Position Highlight: Shopper Insights Manager

Nationwide, the current average salary for shopper insight managers is $97,000 a year. This is 69 percent higher than the national average for all jobs posted, and the salary potential can range into the low-to-mid six figures. To cite a few examples, as noted by Glassdoor, Clorox has posted a shopper insights manager position at $114,299 and the Coca Cola Company has a senior shopper insights manager job posted at $143,830.

As compensation packages for shopper insights managers continue to grow with market demand, so too does the role of this integral member of your team. What skills and qualities should you be seeking as you successfully fill this role?

Two Tracks

The role has evolved with the transformation in the way shoppers “shop” using current Internet and mobile technologies.  There are basically two development tracks for shopper insights professionals within the CPG industry.

Sales Track:  These shopper insights professionals usually work in the sales organization and may have spent substantial time in category management roles before transitioning into shopper insights.  They have significant operational experience with and understanding of the company’s sales force and retail customers.  From an insights and research perspective, this track specializes in syndicated data (IRI/Nielsen), category management tools, and how to interpret, apply and communicate consumer insights derived from custom and primary research.

Insights Track:  Focusing more on shopper behavior, these professionals develop strategic insights.   They lead the sourcing, interpretation and application of shopper insights to drive in-market innovation success, inform business decisions, and develop shopper marketing strategies and programs that promote category expansion and brand growth.  Their research expertise is in qualitative and quantitative research studies as well as syndicated, with a focus on path-to-purchase, shelf set optimization, in-store observation and virtual shopping.

Both are responsible for the “voice of the shopper” to internal and external sales teams, as well as leveraging shopper, category and retailer learning from primary and secondary research sources to drive business with customers.

Companies can employ one or the other, or both.  In some companies, shopper insights managers have the opportunity to work in both areas.

Critical Soft Skills

The best market research and analysis in the industry is wasted unless it is effectively communicated to your team members and other relevant constituents – and unless all stakeholders are engaged and understand how to convert insights into business success. Your liaison in making this happen is your shopper insights manager. Critical soft skills include:

  • Strong multitasking abilities, flexibility, and patience in fluid environments where priorities change and methodologies are continually challenged.
  • Excellent active listening, written and verbal communication skills.
  • A professional attitude and service orientation as a team player.

Based in Connecticut and national in scope, the executive search team at O’Connell Group services two specialized industries: marketing and market research. Our seasoned recruiters have deep expertise and understanding of these markets and a strong network of relationships with top candidates. We will conduct contingent or retained services, depending on the unique goals and needs of your organization. Contact us today to learn more.