April 29-30, 2019
Toronto, ON
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Charting the new path to purchase

Test and learn is the new status quo, so come learn from top brands and retailers as they share what's working – and what's still a work in progress – as they navigate consumer trends and deploy new tools and models along the path to purchase.

Canada's top shopper marketing forum arms you with the latest research and ideas. Whether you're on the manufacturer, retail, agency or partner side, SMF packs in everything – and everyone – you need to know to up your shopper game!


+ Don’t miss a showcase of the latest and greatest shopper marketing, brand activation and experiential programs in Canada at the 2019 Shopper Innovation + Activation Awards.

  • Microsoft: AI and the retail journey

    Consumers expect personalized interactions and high-quality customer service when and wherever they shop. Retailers need to take a fresh look at how they are using tech and the opportunities to leverage data to better understand the wants and needs of customers.

    Canada is at the forefront of innovations in AI research, yet Canadian businesses are lagging behind in the adoption and deployment of AI. Microsoft’s Gladstone Grant will discuss how retailers can embrace AI to survive and thrive in the new digital economy.

  • The grocery store of 2030

    Time to glean some operational considerations for how the next decade will and might unfold for retailers, brands and the shopper, based on research and insights from the Coca-Cola Research Councils and Kantar Retail.

  • Growing Greenhouse: taking a wellness brand from niche to scale

    In five short years, Greenhouse has evolved from a single neighbourhood juice shop in Toronto to a leading Canadian plant-based wellness brand.

    The leaders of Greenhouse's marketing team will share the insights they've picked up as a direct-to-consumer wellness brand, and how they're translating the immersive grassroots experience into new channels as they speak to shoppers across the country.

  • Drinkworks case study: How to launch a completely new product line

    Sometimes innovation is iterative, other times you end up with things that defy easy aisle-categorization. And that's where the path to purchase strategy gets interesting.

    That's the case for Drinkworks, a joint venture of Keurig and ABI, which lets you make cocktails with the push of a button in the comfort of your own home. Drinkworks and Mosaic will share how they brought the brand to life and successfully created demand for this new product.

  • Brita's reimagined shopper journey

    From CSR to virtual reality, Clorox's VP of Marketing, Matt Kohler is reinvigorating the Brita brand. By emphasizing a strong brand purpose throughout the entire shopper journey, Brita creates a “triple bottom line” to benefit the consumer, the company AND the planet.

    This session highlights the importance of corporate social responsibility and the ways business leaders can make a difference in the world.

  • The new story of loyalty: key findings from the Loyalty Report ‘19

    In the largest study of its kind, each year Bond delves into what's changing and what's working in the realm of customer loyalty and engagement.

    On the day of the Loyalty Report 2019 release, Bond’s managing director of global insights, Kyle West, shares the first glance into findings across topics that span understanding the loyal Gen Z customer, the changing rewards experience and the evolving opportunity behind the member journey.

  • Combatting inevitable channel upheaval

    Change is coming...and it will derail your carefully constructed channel strategy. The future state of connecting with consumers will be affected by dozens of driving forces that are beyond the control of marketers.

    Kevin Lund, Chief Brand Officer of DCM, will share key insights on looming shifts in the marketplace and provide solutions to developing a proactive approach to defining channel strategy with critical drivers of change in mind.

  • Canadians’ evolving approach to wellness and healthful shopping

    The meaning of "healthy eating" has changed and expanded over the past decade. A new definition of “better-for-you” options, increased transparency about products and a changing retail environment are leading to new ways of communicating with shoppers looking to make healthier choices in-store.

    Hear Ipsos’ Naumi Haque and Kathy Perrotta share findings based on research about this new, conscious and ever-evolving shopper.

  • Labatt’s new shopper marketing M.O.

    Join Todd Allen, Labatt’s VP of Marketing, as he shares how brands like Stella Artois are evolving shopper marketing through mobile-first campaigns that drive traffic both online and in-store.

    From Stella Artois’ "Pour it Forward" campaign, where consumers can contribute to life-changing causes (like access to clean drinking water with the purchase of a limited edition chalice), to personalization at scale – bringing premium value offers to consumers across the country – Labatt is leveraging full-funnel marketing to maximize cross-channel integration and win at retail.

  • Loblaw Companies: The evolution of loyalty

    PC Optimum’s journey has evolved from a physical card, points-based program to an engaging mobile-first platform offering value beyond points to millions of Canadians.

    Jim Noteboom, SVP of Loyalty & Analytics at Loblaw Companies explains how prioritizing a personalized experience and features which solve real customer problems are key enablers to creating a sustainable relationship with their members.

  • 30 minutes with a retailer: Loblaw

    Join Loblaw Companies SVP Marketing Uwe Stueckmann to hear what's on the agenda next as Loblaw dips its toes into media, and learn more about the retailer's going-forward focus and strategies.

  • 30 minutes with a retailer: Save-On-Foods

    Join Save-On-Foods' Director of Digital Merchandising, Jolene Olmstead to hear about one of the largest grocery store chains on the West coast, and learn more about the retailer's going-forward focus and strategies.

  • 30 minutes with a retailer: Metro

    An informal and interactive break-out: Find out what's working at Metro. Learn about new initiatives and gain insights into the retailer's goals with Metro's Director of Loyalty, Lyne Martinoli.

