Tim Orrell - Shopper Marketing Hero

Tim Orrell - Shopper Marketing Hero

Due to vacations and a large number of new clients we had to on-board last summer, we took a break from honoring our Shopper Marketing Heroes for a few months. I am happy to resume our little tradition this month. Please meet October Shopper Markeitng Hero, Tim Orrell, UK Director at FPP, an independent shopper marketing agency.

Tim was nominated by Nick Bentley, Head of Customer Marketing at A G Barr. Here is what he said about Tim:

"In all my time working in shopper - I’ve never met anyone who ‘gets it’ more so than Tim. For me, he’s the UK’s no. 1 expert in shopper... and what I like most about him is how he shares his knowledge, insight and behavioural understating in a fun, engaging and exciting manner.

His passion, enthusiasm, and ability to ‘convert’ the non-believers (most consumer brand managers!) is exceptional.

Tim is not only an expert, but one of the nicest people you could ever meet - spend 10 minutes with him and you will learn more than you have in the last 10 years!"
So, naturally, I was very intrigued to get to know Tim. I reached out to ask him a few questions. Here is what Tim shared with me:
OY: When and how did you come to work in shopper marketing?
TO: I worked with P&G over 10 years ago, and they embraced shopper and wanted us to develop ideas and concepts around a shelf-back approach. I've been working in marketing for over 30 years, and shopper has always been there, we just called it Trade Marketing and focused less on the messaging.
OY: What skills and experiences, in your opinion, are important to be successful in shopper marketing?
TO: Remember you're a shopper, we're all shoppers. Ditch the marketing waffle and ask yourself how you find brands in-store and what they could do to disrupt you. If you don't view every brief from a shopper's point of view, you'll miss the key ingredient you need to succeed.
OY: What is your shopper marketing "super power"?
TO: Probably experience, I'm getting old, but I'm also very down to earth, put more bluntly, common. This allows me to look at what the average family will like and how they'll behave and work out what they'll see as outrageous marketing bollocks and what they'll genuinely engage with.
OY: What fascinates you about shopper marketing?
TO: Just how many brands still don't understand how important it is to engage with shoppers at the shelf edge. It's like running a marathon in record time and then stopping in the last 100m to put diving boots on.
OY: What advice do you have for young shopper marketers or those who are interested a in shopper marketing career?
TO: Go shopping! You can only understand shoppers by watching them in the wild. You can't understand how things will work in your meeting room. Get out there with real money and buy the things you want to market. You'll find 2 or 3 nuggets of real insight on your journey round store and remember this playground changes every day, so it has to be a daily pilgrimage. Also, be brave! You often have an idea that you know you love but the logistics, retail partners and brand team are not on board - but some buns and start persuading!
OY: In your opinion, what are the most important current trends will change the way shopper marketers do their jobs?
TO: Everyone is getting wet and windy about store formats and functional changes and yet we're still dealing with a 50 year old model in all categories. With Amazon testing no check-outs and other retailers testing hybrid online/bricks and mortar models, we've been blinded. We should all be developing new mission based approaches that genuinely solve shoppers problems, give them inspiration and create a framework for genuine convenience.
OY: Which companies' shopper marketing strategies and initiatives do you admire? Why? 
TO: I've always been a fan of P&G, they're usually thinking 10 years ahead and take their research and testing seriously, opening doors for the rest of us to stampede through.
Thank you, Nick, for nominating such a fascinating candidate! Thank you, Tim, for sharing your perspectives.
Do you know an unsung hero who always goes above and beyond the call of shopper marketing duty? Or is always bringing you new ideas? Or is constantly challenging the status quo? Recognize them and let the world know you value their contributions.
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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