of integrated omni-commerce strategies. She has witnessed the group’s evolution in addressing the intricacies of marketing in the three-tier system.

“In the fiercely competitive BevAlc industry, having a dedicated forum to discuss industry-wide impacts is invaluable,” she says.

Although still in its early stages, the group’s potential for growth is vast, Ackerman believes. “What excites me is our members driving the agenda, positioning our group at the forefront of identifying trends, capabilities, and best practices for enhanced shopper engagement and brand growth opportunities,” she says.

This year will bring with it proprietary research, learning labs, discussions and an in-person meeting — all in an effort to shape the future of the industry through collaboration, shared insights and innovation. She is committed to actively contributing to the momentum of BACi, engaging with senior leaders across beer, wine and spirits categories to establish online marketing standards and best practices that will elevate the entire sector.


Going forward, Ackerman will continue to work to enhance TWE’s internal omnichannel commerce capabilities. “The evolving market landscape, coupled with shifting consumer behaviors, necessitates a seamless integration of physical and digital activations for a unified brand engagement,” she says. “Addressing where, how and when consumers purchase wine, as well as their dynamic expectations for brand content, is crucial for our success.”

She is also committed to sharing her knowledge and experiences with others coming up in the industry. As a senior leader, she sees mentorship as essential and says witnessing professionals grow through this process is highly rewarding.

Her biggest pieces of advice are this: cultivate continuous learning and development. In other words, continuously ask questions, seek knowledge and be aware of emerging trends. “Construct a personal development plan that transcends mere title advancements, measuring your career progression by the exposure to projects and experiences that challenge you, allowing for continuous skill expansion,” she says.

Also important is to embrace non-linear paths. Forget the job title, she says, and be open to career trajectories that may not seem straightforward because roles on crossfunctional teams can significantly broaden anyone’s skill set and enhance overall business acumen. “Follow your passions with experiences and exposure to things, and then prioritize relationships, stay tech-savvy and always keep the consumer at the forefront of your decisions.”

Tammy Ackerman

TITLE: Vice President, Retail E-Commerce COMPANY: Treasury Wine Estates

Team Member: Kelly Winkler, retail e-commerce manager.

Career Path:

 Treasury Wine Estates, Vice President, Retail E-Commerce (2020-present); Vice President, Marketing & Sales Execution (2019-2020)

 Mezzetta, Director, Shopper Marketing & E-Commerce (2018-2019)

 Treasury Wine Estates, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy & Capability (2017); Director, Marketing Services (2015-2017); Senior Global Brand Manager, Beringer (2013-2015); Senior Brand Manager, Innovation (2012-2013); Trade Marketing Director (2010-2012)

 PepsiCo, Northeast Marketing Manager (2008-2010)

 Miller Brewing Co., Local Marketing Manager (2006-2008); On-Premise Sales Manager (2005-2006)

 Mesa Distributing Co., Marketing Associate (2003-2005)

 Velocity Investment Group, Director, Sales & Marketing (2001-2003)

 Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Expansion Coordinator (1998-1999)

 John Hancock Life Insurance Co., Marketing & Compliance Officer (1996-1998)

Industry Activities:

 BACi Advisory Board Member

 Conference Speaker at P2PI Live & Groceryshop

 Volunteer at Marin Foster Care Association

 Room Parent at her son’s school

Education: UC San Diego, Bachelor’s, Political Science; University of San Diego, Master’s, Marketing.


Stephen Bettencourt

Executive Director of Enterprise Brands and Retail Insights CVS HEALTH

Stephen Bettencourt fully appreciates the power of rebranding. Although he has both undergrad and graduate degrees in management science, a college professor opened his eyes to the world of marketing research, and from then on, he had a new passion.

His career has taken him to both the brand and retailer side, and he’s leaned heavily on insights to lead companies’ positioning efforts, often a momentous task that he takes very seriously. “It is intended to be the North Star that everything is built off of,” he says. “It informs everyone internally on the key audience(s), what the brand stands for, and how we go to business.”

As CVS Health’s executive director of enterprise brands and retail insights, Bettencourt is charged with overseeing the brand identity, creative and advertising testing for the CVS Health family of brands as well as consumer insights for the CVS Pharmacy retail stores that are in local communities across the United States.


Bettencourt grew up in a small town in Massachusetts in a three-generation household that included his grandmother, his parents and two siblings. He describes his childhood as a “simple, happy life where our parents taught us the value of honesty, trust, kindness and hard work.” His dad worked for the Norfolk County Sheriff ’s department, and his mom in the local elementary school.

His teenage years consisted of mowing lawns, watching neighborhood pets and then working at a local grocery store and a nursing home. But his next job at Lifeworks Inc., a workshop and group home that provided jobs, housing and recreation for adults with development and intellectual disabilities, made an indelible impression on his life.

First hired at the workshop, Bettencourt went on to work at the group home in Foxboro, Massachusetts, for 13 years. He worked full time at the group home while attending Bridgewater State University, then moved to a part-time position and weekends only after he graduated. The home was situated in a residential neighborhood, and he says it was a fun and fulfi lling job caring for the men who lived there. “They were simply living their life and just needed a little help, support and compassion as they moved through their day,” he says.

It wasn’t until he was an upperclassman at Bridgewater State that he took a marketing research course and worked with his classmates on a local research project. Urged to take a sales course the next semester with the same professor, Bettencourt was able to fi nish the research project and, from that point on, knew that he wanted to target research roles in his career.


Bettencourt’s fi rst stop was at Hill Holliday in an entry-level research manager role. It was through connections there that he grew his early career, he notes. After four years, he went to Arnold Worldwide as an account planner for a short time, and then landed at FleetBoston Financial in brand/consumer insights for nearly seven years. It wasn’t until the company was purchased by Bank of America and all senior level positions were moving to North Carolina that he started looking for his next opportunity. At the time, Stop & Shop was repositioning and reinvigorating its

22 l March/April 2024
Using insights to build, refine and pressure-test the brand positioning is so important. Every word matters, and it all conveys the purpose and meaning behind the brand.

brand. He joined the company with a handful of others to make a new insights team, and started his fi rst foray into retail.

This was where the proverbial rubber met the road for Bettencourt. From what became his fi rst of two tenures at Stop & Shop, he has spent his career looking through a retail lens, “understanding consumers, how they shop, how they navigate and what is important to them,” he says.

And while the same tenets are still in place that have always been — the right price, the right assortment, ease of shopping — from an insights standpoint there are so many more ways to “get at it,” he notes. “Technology is playing a much larger role, and over time as I started integrating eye tracking, galvanic skin testing, facial coding, etc., it really started to lead us to different answers and understanding different parts of the store and their role.”