  • Keynote: From a place to buy to the place to be

    Tony Chapman contends that the six pillars a great retail brand is built upon – Proposition, Product, Place, Promotion, Price and People – have been neutralized by the Platform Economy, with brands like Amazon, Google and Netflix having forged a direct path to the consumer.

    Chapman will break down the strengths and weaknesses of the platform economy and draw upon best-in-the-world retail case studies, to offer his thoughts on how anyone who relies on a physical space can counter these digital matchmakers.

  • Walmart: The omnichannel path to conversion

    Join Walmart's Jennifer Stahlke and Byron Ells, as they discuss how the retailer is approaching the complete omnichannel journey. Hear how they're driving conversion across ecommerce and bricks & mortar, and extending the learning and innovation to their vendor partners through Walmart Media Group.

  • Customer first: Using data-driven insights to fuel the connected customer experience

    Growing competition from traditional players and new market entrants. Machine learning and artificial intelligence. Rising business and labour costs. Retail has never been more challenging. And, today’s consumers expect retailers to deliver a relevant and tailored experience – in-store and across channels - or risk losing their loyalty and share of wallet.

    George Roith, dunnhumby’s Head of Retail for Canada, will discuss trends and insights from dunnhumby’s recent studies of retailers around the globe, and share the Customer First principles top retailers and brands are following to grow market share and sales – fuelled by data.

  • Campbell's: Evolving with the shopper landscape

    For CPGs, navigating disruption along the path to purchase has required some fundamental strategic reboots.

    Liliana Marando, Senior Shopper Marketing Manager at Campbell's, explains how they're shifting gears to meet the needs of the ever-evolving shopper. Learn how an iconic heritage brand is staying ahead of changing habits, tastes and trends to connect with today's consumers.

  • SAQ boosts customer experience with a personalized approach

    How does one elevate the customer experience? By always keeping the customer at the centre of your strategies. Take a deeper look into the decision processes of SAQ: from intuition to insights.

    Ariane de Warren, Brand & Marketing Manager at the SAQ will showcase how data influenced their marketing and in-store approach.

  • Optimizing brand communications per retailer

    In an age of curated product recommendations, social feeds and even potential partners, we all expect more - and more relevant - personalization in our lives. However, most integrated brand plans don’t factor in how the path to purchase differs from retailer to retailer.

    Jesse Gilbert, VP, Integrated Planning at TracyLocke will show how shopper marketers are leveraging higher funnel brand communications across e-com platforms, in-store and online retailer assets, as well as brand channels, to better optimize for key retailers and their shoppers.

  • Keynote: How to drive sales without relying on price

    Disruption is rampant in the shopper space, yet the most pressing challenge is an age-old dilemma: how to drive volume and share, without getting trapped in a downward price spiral.

    Using Consumer Track intel from IMI's March 2019 Global and Canadian Consumer insights findings, and research into 1,000+ major brand case studies, IMI's Managing Partner, Global, Don Mayo will share what brands are doing right, to arm marketers with a more sustainable and effective shopper strategy that builds brand equity along with sales.

  • Finding the sweet spot: balancing brick-and-mortar & digital

    Hear how one of Canada’s leading retailers is successfully transitioning its shopping experience to reflect a holistic approach, balanced between in-store, online and hybrid options aimed at the rapidly changing consumer landscape.

    Canadian Tire's SVP of Marketing Susan O’Brien will outline how the retailer has overhauled its e-commerce game while modernizing its still crucial in-store experience.

  • Cannabis: The new retail disruptor

    Get behind the scenes of the cannabis retail business with Tokyo Smoke. Join Canopy Growth's VP of Retail Infrastructure and Strategic Projects Hilary Smee as she discusses navigating the intersection of brand and retail in the cannabis space.

    Hear how Tokyo Smoke is leading the charge in this new eco-system and how they are establishing brand trust and loyalty in an emerging market, carving out new paths to purchase and creating in-store experiences.

  • WGSN explains future youth: The Gen Z Equation

    Gen Z will become the single largest consumer group on the planet sooner than we think. Trend forecasters at WGSN examine how brands can create authentic, lifelong connections with a split generation that defies stereotypes and makes its own rules.

    Meet Gen We and Gen Me - the two Gen Z micro-segments that eat, shop and consume content differently. Hear everything you need to understand about this next cohort of shoppers to better connect with them along the evolving path to purchase.

  • When not to target the multicultural consumer

    With the cultural mosaic of Canadian consumers becoming more complex, it's challenging to know whether your existing advertising is really winning this market.

    You may be questioning, is your budget large enough to finitely target the multicultural market? Is it really necessary? Will the ROI be significant enough? Answers to these questions and more will be discussed in depth along with how-to and when-to guidelines to influence the multicultural shopper.

  • Forecasting the shopping habits of the future consumer 2021

    Hear the key insights from the latest consumer trend report by global forecasters at WGSN - "The Future Consumer: How will people shop differently and what will they expect from brands in 2021?"

    The report dives into the top drivers that will shape retail in the upcoming years and presents global sentiments that will disrupt consumer behaviour, alongside consumer profiles that will drive growth in 2021.

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