Keynote panel of shopper marketing vets break down “shopper-centric” rules of engagement and alignment

CHICAGO — How can retailers and their supplier-partners overcome the most common obstacles that impede true collaboration, real growth and a mutually beneficial business relationship? By taking a step back and focusing on the most important common ground retailers and suppliers share — the shopper.

That will be the key focus for an exclusive panel of shopper marketing veterans from both the retailer and supplier ranks who will come together, here, at the Shopper Marketing Expo, next month, at the Chicago Navy Pier, to examine the critical factors needed to build strategic alignment around "shopper-centricity,” which is so crucial to collaborative success.

The special keynote session, “Building Trust: Using a Shopper-Centric Focus to Strengthen Collaboration at Retail,” will present a candid and thought-provoking discussion of the most common stumbling blocks to effective joint business and promotional planning, explained moderator Patrick Fitzmaurice, principle of the Capré Group, who will lead the discussion, slated for Thursday, Oct. 10. The group will help define a “wish list” of informational and support resources that manufacturers and retailers need from each other in order to ensure effective collaboration, and discuss methods for establishing real transparency between retailer and suppliers to foster deeper understanding of each parties’ needs and to drive greater success.

And all of that really begins and ends with the shopper.

“The common denominator that retailers and manufacturers have to focus on together is the shopper. Being really shopper-centric and understanding how we win together with that shopper is key,” Fitzmaurice told DSN.

Joining Fitzmaurice on the panel will be:

  • Kim Feil, EVP/chief marketing and strategy officer, OfficeMax - With accountability for all aspects of marketing across the enterprise, and a particular emphasis on brand management and evolution of the company’s traditional marketing vehicles to new media including digital and social, Feil brings more than 25 years of marketing and executive leadership experience to OfficeMax. Prior to joining OfficeMax in November 2012, Feil was chief marketing officer at Walgreens, where, through careful analysis and understanding of the company’s 6 million customers, Feil helped create a marketing center of excellence to help reposition Walgreens as a leading community and daily living destination versus just a traditional drug store;
  • April Carlisle, former leader of P&G's center of excellence, and currently SVP, director of strategy for Global Shopper Marketing, Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide - In her newly created role with the agency, Carlisle oversees shopper and customer marketing initiatives for various clients, including Allstate, Fifth Third Bank, Firestone, Kellogg Co., McDonald’s, Sprint and Samsung. Carlisle came to her new role with more than 20 years of experience leading traditional sales management and shopper marketing organizations at Procter & Gamble, including, most recently, as the leader of P&G’s North America Shopper Marketing Center of Excellence, where she led the creation and development of best practices for shopper marketers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico; and
  • Lisa Klauser, former VP consumer and customer solutions and marketing operations, Unilever, and currently president, consumer and shopper marketing, IN Marketing Services - A former 20-year Unilever veteran with more than 20 years experience — including her previous stint as VP, consumer and customer solutions and marketing operations — Klauser was a key member of Unilever’s North American leadership team with responsibility for marketing and sales capabilities, as well as representing North America as a member of the global marketing operations team. In that capacity, Klauser led a team of 250-plus and oversaw a number of areas, including shopper marketing, category management, marketing communications, visual branding, consumer services and marketing operations.

“The fascinating thing about this panel is you’ve got people who are ready to talk outside of their roles. Retailers [and CPG executives] should come to this session because they’re going to hear some pretty candid feedback,” Fitzmaurice added, “[from] people that have led some major shopper marketing groups at [some very] big companies.”

As the moderator for the discussion, Fitzmaurice brings a strong shopper-driven orientation and a proven, 25-year track record of helping to bring brands to life at retail, with considerable expertise in manufacturer-retailer collaborative business planning, shopper-marketing capability building and identifying opportunities through hypothesis-driven thinking. Before developing the Caprē Group in 2003, Fitzmaurice held leadership roles at such companies as Unilever, Nielsen and Donnelley Marketing, as well as several smaller start-up companies.

Often the biggest impediments today are not involving the right people and playing with old rules, he said. “What the group is going to talk about are the things that get in the way [of effective collaboration] are sub-optimal cross-functional alignment across the retailer and the manufacturer. The right players aren’t playing together,” he said. “The way that we [reach] shoppers has changed, but the way we go to market together is still exactly how we’ve been doing it for 50 years. Those structures don’t work anymore, but we’re still trying to apply them.”

The Shopper Marketing Expo is slated for Oct. 8-10, at Chicago’s Navy Pier. For more information, visit


Login or Register to post a comment.