After five years, Bettencourt seized an opportunity at The Hershey Co. “They were putting together an entire crossfunctional team to work on CVS,” he says, including sales, category management and shopper marketing. “They wanted shopper insights to round out the CVS team and help them drive not only the confection but total customer satisfaction.”

Bettencourt joined Bob Goodpaster and Susan LaPointe, who were starting up a new department focused on shopper insights. “This insights role worked between Hershey and many of the major retailers in the U.S.,” he says. “My goal was to help retailers understand their shoppers and the in-store experience, and identify opportunities to please shoppers, enhance the experience and grow the retailer’s total confection business.”

The new holistic approach brought with it a steep learning curve. “It wasn’t enough to just do great marketing research,” he says. “The role required that we put ourselves out there because we needed to show the retailers the power of the role and the type of insights that could be generated to significantly grow their business.”

The team started to make a large impact on both the retailers’ and Hershey’s business. With that, the insights function grew

quickly, and so did Bettencourt’s responsibilities. He started as the shopper insights lead on CVS and Kroger, then within two years had additional responsibility for the dollar channel and all retailers in Canada. Eventually as director of shopper insights, he led a team that was dedicated to the largest retailers in North America.

With an opportunity to build yet another insights department, Bettencourt made his way back to Stop & Shop after eight years at Hershey. He served as director of consumer insights for four years before becoming the consumer insights lead for Stop & Shop at Peapod Digital Labs through consolidation efforts within Ahold Delhaize. Less than a year into that role, he moved on.


At this point in his career, Bettencourt was an experienced leader in helping companies rebrand and reposition themselves. A role opened at CVS Health for an insights lead on CVS Pharmacy that would focus on retail insights for the company. Bettencourt assumed his current post in January 2022, helping the retailer redefi ne the role of retail and how it can enable health and wellness and even help redefi ne healthcare, he says. “CVS has an ambitious focus on customers, patients and colleagues and working toward evolving healthcare.”

Today, his insights teams fall under one of three umbrellas: enterprise brands, front of store, and pharmacy. His main focus is on looking across the CVS Health brands to understand their overall positionings and value propositions, stressing that the brand personality and voice needs to be clear and consistent.

“Using insights to build, refi ne and pressure-test the brand positioning is so important,” he says. “Every word matters, and it all conveys the purpose and meaning behind the brand.” The goal of any rebranding effort is to communicate the focus to everyone who touches the brand. “The weight of trying

Stephen Bettencourt

TITLE: Executive Director of Enterprise Brands and Retail Insights COMPANY: CVS Health

Team Members: Direct reports: Whitney Orwig, Director of Front Store Retail Insights; Caron Merrill, Director Pharmacy and OTC Insights; Emily Hodges, Director Enterprise Brands; eight team members total.

Career Path:

 CVS Health, Executive Director of Enterprise Brands and Retail Insights (2022-present)

 Peapod Digital Labs, Consumer Insights Lead, Stop & Shop (2021-2022)

 Stop & Shop, Director of Consumer Insights (2018-2021)

 The Hershey Co., Director, Shopper Insights, U.S. and Canada (2015-2018); Shopper Insights, U.S. & Canada (2010-2015)

 Stop & Shop, Brand/Consumer Insights (2005-2010)

 Bank of America, Brand/Consumer Insights (1998-2005)

 Arnold Worldwide, Account Planner (1997-1998)

 Hill Holliday, Project Director, Marketing Research (1994-1997))

Industry Activities:

 Member, Advisory Board, Path to Purchase Institute

 Member, Advisory Board, Chadwick Martin Bailey

 Organizer, Trend Days

 Member of share groups with CPG companies, subscribing to Coogan Partners

 Volunteer, Eliot Human Service of Boston

 “Neat Neighbor Award” recipient from the City of Quincy, Massachusetts

Education: Bridgewater State University, Bachelor’s, Management Science; Eastern Nazarene College, Master’s, Science Management, Management Leadership.

to get that really right, clear and impactful is a challenge, but exciting,” he says.

He is most proud of the work his team has done to help marketing, store design, merchandising and senior leaders develop a deeper understanding of CVS Health’s retail consumers. One way his team is doing that is through customer immersion sessions between senior executives and customers/ patients. “We take off our business hats and they stay in their consumer role,” he says. Pairs go on shopping missions and reconvene to share experiences or listen to speakers on a variety of topics to understand what the company could be doing in the places it offers care.

Bettencourt has repeatedly seen the lasting impression these sessions have on senior leadership. “It helps them stay very closely aligned to the mindset of our audiences,” he says. “We’ve helped to develop an internal understanding of what motivates shoppers, who our competitive set is, and what we need to do to win shoppers and grow the business.”

The company is responding with changes across the business, with his team embedded throughout the process, Bettencourt says. “It’s gratifying to see the changes that CVS is creating are working. Consumers are responding favorably, and many are resulting in increased trips and unit movement — a fi rst indicator that consumers are recognizing and appreciating how CVS Pharmacy is evolving.”


Bettencourt says his team is increasingly adding technology into its insights work, most recently incorporating neuroscience to understand the impact store changes have had on nonconscious perceptions of the CVS Pharmacy brand. The team is collaborating with research company partners to discuss the role of AI and how it can start to incorporate the technology into overall concept testing and message development. “It’s feedback that consumers can’t articulate,” he says. “Even if they tried to guess, they’d lead us in a different direction.”

He and his team are also working with the neuroscience team at NielsenIQ, using EEG caps to monitor consumers’ brain activity in relation to their work. “We can tell what elements of our new store are really driving a brand connection,” he says. “That’s just something you can never ask consumers.”

24 l March/April 2024

Pamela Velarde

Vice President of Omnichannel Retail Marketing MATTEL

Pamela Velarde is a longtime believer that change is the only

constant. It’s a guiding mantra for her in many ways.

A classically trained engineer, she found success in her early career working as a product engineer. But she lacked a true passion for her work. She knew her strengths in numbers and analytics, and used business school as her fi rst step in a new direction.

Today, as vice president of omnichannel retail marketing at Mattel, Velarde leads the team that is responsible for retail strategy and promotional strategy/execution across all retailers in both stores and dot-com (commerce through Mattel’s websites), e-commerce and retail media, as well as instore space analysis and optimization — work that she says is changing every day.


A native of Cusco, Peru, Velarde was raised by a civil engineer father and an educator mother who opened her own school, combining her love of teaching and her entrepreneurial nature. The oldest of three children, Velarde was the fi rst to move away from her hometown, initially to the capital city of Lima, but then to the U.S. amidst terrorism occurring in Lima at the time.

Extended family took her to California, where she earned her computer engineering degree from UC Irvine and held internships that included programming Johnson & Johnson sterilization machines and writing code to solve the Y2K problem for an auto loan provider. After graduating, she began a seven-year tenure at Skyworks Solutions as a product engineer and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering, also from UC Irvine.

