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Google’s Becky Johnson talks shopper marketing with Medill IMC

The Medill IMC’s shopper marketing practicum course hosted Becky Johnson, one of Google’s digital marketing partner leads, as she spoke about the advancement of digital shopper marketing and her team’s role in the process.

Johnson serves as a client partner lead for Google’s advertising partnership with one of America’s largest consumer goods companies, Procter & Gamble. She says the main objective of her work is adapting to the changing face of retail with digital marketing innovations.

“When we speak with [companies], we set the stage with the new realities of retail,” Johnson said. “It is always open, anywhere, everywhere. [It’s] no longer constrained by real estate and store hours, [and you] must win all traffic—physical and virtual.”

Consumers’ constant connectivity through mobile is changing fundamental pillars of retail: traffic, product and pricing, service and communication, she said.

“Consumers expect service to be frictionless throughout the entire process…from research to transaction to fulfillment,” Johnson said. “And in the old reality, there was a…generic mass message that [advertisers sent] out, but in the new reality, we now [adapt with] personalized suggestions and curated products.”

Johnson’s work with Procter & Gamble influenced other shopper marketing co-op teams and many marketing innovations intending to reach millennials. One digital marketing innovation involved a unique YouTube video collaboration in which Gillette, Walmart and a popular trick-shot YouTube Influencer Dude Perfect worked with Johnson’s team to produce a trick-shot video at Gillette stadium promoting the Gillette ProGlide Flexball razor launch at Walmart. View the video here.

“It’s important to embrace change,” Johnson said. “In order to foster a culture of innovation at Google, failure is not punished as long as you fail fast and learn from the experience. “

IMC classes have industry pros visit classrooms each quarter as part of the curriculum. For more information on Medill IMC, visit our website.