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E-Commerce

Future of CPG Marketing:
Building a Winning Strategy

man on speedy go kart - full

The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry marketing is changing. The game and the rules are evolving, and brands need to identify and implement new and strategic ways to keep up in order to remain profitable.

According to Clare Gordon, Nicolas Willemot, Eileen Shy, and John Grudnowski in their Bain & Company article, “Today, marketing consumer products is more like a sprawling contest of mixed martial arts, with new competitors playing by different rules; an unprecedented complexity of channels, content, and partners; and a step-change in speed and ways of working that has punches flying at incumbent consumer products companies.”

To ensure future success, CPG brands need to transform their marketing operations to better connect with consumers in this ever-changing industry. Here’s how brands can prepare for the future of CPG marketing.

Define New Growth Platforms

In the past, brand marketers just considered geographies and nearby industry verticals when brainstorming marketing methods. However, this approach is no longer effective. Brand marketers need to take more factors into the mind and remain aware of new marketing trends that emerge in the CPG industry when coming up with marketing strategies.

CPG marketing trends have shifted from services to experiences, and now further to communities, and brands must discover new growth platforms in order to keep up with this pace of change. To determine the most effective marketing methods and growth platforms, they need to evaluate the past and the future. Brand marketers can enhance their marketing methods by combining the old with the new.

So, instead of relying only on legacy marketing tactics, brand marketers should think “outside the box.” Consumers today want more engagement with brands. Marketers should create innovative ways to connect with consumers based on demand while envisioning marketing strategies that influence every touchpoint of the individual consumer journey in the long run.

By taking a step further and implementing a growth platform that enhances marketing tactics of the past to improve the future, CPG brands can transcend beyond their current products, business models, and capabilities.

man with tablet showing charts-growth

Rethink Your Brand Portfolio

The truth be told. The conventional marketing formula no longer brings growth. As the marketplace undergoes a rapid transformation, marketing leaders are compelled to rethink their brand from its competitiveness to capabilities and the way they connect with consumers.

Disruptive industry trends and insurgent brands have raised the bar on consumer expectations that force brands to build and manage a more diverse brand portfolio to meet the demand.

By focusing on refining optimal portfolio roles, identifying winning strategies, determining the level of investments and ROI expectations, will help marketing leaders to develop a 360-degree consumer engagement strategy through omnichannel touchpoints of the customer journey. According to the article, “CMOs need to reassess growth platforms and future brand portfolios, along with developing a supporting strategy on data and technology,” to fulfill their newly assigned role as growth drivers in this versatile CPG marketplace.

brand idea poster - onsite services

Transform Your Operating Model

Brand marketers should consider adopting a new operating model and partnership structure that falls in line with the emerging trends in the CPG industry. They must also ensure that they have an effective process in place to manage this transition.

Brands should collect and utilize customer data in order to personalize the shopping experience for their target market and make it as engaging as possible for shoppers. As Gordon, Willemot, Shy, and Grudnowski explain, “Take control of targeting and consumer data to build differentiated capabilities for retargeting groups of consumers, as well as driving insights and guiding strategy.”

Consumers expect to see advertisements that are specifically targeted to their needs. Brands can put their consumer data into good use to tailor their marketing techniques to fit the profile of their target audience.

When you identify the needs of your customers and effectively use personal information, you can influence their shopping process, convert them to loyal customers, and simultaneously drive sales for your business.

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As new trends and changes emerge in the CPG industry, it is essential for brand marketers to be aware and plan new marketing strategies for the future.

By defining new growth platforms that involve “thinking outside the box” of legacy marketing methods, focusing on refining optimal portfolio roles by revamping your brand portfolio, and transitioning to a new operating model that satisfies customers’ shopping experiences, CPG brands can generate demand, drive sales, and keep up with the fast pace of industry changes.

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Top Marketing Trends to Watch for 2020

girl looking through her fingers-full

With 2020 on the horizon, the accessibility of innovative and disruptive technologies are driving marketers to acknowledge, assess, and prepare for emerging marketing trends to remain profitable.

According to John Hall from Forbes, “The world is changing a mile a minute, and it’s hard to scale, differentiate yourself, and maintain trust in the ever-changing marketing world.”