With business school in her sights, Velarde secured a full fellowship to The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned an MBA in strategy and marketing and then worked as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in New York, where she honed strategic skills while working in many different industries.

But a part of her always wanted to get back to Los Angeles, in part because her parents and brother had also moved from Peru to Orange County by that time, in search of a better life for her disabled brother.


Looking back, Velarde says she’s always been intrigued by big brands. Barbie dolls were a favorite childhood toy, and she’d always seen toy giant Mattel as a dream job. When a position opened in international strategy, she jumped in with both feet and moved across the country once again.

Velarde’s fi rst work at Mattel was a broad international strategy assignment that took her to China to visit homes and conduct interviews, and it resulted in partnering with the Mattel Barbie marketing team to launch the fi rst Chinese localized Barbie line. “We worked to understand shoppers and consumers, what they wanted, and found that we needed to be


tailoring the brand’s product and messaging to the shopper,” she says. “Many times, you don’t see strategy’s results right away, but that really cemented my love for the brand, shopper and product.”

From there, Velarde moved onto the product and marketing team as a manager for Barbie global marketing. After a few years, she transitioned to omnichannel retail marketing in the U.S., starting with growth channels and eventually taking responsibility to lead all channels. In her nearly 14-year tenure, Velarde has held nine positions of increasing responsibility within the company, the last five in customer/retail marketing.

For Velarde, change — as well as the biggest business challenges of late — are two factors that motivate her daily. As the retail, media and channel landscapes change, so does the shopper, as evidenced by adult collectors driving growth in the toy business last year. “Even what we think about the traditional shopper is changing,” she notes. “We continue to refi ne our strategy year after year, and although that can be a challenge, it is also what keeps me interested in the role because that’s the kind of thing I love to do.”


Velarde says her “mix of strategy, analytics and product expertise” has been a key component in her success. Priorities today center around making sure that whatever product the company is creating will work at retail. “We are very prescriptive on what we need from both a product and marketing perspective to be able to succeed at retail,” she says, adding that she was instrumental in partnering with Mattel’s global team to change everything it does from a product development perspective.

“We’re undergoing significant changes this year to make sure that our global teams are developing product that makes sense for all channels,” she says. “It sounds simple but it really isn’t.” Data and analytics are the cornerstone in place to help them do just that. “We’re developing products for the channels as compared to developing product and then trying to pitch or sell up to the channels.”

Equally important in her daily work has been the growth of dot-com, which now represents a sizable portion of the company’s business. Along with educating the company on how dot-com works, driving processes and support for it, Velarde is in the process of creating a Center of Excellence.

“We’re refi ning strategy, establishing processes and the goal is to share these processes globally to grow in dot-com because we come from a brick-and-mortar world,” she says. “People often think things in brick and mortar translate exactly into dot-com and they couldn’t be more different, starting with how the shopper shops,” she says, noting that Mattel has made great

Through insights and collaboration, we want to make sure [every retailer sees] Mattel as their premier partner. That requires an understanding of who they are, providing value beyond what they know right now.
26 l March/April 2024
From left: Christine Yoo, associate manager, Amazon; Ben Ferrage, manager, Walmart; Renea Berryhill, manager, Walmart; Lauren Triplett, manager, Target; Pamela Velarde; Katelyn Martin, associate manager, Amazon; Jeanette Dalgado, administrative assistant; Alyssa Brizuela, marketing associate, growth channels; Jack Ritterbush, senior associate, Amazon; Elizabeth Buffum, director, Amazon; and Lisa Ou, director, Target.

strides in its leadership in dot-com within the toy business since these efforts started last year.

Velarde points to mentors Howard Smith, a former shopper marketing executive and her fi rst boss on the commercial side at Mattel; Jason Horowitz, senior vice president and global head of marketing and media, also a former boss; and current boss, Mark McColgan, senior vice president and general manager, USA Commercial, as all having played instrumental roles throughout her career’s progression. She also credits Management Leadership for Tomorrow with helping her navigate graduate school and her early career.

Her data-driven engineering roots have translated well into the marketing space. “Every decision we make from a marketing perspective now can be data-driven,” Velarde says. “I work with fun brands, but to me the most fun part is that there is a wealth of data that we can base our decisions on rather than trying to guess or get creative in any given situation.”

The 2023 “Barbie” movie saw massive success not only in theaters, but also at retail. Velarde says the big win in stores and online came in the form of tailored programs for different retailers. In what she refers to as a “cultural phenomenon,” the retail marketing team worked in close collaboration with its retail partners to think bigger than a theatrical release. “What made it successful is that we played to the strengths of every retailer to really tailor programs for each account,” she says. “We collaborated with retailers for more than two years on programs that really drove ship and POS for us, not just what looked pretty at retail.”


Mattel’s top positioning as a toy company in the U.S. is something Velarde is proud to be a part of, and her mission is to be the No. 1 toy partner at every retailer. But not just in terms of sales: “Through insights and collaboration, we want to make sure they see Mattel as their premier partner,” she says. “That requires an understanding of who they are, providing value beyond what they know right now, and partnering very closely with them.”

Continuing to increase Mattel’s position in dot-com through her work in building the Center of Excellence as well as optimizing the online space every day, investing in retail media and other levers to create the best mix for the shopper, and fi nally, continuing to create the best team possible, are key growth areas for Velarde. “It’s not just about doing marketing in-store anymore,” she says. “My team is driving strategy at retail in partnership with the sales team, and I want to continue to do that as I manage this team.”

Pamela Velarde

TITLE: Vice President of Omnichannel Retail Marketing


Team Members: Alicia Crespin, Director, Omnichannel Retail Marketing, Walmart; Liz Buffum, Director, Omnichannel Retail Marketing, Amazon; Lisa Ou, Director, Omnichannel Retail Marketing, Target; Carrie McKenzie, Senior Manager, Space Insights; Nicole Sneider, Senior Manager, Omnichannel Retail Marketing Growth Channels; Laura Campos, Manager, Omnichannel Retail Marketing Licensed Entertainment.

