<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=729135073960064&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Shopper Marketing Operations Manager Job Description

Shopper Marketing Ops Manager Job Blog HeaderMarketing operations, or MOPS for short, is a promising career in the CPG space. About a year ago, I wrote why shopper marketers are perfect candidates for emerging marketing ops roles. One of my clients reached out recently and asked for a deep dive into the topic. Specifically, she wanted to know the job description for a shopper marketing operations manager.

To help understand what a shopper marketing operations manager does, let’s  juxtapose them with a classic shopper marketing manager’s role that we are all very familiar with:

While classic shopper marketers discover shopper insights, partner with Brands and Sales to plan and implement brand strategies and tactics, manage creative and media agencies, and analyze campaign results, the shopper marketing ops managers focus on creating an environment where all of these activities can happen efficiently, in an agile way, with minimum friction.

Three Areas of Focus for Shopper Marketing Ops

To make the omnichannel shopper marketing team tick like clockwork, the operations manager will focus on the following three areas:

1. People

Shopper marketing ops managers can help define key skills required for a shopper marketing team's success, identify talent gaps and, together with HR and Procurement create a strategy and a process for hiring or outsourcing the expertise. The expertise can come in many forms:

  1. Consultants and industry experts who offer benchmarking, go-to-market strategy, org design and training services.
  2. Full-time or part-time shopper marketing hires or contractors.
  3. Marketing and media agencies that serve as an extension of your team and may specialize in certain areas, such as SEO, RMN, e-commerce, influencer and in-store marketing.
  4. Cross-functional matrix partners, for example category analysts and data scientists who help conduct shopper marketing post-promo evaluations.

2. Process

When the shopper marketing team  is in place, shopper marketing ops managers’ goal is to integrate them into the existing company-wide processes, as well as develop and implement internal processes that guide how the shopper marketing work gets done:

  1. Shopper Research. While often led by a separate Shopper Insights team, operations managers ensure that the shopper marketing team is adequately involved in design, implementation, dissemination of learnings and activation of the insights.
  2. Brand Annual Operating Planning (AOP) - ensuring shopper marketing has a timely input and delivers relevant retail insights to influence brands’ annual planning process.
  3. Customer Joint Business Planning (JBP) - presenting the big ideas to top retail customers to ensure their strategic alignment and support for the upcoming planning cycle.
  4. Integrated Marketing Planning (IMP) - understanding brand priorities, messaging and equity in order to deliver them consistently and effectively across retail customers and communication channels.
  5. Budget Management - consistently communicating initial and incremental budget releases and budget cuts to the shopper marketing team.
  6. Tactical Planning - ensuring all released funds are planned and the tactic-level forecasts are up-to-date, to enable automated reporting for various matrix partners.
  7. On-Going Financial Reporting - timely, detailed and accurate spend reporting to ensure proper P&L management and adherence to accounting best practices.
  8. Coupon and Incentive Management - establishing a process for requesting new coupon offers and actualizing the completed ones.
  9. Actualization - standardizing the way that invoices, deductions and redemption fees are actualized at the event level to enable post-promo analytics.
  10. Post-Promo Analytics - understanding the impact of past events on sales to enable future spend optimization. While often led by the data science team, shopper marketing operations managers help define the business questions and data requirements for the post-promo analytics process.


3. Data & Tech

Participating in or leading the evaluation, licensing, deployment, and maintenance of the  shopper marketing data and software systems, such as:

  1. Marketing Resource Management (MRM) System, such as Shopperations, where budgets and forecasts are kept up to date and cross-functional and agency collaboration happens.
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System to manage consumer and shopper segmentation and profiling, deploy personalized marketing campaigns, manage leads, track direct sales and customer service tickets.
  3. Content Management (CMS) System, which centralizes and automates the process of managing websites, while optimizing their content for SEO.
  4. Product Information Management (PIM) System, a centralized storage or product descriptions, specs, pricing, and inventory details. PIM helps achieve consistency in product information across various channels, like catalogs, own or retail e-commerce websites, and in marketing materials.
  5. Digital Asset Management (DAM) System to centralize and organize brand assets, such as fonts, logos, packaging, advertising and promotional materials, product photography, and more.
  6. Retail Media Networks and other DSPs, such as Amazon, Walmart Connect, Kroger Precision Media, where brands can target shoppers, deploy media campaigns and track conversions in the context of retailers’ online environment.
  7. Coupon Clearinghouse Systems - to forecast and track performance of variable costs of shopper incentives.
  8. Accounts Payable Systems and other internal portals where vendor billing is managed and spend is actualized.
  9. Syndicated and retailer shopper and sales data, such as Nielsen, Circana, NPD or SPINs, Kroger KPM and Walmart Lumina to be used in the post-promo ROI measurement.

Because of their expertise, shopper marketing operations managers can be invited to join the integration task forces, if the above data and systems need to connect into other enterprise software, such as ERP, financial reporting software and Trade Promotion Management Systems.

Shopper Marketing Ops Manager Job Blog Header


Ideal Skills and Experiences

Who would thrive in a shopper marketing operations manager role? What skills will they need to succeed? It may be impossible to find someone who meets all the requirements from the get-go, but former shopper marketers are typically well-equipped to do the job:

  1. Overall project management experience. The shopper marketing operations manager will be leading a cross-functional team that does not report to them. They will spend a lot of time making a business case for change, building consensus, documenting requirements, keeping track of deliverables and deadlines and holding the team accountable to ensure the project moves forward.
  2. Understanding the basics of brand and retail marketing. Past shopper marketing, brand marketing and agency experience is a big plus, since these kinds of candidates come with “built-in” functional empathy. Otherwise, the operations manager will need to spend quite some time job shadowing and interviewing the shopper team to glean insights for what needs to be done to alleviate their pain.
  3. Tech-savvy fast learner. The world of omnichannel shopper marketing changes all the time, new ad and retail technologies, vendors, apps, social media network capabilities emerge on almost daily basis. Evaluating and selectively testing them will be part of the job of a shopper marketing operations manager.
  4. Data and systems mindset. Finance and analytics background are a strong plus. Understanding what data shopper marketers get, use, produce and share, as well as where the data resides and how it is used to support decisions will be important to the success of a marketing ops manager.
  5. Comfortable with ambiguity, vast scope and diverse stakeholders. Shopper marketing is riddled with gray areas, it covers a vast array of activities and deals with numerous internal stakeholders (such as IT, finance, and sales) and external vendor partners. Beign able to stay on top of it all is a skill that will set a great SMOPS manager apart from the rest.
  6. Tenacity  and passion for automation and process efficiencies. Ideal candidates will be familiar with six sigma process improvement philosophies and have a vision for how to apply them in marketing. Effecting change is a tough assignment, and it may not always happen on the first try. That’s why having someone who is positive and tenacious, with a growth mindset, would be ideal for this role.

Could your team use a shopper marketing operations manager? Do you think this would be a fun job? Can you think of someone who would be a great candidate for such a role? I would love to meet them.


Other Posts You May Like:





Book a Free Consultation With Shopperations




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.
Free ebook How to build modern Shopper Marketing Capability
Vendorstan - Find a perfect tactic or vendor to activate your brand

Subscribe to Email Updates