The more you can plan forward, the better equipped you feel to managing those changes when they happen. Here are three top marketing trends that marketers should embrace and prepared for.

woman shopping on tablet - CPG

Social Shopping

Social media, which used to be a network for friends and family sharing emotional input, now becomes an effective sales platform for many brands.

With nearly 25% of brands are selling through social media, it offers brands the ability to reach new customers quickly on users’ own terms. Equipped with a frictionless checkout process, it enables brands to create a seamless shopping experience to build a long-term relationship with their customers for retention. It also allows brands to shorten the sales cycle tremendously for short-term profits.

According to AddThis, 60% of people discover products on Instagram, and 78% of Americans use Facebook to find new products. Social shopping is not just another buzz word. It will shift the way customers find and purchase products, accompanying high expectations of the entire customer journey being frictionless.

Virtual Interaction

Today’s consumers expect new experiences when they are online, and for the majority, this means more interactivity. In fact, augmented reality (AR) is expected to become the most popular interactive technology for engaging consumers in 2020.

Well developed interactive content can keep your consumers on your page longer, increasing your brand exposure. It is highly shareable, meaning you are growing your brand awareness. Consumers enjoy experiencing virtual interaction are more engaging. It is also highly personalizable to fit the customer’s lifestyle, which adds value.

Virtual interactive technologies offer higher emotional intensity and add a new layer of customer experience by placing your brand image close to the eyes of customers.

professional meeting-growth

Content is Still the King

Continuing a steady trend from this year, content marketing will remain as one of the top trends in marketing for 2020. There are advantages of well-crafted content that will bring to your brand. Delivering valuable, relevant, and consistent content attracts and acquires a more clearly-qualified audience with potential conversion in the long-run. Creating and sharing compelling content will build your reputation as an industry authority and influencer. Informative content helps customers to make educated decisions.

Your content is what search engines provide to searchers online; it is critical to produce high-quality content continuously for your inbound and outbound marketing effort. By producing authentic content that adds real value to your target audience, brand marketers will nurture stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships.

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Marketing trends are constantly evolving. And brand marketers need to be aware of emerging trends to leverage efforts to be successful in 2020.

Utilizing social media effectively to create a seamless customer journey, engaging users with meaningful virtual interaction, and creating valuable content that speaks consumer’s language are effective ways to leverage new trends, generate demand, and drive sales for the coming years.

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Three Ways of Capturing What Customers Want Before They Do

thinking girl with digital shopping symbols

Advancement of technology with limitless digital bandwidth opened up a new array of channels for today’s consumers to be more aggressive in engaging with brands. More importantly, it is changing the way consumers shop, forcing brands to present a superior omnichannel experience to meet the expectations and demands of consumers. However, some brands struggle to do so because they lack sufficient awareness of their customers’ needs and preferences.

According to Jorge Amar, Julian Raabe, and Stefan Roggenhofer in their McKinsey.com article, “Companies seeking to keep pace with industry leaders must embark on an omnichannel transformation — one that views touchpoints not in isolation but as part of a seamless customer journey. And since customer journeys aren’t simple and linear but a series of handoffs between traditional and digital channels that can vary significantly by customer type, an effective strategy requires an in-depth understanding of what customers truly want.”

In order to ensure success, brands need to focus on understanding the preferences and wants of their target audience.

Omni-channel-Illustration-shopping

Provide Quality Digital Customer Care

More and more customers prefer to shop digitally and seek out customer care online. Many brands have capitalized on this trend by focusing on developing a robust omnichannel presence. However, brands that design a digital channel prematurely often fail to provide adequate online support channels for their customers.

Some brand marketers believe that the customer’s desire for customer-employee interactions is diminishing due to growing technology. But, trends indicate that the volume of engagement and the number of touchpoints actually continue to increase. This shows that brands need to ensure that they are providing effective and positive engagement with customers through digital channels.

Brand marketers who fail to provide adequate customer care online find that customers make multiple visits to their website in order to receive the help and assistance that they require. This leaves shoppers frustrated and dissatisfied, decreasing sales and conversions for your brand. Concentrate on efforts to understand how to effectively help your customers, and ensure that you offer productive digital avenues through which they can seek assistance.

Know Your Shoppers’ Personas

To effectively reach and engage with customers, brand marketers need to be aware of the different types of segments they’re targeting. The four most common categories of shoppers include: digital by lifestyle, digital by choice, digital by need, and offline society. Each consumer group has unique shopping needs, and brands need to prepare marketing approaches for each of them.