Career Path:

 Mattel, Vice President, Omnichannel Retail Marketing (2021-present); Senior Director, Omnichannel Retail Marketing (2020-2021); Senior Director, Customer Marketing: Emerging Channels, Walmart and Target (2018-2020); Director, Customer Marketing, Emerging Channels (2016-2018); Senior Manager, Customer Marketing, Toys ‘R’ Us (2015-2016); Senior Manager, Barbie Global Marketing - Barbie (2014-2015); Manager, Barbie Global Marketing - Barbie (2012-2014); Manager, International Strategic Planning (2011-2012); Senior Associate, International Strategic Planning (2010-2011)

 The Boston Consulting Group, Consultant (2008-2010)

 Skyworks Solutions Inc., Senior Product Engineer (2004-2006); Product Engineer (1999-2004)

Industry Activities:

 Executive Sponsor, Unidos (Mattel Hispanic ERG)

 Leader, Executive Women Lean In at Mattel

 Member, Chief

 Mentor, Wharton Venture Lab Mentoring Initiative

 Mentor, Women in Toys

 Creator and Co-Lead, Multicultural Night at Jefferson Elementary School

Education: UC Irvine, Bachelor’s, Computer Engineering; Master’s, Electrical Engineering; The Wharton School, Master’s of Business Administration, Strategy and Marketing.


Path to Purchase Trends & Tactics

The second part of our annual survey shines the spotlight on retail media, social media, e-commerce, in-store and more.

There’s no denying that retail media has been and continues to be one of the hottest topics in commerce marketing. Look no further than part 2 of this year’s Trends survey to drive that point home.

For the 2024 version of the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Trends survey, we decided to split our survey into two parts, with the fi rst part dedicated to retail media and the retailer networks (see the January/ February issue). Part 2 would be focused more on the general and traditional trends in commerce marketing, like budgeting and in-store marketing, as well as more futuristic topics such as artificial intelligence.

Well, despite that approach, after poring over the survey results, we felt inclined to bring retail media to the forefront of this report as well.

For part 2 of our survey, we interviewed 80 consumer product marketers from Dec. 19, 2023, through Jan. 22 of this year. More than 40% of respondents identified shopper marketing as their primary job function, with 33% indicating they were at the director level, and 48% at the manager level.

When asked how their organization’s investment in certain areas had changed in 2023 vs. 2022, 70% of respondents said their investment in retailer media networks had increased, the most for any area we identified. Social media (66%), e-commerce content (58%), digital media other than retail media (55%) and insights & analytics (54%) were the other areas most identified as having increased.

Furthermore, when asked to select up to three strategies/tactics from our list that have been most important to their organizations in the last

year, 40% identified retailer media networks. Only e-commerce content (48%) was selected more, while search (SEO/SEM) and social media garnered similar percentages to RMNs.

Asked to explain why they chose their three particular tactics, respondents who selected RMNs offered:

“We’ve invested more in retail media networks, in-store signage and promotion where possible, and digital media in general to increase brand awareness and increase market share.”

“We are investing further into retail media networks as a part of our total sales support package with key retail partners.”

“Increased focus on incrementality/efficiency with ROAS. Increased focus on in-store and retail media networks. Increased focus on profitability.”

And looking ahead to 2024, 29% of respondents said retailer media networks are one of their organization’s top three priorities from a list of tactics, again the most for any area we identified. And once again, e-commerce content, social media and search were the other tactics most prioritized.

28 l March/April 2024 SPECIAL REPORT: TRENDS 2024, Part 2

How investment (budgetary spend and/or attention) in the following areas changed in 2023 compared to 2022

Q. How has your organization’s investment (budgetary spend and/or attention) changed for the following areas this year (2023) compared to last year (2022)?

Highest priorities for 2024 investment plans

Q. Looking forward to your organization’s investment plans (budgetary spend and/or attention) for 2024, which of the following are the highest priorities? Rank the top three.

P2PI.com P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
Increased Stayed the same Decreased Retailer media networks 70% 19% 11% Social media 66% 24% 10% E-commerce content (PIM, DAM, delivery packaging, etc.) 58% 40% 2% Other digital media beyond RMNs & social media (paid search, internet ads) 55% 33% 12% Insights & analytics 54% 34% 12% Shopper marketing 50% 31% 19% In-store marketing 38% 47% 15% Consumer promotion (SMS, mobile app/website advertising) 34% 51% 15% Mobile 33% 50% 17% Trade promotion 29% 47% 24% Traditional media (TV, print, etc.) 23% 38% 39%
P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
#1 Priority #2 Priority #3 Priority Retailer media networks 6% 13% 10% E-commerce content (i.e., product pages) 7% 5% 13% Social media 10% 8% 6% Search (SEO/SEM) 11% 4% 6% In-store display activity for retailer-driven programs 7% 8% 5% In-store display activity for brand-driven programs 5% 6% 7% Traditional media In-store media/signage 7% 2% 4% 2% 2% Connected TV/streaming Alternate venue sampling/demos 2% 1% 5% 2% 4% In-store sampling/demos Direct-to-consumer sales 4% 2% 4% Other digital media Shoppable video 2% 1% 2% 1% 4% Mobile marketing Online sampling/demos 1% 4% 2%

Strategies/tactics most important in the past year

Q. What strategies/tactics have been most important to your organization over the last year?

When asked what their biggest business-related concern was heading into 2024, without us suggesting any potential answers, one-tenth of respondents mentioned retail media. “The cost of participating in retailer’s media programs, making my budget stretch as much as I can to drive strong topline sales for our brands,” answered one survey taker.

The impact of inflation on consumer spending was the most common theme among the business-related concern answers, with 34% mentioning that. Among the specific responses:

“Shoppers trading down to lower-price segments within categories, eroding brand loyalty.”

“Trying to drive growth in the current economic climate against significantly better funded competitors.”

The next strategy-related question we asked was if the survey takers were seeing a convergence of the brand and shopper marketing roles/ responsibilities at their organizations. Forty-one percent answered yes, a drop of 15% from when we asked the same question in last year’s survey.

“Retailer media networks are providing solutions that stretch up the funnel, so we’re working closely with our brand teams to align on overall strategies and deploy the right amount of funding to different parts of the funnel,” one person (a shopper marketer) responded to how those roles are converging.

Convergence of brand and shopper marketing roles/responsibilities

Q. Are you seeing a convergence of roles/ responsibilities at your organization between brand and shopper marketing?

30 l March/April 2024
TRENDS 2024,
P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
E-commerce content (i.e., product pages) 48% Search (SEO/SEM) 40% Retailer media networks 40% Social media 38% In-store display activity for brand-driven programs 24% In-store display activity for retailer-driven programs 19% In-store media/signage 13% Connected TV/streaming 13% In-store sampling/demos 11% Traditional media 10% Direct-to-consumer sales 6% Other digital media 5% Mobile marketing 5% Online sampling/demos 3% Something else 2%
P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
Significant Change YoY No 59% Yes 41% +15 pts -15 pts

Social Commerce

Later on in the survey, 63% of respondents said they were incorporating social commerce into their omnichannel marketing budgets, with Instagram (by 86%), TikTok (76%) and Facebook (62%) being identified as the most used platforms, and X (formerly known as Twitter) being named the least, just 10%.

When the survey takers were asked to rate specific platforms’ performances, TikTok was rated excellent or good by 59%, and Instagram was rated good by 48% but excellent by none.

