Megan Hennigan - Shopper Marketing Hero

Megan Hennigan - Shopper Marketing HeroWe are continuing our tradition of featuring outstanding shopper marketing practitioners this month.

Meet our June Shopper Marketing Hero: Megan Hennigan,  Team Leader Shopper Marketing at Campbell Soup Company. 

One of Megan's vendor partners nominated her and shared:

"Megan does amazing work creating an innovative platform for Campbell Soup at Target. She established great connectivity with her Agency (Mars) that helps her design and execute programs. She also successfully brought in external brand partners, such as Del Monte, do create scale and complementary shopper solutions."

Megan and I met briefly at P2P conferences, but I have never had a chance to sit down and talk to her 1:1. This was my chance to reach out and learn more about her.


OY: When and how did you come to work in shopper marketing?
MH: In 2003, I moved into the 'Co-Marketing' group at News America, selling promotional vehicles to both manufacturers and retailers. My clients were across the spectrum of manufacturer sales reps who were using their trade funds, newly created 'Shopper Marketing' departments, buyers at retailers who wanted their 'fair share' of marketing dollars, and developing marketing departments at retailers - who were just starting to leverage loyalty card data to build more impactful programs. It was messy, but it built the foundation to understand how successful shopper programs were developed. From there, I had the opportunity to go to Heinz North America as they were just getting their Shopper Marketing group off the ground.
OY: What skills and experiences, in your opinion, are important to be successful in shopper marketing?
MH: Storytelling - the art of taking many individual programs and results and weaving into an impactful message to leadership at both the manufacturer and the retailer. Driving for progress, not perfection. We never have perfect information or conditions, but we can always be better and build on what we've done to improve results.
OY: What is your shopper marketing "super power"?
MH: Living in the middle. Listening, hearing and understanding all sides objectives and priorities. You can't please everyone all the time, but understanding what drives the business and finding the middle ground to develop plans that deliver on business objectives.
OY: What fascinates you about shopper marketing?
HM: This is where the action happens. All marketing is philosophical until it gets someone to put a product in their cart.
OY: What advice do you have for young shopper marketers or those who are interested in a shopper marketing career?
MH: It takes a blended background of sales and marketing to be successful. You need to understand the retail environment & sales data as much as you need to be able to evaluate creative and craft a well-written brief. Typically people are naturally better at one than the other. Recognize what you are - and push yourself to have balanced experiences and exposure to strengthen those muscles.
OY: In your opinion, what are the most important current trends will change the way shopper marketers do their jobs?
MH: So many - the growth of e-commerce - and how brick & mortar is fighting back. Retail environment becomes even more important as people are seeking experiences and a destination as they shop. Big data is cliche at this point, but we have more data than we've ever had about how people shop. We can deliver customized messages to them to drive behavior. Results and optimization. Shopper marketing is past the shiny-object phase and no longer getting a significant budget without demonstrating results.
OY: Which companies' shopper marketing strategies and initiatives do you admire? Why?
MH: I like seeing when teams really activate relevant messages at key points of the consumer journey. J&J and other HBC companies do a very good job of highlighting what motivates shoppers in-store and driving trips. I'm also very interested in how new launches are carried through at retail. Diet Coke with their packaging change and Hershey's Gold (with Olympic tie-in) are recent compelling executions. Time will tell how successful these are, but right now they are fun to watch.

Other Posts You May Like:

HUmza Mahfooz, Shopper Marketing Hero

6 Things I Wish Sales Knew About Shopper Marketing

10 Shopper Marketing Influencers You Should Follow

Nominate a Shopper Marketing Hero


After more than 15 years in Consumer Packaged Goods industry, I became a software entrepreneur. Today, I design and sell Shopperations, a web-based, collaborative planning software for Marketers on both CPG and Retail sides, to enable transparency, accountability and stronger Shopper Marketing promotional analytics. I am passionate about all things Retail and Shopper Marketing, love reading about Neuroscience progress as it relates to shopper research, and care about process improvement and marketing automation technology.
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