As Amar, Raabe, and Roggenhofer explain, “Best practice is to design primary service for each segment, using contact volume distribution and persona profiles that differentiate by digital behavior to determine engagement strategies and the necessary investments in each channel.” Different types of consumers will respond to different marketing tactics, so brand marketers need to get creative to effectively reach a large audience of shoppers.

More and more customers demand personalized journey fit their needs. The first step for brands to achieve this is to understand the shopping preference of their target consumer groups.

Some consumer segments respond more to online advertisements, whereas others are more touched by physical marketing materials such as direct mail that drives them to brick-and-mortar stores where they can experience a personal connection with the brand. Therefore, brands should focus on developing marketing strategies that serve each persona group based on their shopping preferences in conjunction with omnichannel digital efforts.

cashier handing credit card back to customer - sales person

Train Employees to Put the Customer First

A superb omnichannel experience does not stop at the completed purchasing transaction. It now extends to seamless customer handoffs across the channel from pre-purchase interaction to after-purchase follow-ups by the customer service, via online or face to face. To provide a superb omnichannel experience, brands need to recognize the importance of employee training to fulfill the pre and post-purchase phases of the customer journey.

Well trained brand employees should be able to identify customer needs and cater to their services accordingly. In order to do so, they must receive the right kind of training. Ensure that your training is creative, effective, and designed with the customer in mind. The better the coaching, the better the service, and it translates into higher demand and increased sales for your brand. It’s integral that your workforce has the right skill sets to offer effective customer care. Eventually, this will help to refine the strategy based on brand performance in the long run.

When complex issues arise, employees need to be able to provide feasible solutions and give customers a seamless experience. Positive interactions help employees develop meaningful relationships with consumers, which serves to drive sales and bring in a higher number of loyal customers for your brand. The happier a customer feels when they leave your store or website, it’s more likely that they will recommend your product to others.

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No two consumers are the same. Each consumer segment has unique shopping needs and responds to different marketing methods. Brands need to make an effort to understand what their target customers want and implement ways to effectively deliver it.

Providing high-quality customer service and productive assistance through digital channels, personalizing the shopping experience for target groups, and training brand representatives to follow a customer-centric mindset are useful ways to deepen your understanding of what your customers want, generate demand, and drive sales.

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There’s a New Sheriff in Town: How to Market to Generation Z

gen-z-holding arms together

Predictions indicate that by 2020, Generation Z (Gen Z) shoppers will make up 40% of the consumer industry. This generation, comprised of people who were born after 1995, are a new breed of customers.

Consequently, brands need to take specific consideration when it comes to marketing strategies that will effectively target this group.

According to the Forbes Expert Panel and Business Development Council in their article, “This powerful consumer base is the next group of consumers that can help your business grow its revenue, as long as you take note of them now and prepare your marketing strategies to cater to their needs.”

In order to ensure future success, brands need to begin implementing strategies to draw in Gen Z shoppers. By not doing so, you could miss the mark on future profits from this emerging consumer group.

So, what marketing strategies can brands employ to effectively draw in and engage with Gen Z?

woman shopping on tablet

Meet Them in Their Natural Habitat

Generation Z is highly detached and tech-centric. The online is their comfort zone, so brands should start their marketing efforts on social platforms with clean and straight forward brand messaging; utilizing various touch points and forms of media along the way.

Gen Z shoppers spend time doing their research on products. They read multiple reviews of a product before making a purchasing decision. The user-generated content (UGC) by other customers significantly impact the decision-making process of the Gen Z shoppers.

So, it is important to ensure that your product has positive reviews and comments that are contributed by previous users on popular online platforms. It is a powerful way to not only increase your brand awareness but also impact Gen Z shoppers’ opinions regarding the value of your product and brand.

Entertain Them

Because technology has largely impacted the nature of their upbringing, many Gen Z shoppers have a shorter attention span than previous generations. In order to draw them in and keep them engaged, brand marketers need to focus on providing authentic interactions that will keep these shoppers coming back.

Forbes’ expert panel member Lisa Box explains, “To win with Gen Z, marketers have to evolve from informing to delighting, from celebrity to authenticity, and from generic to predictive.” This consumer group looks for brands that grab their attention and identify what they need for them.