63% of respondents said they were incorporating social commerce into their omnichannel marketing budgets

Are you incorporating social commerce into your omnichannel marketing budgets? If so, which platforms?

Q. Is your organization incorporating social commerce into its omnichannel marketing budgets?

Q. Which social commerce platforms are being incorporated into your omnichannel marketing budgets? Select all that apply.

Rate the performance of social channels

Q. How would you rate the performance of each of the social channels your organization is investing in today?

2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024) Yes 63% No 37% 86% 76% 62% 55% 45% 10%
*Sample size <30, use caution when interpreting results **Sample size <20, insight directional only P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
Excellent Good Average Fair Poor
TikTok (n = 22)* Instagram (n = 25)* YouTube (n = 13)** Pinterest (n = 16)** Facebook (n = 18)** 23% 48% 15% 38% 22% 36% 32% 23% 50% 67% 23% 16% 62% 12% 11% 9% 4% 9%

TRENDS 2024, Part 2

How do you measure success on social media?

Return on ad spend (ROAS)

Conversion rates

Increase in brand awareness

Social listening and sentiment analysis

Influencer partnerships

Click-through rates

Customer acquisition Engagement metrics (e.g., likes, comments, shares)

Something else

Q. How does your organization measure success on social media? Select up to the top three or write in your own

How do you integrate social media with other channels?

Consistent branding and messaging

Social media advertising aligned with other campaigns

Social commerce and shoppable posts

Cross-promotions across channels

Data sharing and insights between channels

Integration with email marketing

Customer service and support through social media

None of the above, it isn’t integrated currently

Q. How does your organization integrate social media efforts with other channels in your omnichannel marketing strategy?

We then asked respondents to identify how they measured success on social media, choosing from our list of metrics. Return on ad spend (ROAS) and engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares) were named the most, each by 59%.

And in identifying how their organizations integrate their social media efforts with other marketing channels, respondents answered “consistent branding and messaging” (66%), “social media advertising aligned with other campaigns” (55%) and “social commerce shopping posts” (52%) most from our lists of answers.

Other Topics

RETAILER RELATIONSHIPS. After identifying which retailers they’ve worked with in the last year, we asked respondents to rate those retailers

on their ability to share actionable shopper data to drive more effective marketing. Walmart, Kroger, Amazon and Target were each identified as excellent or good by 75% of respondents who worked with them.

Meanwhile, ShopRite, 7-Eleven, Ahold Delhaize and The Home Depot were called out the most for their data sharing being collaborative, as opposed to a revenue source.

IN-STORE TACTICS. From our list of tactics, “pricing and promotions” and a “true omnichannel approach” were identified by approximately half

32 l March/April 2024
P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
66% 52% 34% 7% 55% 45% 34% 24% P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
59% 41% 34% 3% 59% 41% 14% 14% 3%

Retailers’ ability to share actionable shopper data to drive more effective marketing

7-Eleven (n = 13)**

Ahold Delhaize (n = 32)

Albertsons (n = 32)

Aldi (n = 20)*

Amazon (n = 37)

Costco (n = 36)

CVS (n = 20)*

Dollar General (n = 23)*

Family Dollar (n = 17)**

H-E-B (n = 30)

Home Depot (n = 11)**

Hy-Vee (n = 28)*

Instacart (n = 30)

Kroger (n = 38)

Loblaws (n = 14)**

Lowe’s (n = 18)**

Meijer (n = 40)

Metro (n = 7)**

Publix (n = 32)

Sam’s Club (n = 35)

ShopRite (n = 29)*

Sobeys (n = 9)**

Southeastern Grocers (n = 23)*

Target (n = 41)

Tesco (n = 6)**

Walgreens (n = 20)*

Walmart (n = 38)

Wegmans (n = 27)*

Whole Foods Market (n = 21)*

Q. How would you rate the following retailers on their ability to share actionable shopper data to drive more effective marketing?

Q. What best describes how shopper data is shared with you by each of the following retailers?

“Pricing and promotions” and a “true omnichannel approach” will most effectively drive shopper engagement inside the store going forward.

of respondents as what will most effectively drive shopper engagement inside the store going forward, followed by “innovative merchandising” (32%) and then “on-shelf signage” (21%).

Furthermore, 55% of respondents said their organizations invest in permanent in-store displays, while 87% said they invest in temporary displays. Of respondents who said they invest in both, 52% said they invest more in temporary and 17% said they invest more in permanent.

*Sample size <30, use caution when interpreting results **Sample size <20, insight directional only P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
Data sharing is collaborative Data sharing is a revenue source 37% 7% 9% 5% 32% 5% 6% 10% 9% 11% 3% 17% 39% 4% 17% 7% 27% 5% 31% 45% 44% 43% 56% 56% 20% 50% 49% 57% 28% 47% 30% 51% 35% 52% 29% 33% 44% 35% 55% 58% 50% 43% 83% 37% 37% 45% 43% 38% 13% 25% 29% 22% 33% 30% 23% 16% 29% 39% 28% 30% 26% 52% 21% 47% 44% 33% 39% 36% 15% 8% 32% 33% 20% 40% 33% 31% 5% 31% 21% 13% 11% 50% 22% 3% 14% 28% 19% 30% 14% 13% 27% 24% 11% 20% 26% 9% 10% 3% 21% 22% 16% 15% 19% 57% 32% 60% 56% 38% 53% 37% 52% 35% 40% 46% 54% 42% 39% 33% 63% 36% 43% 36% 50% 67% 40% 29% 45% — 42% 35% 33% 53% 43% 68% 40% 44% 62% 47% 63% 48% 65% 60% 54% 46% 58% 61% 67% 37% 64% 57% 64% 50% 33% 60% 71% 55% 58% 65% 67% 47%
Excellent Good Poor They don’t share any data


Q. Does your organization invest in permanent and temporary in-store displays?

Q. Does your organization invest more in permanent or temporary in-store displays?

Do you leverage physical experiences outside the traditional retail environment?

Demos or experiential activations

Hosting or being present at local/community events

Q. Does your brand leverage physical and/ or virtual experiences outside the traditional retail environment?

Q. What types of physical and/or virtual experiences outside the traditional retail environment does your brand leverage?

EXPERIENCES OUTSIDE OF TRADITIONAL RETAIL. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they leverage physical and/or virtual experiences outside of retail, with “demos or experiential activations” and “large event sponsorships” (both 70%) being selected most from our list of options. Hosting or being present at local/community events followed at 56%.

DIRECT TO CONSUMER. Forty-four percent of our survey takers said their brands have a DTC capability, while 24% said they didn’t but were working on it or thinking about it. Thirty-three percent said their brands weren’t going there.

