As part of our continuing “what the hell” series starring interns, we bring you this installment, courtesy of Allison O’Neill

“God Save the Queen,” “Mind the Gap,” and give your interns five pounds a day for lunch, were all part of my daily routine while interning abroad in London last spring semester.  Was it exciting?  Absolutely.  Was it like CatapultRPM? Not even close.

As soon as I got off the plane, I began mentally preparing myself for a new internship at CatapultRPM.  As part of a best-in-class retail consumer marketing agency – a.k.a. “shopper marketing”- I now know why I am motivated to buy, as well as what, when, and how I buy.  Until I started working here, I thought I bought things simply because I liked them or needed them.  But this experience pulled back the curtain to reveal the process behind the actual scientific, psychological and artistic strategy of marketing executions.  There is a meticulously thought-out plan behind turning consumers into shoppers and compelling them to want or need to buy a product they had not even considered to include in their everyday lives.  As an intern at CatapultRPM, I had my proverbial P&G “moment of truth.” And many other “ah-ha” moments. It’s not been dull, that’s for sure.

There is one experience in particular that has shaped my understanding of what a best-in-class, behavior-based marketing services agency is all about.  For the last several months, I have owned, managed, and completed a project called “Aisle Watch.” This is one of the many assignments ourv CPG team does for our client as part of a competitive category, shopper, and brand review.  Each month, I go undercover to take in-store pictures of what is happening by competitive category.  Once back in the office, I compile an account of all the happenings and updates from financial returns, seasonal merchandising, comp shop results, design partners, and so on.  It’s basically the complete 411 on what we’ve termed “All Things Target,” one of the biggest files on our server.

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