Develop fun and catchy marketing assets that will simultaneously entertain and dazzle them into your store to make a purchase. A useful method is to come up with interactive games to play with Gen Z shoppers in-store and advertise them using vibrant and interactive signage. Then awarding them with personalized reward toward purchasing would be even more ideal. This will attract and entice this growing group of consumers to interact with your brand.

customer-satisfaction on ipad

Advertise Based on Benefits and Results

Gen Z shoppers don’t trust a product simply because the brand says it’s a good product. They are mostly driven by results that they can see. To generate demand among this group of consumers, brand marketers need to clearly and effectively show them the benefits of a product.

Showing them what they can achieve by using the product will maximize the sale of your products as well as elevate your brand’s status as an expert who understands their lifestyle and needs.

Once the relationship is established, Gen Z shoppers will likely become your brand ambassadors by influencing their friends and acquaintances by promoting your products and brands.

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Gen Z shoppers are growing as a segment, and businesses need to prepare for this emerging group of consumers. Because they have different qualities and needs from other consumer groups, brand marketers need to focus on developing new marketing tactics to effectively advertise to them.

Reviews, entertainment, and results are important factors for Gen Z shoppers when it comes to making purchases. Using creative marketing materials, such as signs and POS displays, to show off positive reviews, provide entertainment, and demonstrate product benefits is an effective way to draw in and connect with Gen Z shoppers. By understanding this emerging consumer group, brands can capitalize on new opportunities to directly engage with them.

And by working with a trusted partner who can help you prepare for the emergence of Gen Z shoppers, your brand can increase competitiveness in quality, effectiveness, and providing delightful customer experience.

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2020 Shopper Marketing: Are You Ready For This New Wave of Consumers?

woman holding mobile phone shopping

Due to advances in technology and society, the way that consumers shop is radically changing. And consequently, according to Robert I. Tomei at IRI, the future is looking up for marketers.

Analysts predict to characterize the 2020 shopper by multicultural diversity, age, and technology.

Hispanic consumers, as well as Millennials, are beginning to dominate the shopping world. And the majority of them are using their smartphones or laptops to do it.

So, how can marketers and businesses prepare for the 2020 shopper?

Millemmial Marketing

Use Digital Platforms to Better Meet the 2020 Shopper’s Needs

More and more 2020 shoppers turn to their smartphones first before making a purchase in order to compare prices and search for different products. However, many of them do still prefer shopping at brick and mortar stores where they can actually see and feel a product before purchasing it.

The best method for marketers is to combine these two experiences. The first step is to build a strong online platform that drives customers into the store. Then, establish a positive connection in store to keep them engaged and satisfied with their purchases, so they’ll keep coming back.

Use digital platforms as well as legacy marketing assets to appeal to the habits of the 2020 shopper. The better in sync your physical and digital marketing efforts are, the stronger your brand will be in their minds.

Employ Marketing Techniques that Relate Specifically to the 2020 Shopper

As Tomei explains, “There is no such thing as a simple, one-size-fits-all marketing and sales strategy in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.”

To succeed, Tomei suggests marketers need to do three things:

  1. Understand the emerging 2020 shopper.
  2. Use their preferred digital platforms and channels to engage with them.
  3. Drive them into retail stores for experiences that convert.

The 2020 shopper is looking for a customized experience, one that’s tailored to their needs. The easier the process is for them to find and purchase what they need, the more satisfied they will be. And the more likely they will return, as a result.

hand holding mobile phone with AR

Remain Up to Speed with Market Changes

The 2020 shopper is shaping up to be different from the kinds of consumer groups that previously dominated the market, and therefore will respond differently to legacy marketing strategies and assets. For this reason, new tactics will need to be employed to reach them.

Marketers must remain agile to the constant changes that occur within the consumer industry and react swiftly by taking advantage of new ways to reach customers as they are made available.

The success of your brand depends on how well you can adapt and utilize these changes. A flexible supply chain and responsive marketing operations will be critical.

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The 2020 shopper is going to be more diverse, younger, and more connected to technology than previous consumers. By taking advantage of these factors, marketers can relate directly to the 2020 shopper and offer a customized, streamlined consumer experience that meets their unique demands and keeps them loyal to your brand.

By working with a partner who can help you prepare for the 2020 shopper and take advantage of new methods to reach them, your brand can compete in the ever-changing consumer market, instead of being left in the dust.

 

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For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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