Does your brand have a directto-consumer (DTC) capability?

it’s been around for a while Yes, it’s newly launched No, but we’re thinking about/ working on it No, we’re not going there

Q. Does your brand have a direct-to-consumer (DTC) capability?

34 l March/April 2024
P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024) Investment in permanent
Yes 55% Yes 87% No 45% No 13% Permanent in-store displays Temporary in-store displays More in permanent More in temporary Equal investments in both 52% 30% 17%
and/or temporary displays
P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
Yes 57% No 43%
Pop-ups Virtual store Virtual/live-streaming
Large event sponsorships Community groups on social media Metaverse/gaming experiences Off-site sampling 56% 70% 26% 22% 7% 26% 70% 22% 15% 4% P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
37% 7% 24% 33%

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said their organizations were already leveraging AI in their 2023 marketing strategies — 48% qualified their use as minimal and 11% as moderate or extensive. For 2024, 87% said they will leverage it — 61% minimally and 26% moderately or extensively.

And asked what their organization’s primary goals were for implementing AI tools or technologies, 38% selected “improve content creation” from our list of goals. Eight other goals were selected by at least 20% of respondents, with “better leverage data” and “enhance customer experience/satisfaction” ranking second and third overall.

Primary goals for implementing AI tools/technologies?

Q. What are your organization’s primary goals for implementing artificial intelligence tools or technologies? Select up to the top three.

Are you leveraging AI? In which areas?

Predictive analytics

Customer/Market research

Marketing automation

Chatbots/virtual assistants for customer service

Personalized content creation

Augmented reality/Virtual reality

Social media analytics

Customer segmentation

Recommendation engines

Social media sentiment analysis

Dynamic pricing optimization

Facial recognition

Not sure at this time

Q. To what extent has/will your organization leverage artificial intelligence in its marketing strategies?

Q. In which areas does your organization use, or plan to use, artificial intelligence? Select all that apply.

P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
Improve content creation (i.e., personalization and relevance) 38% Enhance customer experience/satisfaction 30% Better leverage data 30% Increase conversion rates 28% Enable faster decision-making 28% Optimize targeting capabilities 28% Increase team productivity/efficiency 25% Improve customer engagement 23% Reduce marketing costs 20% Not sure at this time 8% Enable better cross-channel integration 5%
P2PI 2024 Trends Study, Part 2 (January 2024)
38% 30% 25% 28% 10% 5% 10% 15% 30% 28% 23% 20% 13% This year (2023) Next year (2024) 41% 13% 48% 61% 24% 2% 9% 2% Extensively Moderately Minimally Not at all


Our latest display gallery presents a sampling of eye-catching and effective in-store activations representing a variety of product categories and seasons.

Brand: Various

Retail partner: Albertsons

Display manufacturer: Applied Merchandising Concepts

This winter/summer permanent endcap fi xture from Applied Merchandising Concepts replaced the temporary corrugate units that were used for many years at Albertsons. Applied Merchandising works with Albertsons to invoice brands directly based on their cost fair share (provided by the retailer). The permanent racks get updated at the store level (with the help of SAS Retail Services). The graphics are printed on both sides so that they can be fl ipped over simply for the next season. Applied Merchandising says the program’s four-year life has passed on tremendous savings to the brands and is more eco-friendly than using corrugate that is trashed each season.

36 l March/April 2024

Brand: EcoXGear

Display manufacturer: Innovative Marketing Solutions

This endcap display for EcoXGear’s portable audio products embodies the outdoors while targeting glampers, sports enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. The speakers are designed to bring the party wherever adventure takes you, so EcoXGear tasked Innovative with creating a show-stopping “mountain” of a display. Innovative delivered an interactive experience, custom-molded to suit the rugged nature of the product. Engineered for repeatable, safe shipping and easy store-level installation, the rotomolded display integrates speakers with touchscreens and video overlays.

Brand: Dr. Squatch

Display manufacturer: WestRock

Dr. Squatch’s debut endcap at a major national retailer was a resounding success, with products selling out within a month. Collaborating with WestRock, the directto-consumer brand has seamlessly transitioned into retail, maintaining its online presence while capturing the essence of its edgy nature. The disruptive display program representing the brand was designed to showcase Dr. Squatch’s core product line and proved both compelling and sturdy, meeting the brand’s requirements within budget and timeline. Dr. Squatch continues to thrive, outperforming its competitors and demonstrating sustained growth at retail.

Brand: Samsung

Display manufacturer: Innovative Marketing Solutions

Samsung tasked Innovative Marketing Solutions with creating a dynamic brand activation and “takeover” of Resorts World for the inaugural Formula One race in Las Vegas. The takeover included a pop-up (10 feet by 20 feet) serving as a showroom and interactive experience hub. This one-week activation hosted a live recording of the podcast “Eff-Won” with Dax Shepard, followed by a fan meet and greet. The immersive popup space highlighted the functionality and style of Samsung’s new foldable devices while staying true to Samsung’s brand aesthetics.


P-O-P Showcase

Brand: Josh Cellars

Display manufacturer: Peachtree Packaging & Display

This festive ornament-inspired topper promoted Josh Cellars’ products during the 2023 holiday season. The insert can be swapped to fit the season, while the acrylic logo/name is a permanent fi xture. The ornament has lights that twinkle, adding an extra element of surprise and charm to the display.

Retail partner: Kroger

Display manufacturer: Quad

Executed across 2,400 Kroger stores, Quad’s holiday gift card displays quickly became an in-store destination for shoppers. Designed to promote buyer impulse and save on inventory space, the displays arrived almost fully assembled to ensure an easy setup for store associates and an uninterrupted shopping experience for customers. They were strategically placed in high-traffic areas. By eliminating the use of more than 16,500 plastic clips through sustainable structural solutions, the project echoed Kroger’s commitment to reducing plastic waste.

Brand: Transitions

Display manufacturer: Frank Mayer

Transitions asked Frank Mayer to develop an innovative demonstration tool to highlight the benefits of the brand’s photochromic lens line (Transitions XTRActive Polarized), which is targeted for consumers that are frequently exposed to bright light and reflective glare. Since outdoor light is difficult to access in a retail or optical environment, it was important to develop a display to both simulate UV light as well as allow users to experience the transformation of the lenses from light to dark so the unique product benefits are clear and help boost sales. The display is found at optical stores globally.

38 l March/April 2024

Brand: Nivea

Brand: PopSockets

Retail partner: Target

Display manufacturer: Vanguard Companies

Vanguard and PopSockets collaborated to create this display for Target. The simple design showcased a wide range of products, making it easy to attract, engage and convert shoppers. The display is easy to assemble and lift. Once positioned, it stood about 60 inches tall, making it easily visible to shoppers. The brand logo was placed on the top and bottom panels. The display also had an angled base and header to make the branding visible to shoppers.

Display manufacturer: Visual Branding

The floor display was designed for Beiersdorf’s launch campaign of Nivea Clinical deodorant, which focuses on restoring the skin’s natural tone. The client emphasized skin color and care, reflecting delicacy in the display design and highlighting the product’s color without losing the essence of the Nivea brand. Given its new product status, the display emphasized graphic communication and dual-sided dispensation. Nivea implemented the campaign in more than 95 sales floors across Central America.

Retail partner: Belk

Display manufacturer: Imagine Group

Imagine Group helped department store chain Belk introduce “Spring with a Twist.” This display, with vibrant greens and blues, captures the essence of the season. The use of layers and shapes, with boxes in various sizes, adds depth and intrigue to the display. The display communicates a sense of freshness and renewal.


P-O-P Showcase

Brands: NYX Professional Makeup

Display manufacturer: WestRock

NYX Professional Makeup leveraged Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” movie, resulting in a captivating retail display mirroring the Barbie Dreamhouse. Despite space constraints, the display was a hit with product quickly selling out in all stores. The success was attributed to the powerful collaboration, fast execution, striking branding and immersive shopper experience that showcased the potency of impactful branding and efficient execution.

Brand: Pantene

Retail partner: Walmart

Display manufacturer: Visual Branding

This Walmart endcap display for Procter & Gamble hair-care brand Pantene was created for the “Beauty World” campaign. It showcases Pantene with built-in screen and lighting. It aims for attractiveness and premium fi nishes, highlighting brand elegance within Walmart’s format. Featuring graphic communication spaces on lightboxes for enhanced appeal, the design integrates elements of the brand, strategy and pointof-purchase to engage shoppers. It was implemented across Walmart stores in Central America as one of the fi rst campaigns of 2024.

Brand: BodyArmor

Display manufacturer: Imagine Group

BodyArmor, part of the Coca-Cola Co., wanted to drive awareness and sales with the launch of its Zero Sugar sports drink. The brand wanted eyecatching pole toppers, base wraps and case cards to help its display stand out. This bold execution helped create brand awareness by bringing attention to the new product.

40 l March/April 2024

Tech Tools


Feb. 2 saw the launch of Vision Pro, Apple’s mixed-reality headset that looks like a ski mask and places digital content into the wearer’s field of vision. The “visionOS” software does away with mouse-and-cursor navigation; a user merely has to look at an item and, once focused in, can select it by tapping fingers together. The device sold out, but some users reported eyestrain, and social media mocked people who wore the goggles out in public. Still, knowing that a Vision Pro early adopter had to be relatively affluent – the device costs close to $4,000 – several retailers and marketers had the visionOS software mastered by launch day and were retail-ready.

Oakland, California-based E.l.f. Cosmetics launched the “your best e.l.f.” Apple visionOS app, enabling shoppers to explore three distinct 3D environments that are rendered within a 4K display. The user interface lets shoppers “handle” items via visionOS’s intuitive hand and eye movements, with purchases concluded through Apple Pay.

Los Angeles-based Alo Yoga , a luxury activewear brand, launched “alo Sanctuary,” dubbed the first wellness-driven shopping app for Apple Vision Pro. Developed in partnership with Obsess, an immersive shopping platform for 3-D e-commerce experiences, alo Sanctuary lets users meditate in “hyper-realistic” environments — the beach, mountains, canyons and jungle — while interacting with dressed and styled mannequins. The visionOS software lets users adjust how immersive the environment is, while spatial audio cues vary as the shopper moves through the space.

Boston-based Wayfair ported a version of its “Decorify” generativeAI app over to Apple Vision Pro. It enables users to quickly redesign their spaces in various styles and then move through this immersive environment. Users can upload photos and use predetermined room filters such as “Pleasantly Peach” or “Valentine’s Day” to garner overall design inspiration. Users can then select and view Wayfair items in 3D directly inside their spaces to see how they might look and fit. All 3D items are at full scale and said to be “anchored” to the floor.

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Solutions & Innovations

Mars Inc. invited Apple Vision Pro headset wearers to step into a virtual version of its broad-based “Rookie Mistake” campaign. Using the headset’s AR technology, fans could practice kicking field goals or, as my dog Olive is doing, get advice from a “misfortune teller,” aka. T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rookie Mistake is said to be one of the first brand experiences to use visionOS technology.

Lowe’s launched Style Studio on Apple Vision Pro, touting it as “a transformational moment for kitchen design.” Style Studio enables customers to visualize a kitchen by taking them inside an immersive 3D scene built from preset styles curated by Lowe’s designers. Shoppers can then mix in custom options that, according to Lowe’s, represent nearly 80 billion possible combinations. Once a customer has found a preferred design, she can move that plan onto “style boards” and email, text or AirDrop them to third parties such as contractors or designers. Once all the plans and details are synchronized, they can be purchased on a Lowes.com account.

In January OpenAI rolled out the ChatGPT Store to users of ChatGPT Plus, the $20 per month subscription service that offers access to version 4.0 and other advanced AI features. The ChatGPT Store claims to have 3 million “GPTs” that have been developed by the AI community in categories like DALL·E, writing, research, programming, education and lifestyle. (Visit chat.openai.com/gpts to test drive it.) Examples of popular GPTs range from hiking trail recommendations, coding tutorials, presentation designers and, as you’ve probably guessed by now, shopping aids.

Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France-based Decathlon , a 1,700-store, 70-country sporting goods retailer, reimagined its app for Apple Vision Pro to enable customers to shop its outdoor and cycling products. The company says that customers can “step inside our tents” or examine bikes in 3D within the visual framework of their own home.

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A search for a CVS GPT yielded “CVS Health by Ying Chen,” a spokes-bot that I assume was created by a third party and that I doubt has been authorized by anyone at headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. I deliberately fed it a potentially controversial query about babies and vaccines, and its response, whether accurate or not, sounded authoritative.

In January, Lowe’s made a GPT version of its “Product Expert” service available to all ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Once they are logged into ChatGPT they can search for the gablelogo in the custom GPT store, select “install” and ask for home improvement advice. By doing so, they’re also tapping into the entirety of Lowe’s catalog of millions of products for shoppable recommendations. Lowe’s, which has vast experience with advanced customer-service technology, emphasized “natural language responses” in this GPT. As you can see, it deftly handled my smart-alecky request for a left-handed monkey wrench.

Ikea released a U.S.-only version of its generative AI shopping tool on February 5 via OpenAI’s GPT Store.

The company claims the “Ikea AI Assistant” enables users to explore 10,000 products and even check real-time merchandise availability at specific stores. Ikea also says this GPT can formulate customized recommendations for complex requests such as, “Show me a cozy living room layout for a small apartment with the use of sustainable materials.”

The Wild West of creativity unleashed by OpenAI has been a lot of fun —pot roast-flavored Coca-Cola , anyone? But while it appears that these unauthorized third-party GPTs aren’t reaching mass audiences as of yet, it’s a technology that should be monitored and managed carefully by brands as it has the potential to become, in the words of the Washington Post, “misinformation super-spreaders.”

Other than Lowe’s and Ikea, I could find no other major retailers or brands with an official presence on ChatGPT. However, it wasn’t difficult to find AI bots already “speaking” on their behalf. For example, the top result in my search for a Walgreens GPT was “Photo Coupon Helper,” a GPT that claims to be an “expert on Walgreens photo coupons and promotions.” When I asked it about current candy promotions, it told me I could buy Hershey bars for 50 cents apiece; I wonder if either company is aware of this.


Nostalgia Marketing

1 3 2 4

In 2023, Liberty Mutual ran a number of video advertisements saying, “Research shows, people remember commercials with nostalgia” while offering random nostalgic references, such as an old-school home video of Christmas morning or a Y2K fad.

Karla (Cook) Hesterberg, director of content marketing at HubSpot, wrote in a blog post last year, “Nostalgia marketing is the advertising equivalent of comfort food.”

We saw nostalgia marketing seemingly reach new heights last year in the wake of Barbiecore. But that likely won’t be the end or peak of nostalgia’s creative inspiration as its success endures and transcends generations.

For example, typeface technology company Monotype identified nostalgia as a leading trend in type and brand design that will shape the wider cultural zeitgeist of 2024 — including 1990s and Y2K nostalgia for musical subcultures (e.g., raves & grunge) and the comeback of classic serif fonts — in its annual Type Trends report.

Below is a sampling of various brand and retailer activations from the past year that leverage nostalgia.

1While Girl Scout Cookies have never gone away from the culture, they do still seem to evoke a sense of nostalgia in many consumers and former Girl Scouts. Procter & Gamble’s Native took advantage of this when it launched a limited-edition collection of personal-care products inspired by the cookies exclusively at Target . Stores stocked the line on a green endcap, while Target promoted the product alongside deals within Target.com.

2 7-Eleven partnered with Bandai Namco’s “Pac-Man” video game franchise last summer on a sweepstakes awarding an ultimate arcade package, including a custom arcade machine. The retailer heavily promoted the sweepstakes, which leveraged a slew of qualifying brands, on social media and within stores via signage plugging 7Rewards deals. 7-Eleven also temporarily renamed some of its proprietary drinks for Pac-Man’s ghost antagonists and launched a 7-Eleven x Pac-Man apparel collection sold through 7Collection.com.

3 PetSmart introduced a line of licensed Care Bears for Pets toys and apparel inspired by the classic plush teddy bears, first launched in 1983. In stores, the colorful line occupied prime endcap space featuring a rainbow header reflecting the classic Care Bears branding.

4 Disney partnered with Target to promote its 100th anniversary celebration by launching an exclusive, limited-edition Disney100 Retro Reimagined collection at the retailer ahead of the holidays. Items included puzzles, shirts,

Activation Gallery 44 l March/April 2024


pajamas, backpacks and toys with Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters. A Christmasthemed display fixture in the apparel department and a Retro Reimagined display in the toy department stocked the line, while digital and social media activity supported online.

5 The J.M. Smucker Company’s Meow Mix tapped the boy band phenomenon of the 1990s in launching an iteration of its iconic Meow Mix jingle through the recurring “Remix” campaign. The effort included a TV spot and digital and social media support featuring NSYNC’s JC Chasez as well as the brand’s made-up cat boy band, dubbed the Tabby 5, mimicking a ’90s-style music video.


Mondelez International’s Sour Patch Kids launched a digital Halloween campaign in October encouraging consumers to face their past. The brand tapped the self-proclaimed “queen of owning your past,” Rebecca Black, to promote the campaign and an accompanying TikTok challenge. The challenge asked consumers to dig up photos of their past choices — photos they may have wished to forget — for a chance to win a grand-prize $5,000 and Halloween candy from the brand.

7 Danone’s Silk tapped some Gen Z celebrities, including Brooklyn Beckham, for a campaign that brought back the mid-1990s milk moustaches from dairy ads to promote Silk’s plant-based Nextmilk. The brand launched a ‘Stache filter on TikTok and promoted a sweepstakes rewarding a year’s supply of Silk and the chance to be the face of a Silk billboard in New York’s Times Square.

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Silk Focuses on Sustainability at Target


Danone’s Silk has run omnichannel programs at Target for the last two years to spotlight its sustainability efforts, and 2023’s effort centered on a brand page running within Target.com.

“We know younger generations really care about what brands are doing from a sustainability standpoint, and this gives us a really unique opportunity to speak to those younger guests and let them know why they should choose Silk,” says Meredith Rariden, Danone North America shopper marketing manager –Target. “Target has its own sustainability initiatives like Target Zero, but we haven’t seen that reach grocery yet.”

The brand page, which was live from July 9 to Sept. 30, explained that Silk:

• Works with almond butter suppliers in California to plant more than 250 acres of native plants to support bees, butterfl ies, songbirds and other animals.

• Has pledged to make all of its packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2030.

• Partners with Change the Course to help preserve freshwater ecosystems in the Colorado River Basin.

A banner at the top of the page encouraged purchases by offering Target Circle members a 10% discount on Silk items.

Rariden says the goal of the program is to deepen consumer connection with the brand by spotlighting its regenerative

We know younger generations really care about what brands are doing from a sustainability standpoint, and this gives us a really unique opportunity to speak to those younger guests and let them know why they should choose Silk.
Meredith Rariden, Danone North America

agricultural initiatives. Targeting high income Millennial households with kids, the campaign also incorporated refrigerated endcap displays showcasing almond milk SKUs in stores from Aug. 27 through Sept. 30. The brand was stocked alongside seasonal products from General Mills’ Pillsbury and Nestle’s Starbucks.

“Based on [2022’s] insights, we lengthened the program to give it more exposure, optimized for best performing placements and audiences, and added three weeks of Silk Circle offers for a strong call to action,” she says.

In addition to a brand page, 2022’s campaign incorporated Pinterest and Instagram ads, as well as onsite and off-site placements (via Target’s Roundel retailer media network). Consumers spent an average of 99 seconds on the brand page, double the typical amount they’d visit, and it led to share of category gains for both Silk milk and creamers. The campaign influenced 7.2% percent of sales during the period, more than any other Silk program in 2022.

“Target helped provide a great deep-dive on the program results [in 2022], which helped us set up [2023’s] program for success,” Rariden said. “From a creative standpoint, they were very collaborative to ensure we were conveying our message to help educate Target’s [shoppers].”

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