Category

Retail Trends

Future of CPG Marketing:
Building a Winning Strategy

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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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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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Why NVISION?

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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Three Key Tips to Gain Competitive Advantage in CPG

man looking at consumer product at a grocery store

Undeniably, the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry faces unique challenges. Over the past five years, many CPG brands have experienced a decline in revenue and profits. Brands are struggling to keep up with changes in the industry, and some are consequently falling behind as the broader retail landscape changes.

According to Bain & Company’s Matthew Meacham, François Faelli, Eduardo Giménez, and John Blasberg in their article, “When we analyzed the performance of 34 of the world’s top 50 consumer goods companies in the last few years, we made the unsettling discovery that 85% of those big companies had seen a decline in either revenues, profits or both.”

In order to ensure future success, brands need to find ways to combat the current challenges in the industry. So, what can CPG brands do to overcome the current crisis in the industry?

shadowed people with bubbles - account management

Be Agile with Emerging Trends

With advances in technology and the emergence of a new generation of shoppers, the CPG industry is constantly evolving. The wants and needs of customers are changing, along with the ways they shop. Brands that hope to survive in this ever-changing market need to keep up with the new trends.

One of the most significant trends is rapidly shifting in consumer behavior as they become more socially, environmentally, and health-conscious. This fast-growing trend contributed to the considerable disruption caused by small insurgent brands in many product categories, making the competition even more intense.

In order to support the new wave of consumers and to compete in the current market, brands should focus on establishing a robust multi-channel presence to connect with the target consumers where they are comfortable to interact and share.

When brands are aware of emerging market trends, they can come up with a plan to prepare for them ahead of time. By serving the consumer in the way they want to be served on par with the current trends, brands can outsmart the competition to be successful in the marketplace.

Reinvent Brand’s Image

Brand marketers need to start thinking “outside the box” when it comes to engaging with customers. Instead of relying solely on legacy marketing tactics, brands should consider ways to draw in customers that they haven’t used before.

Meacham, Faelli, Giménez, and Blasberg explain: “Winning companies will innovate their way out with new products, new systems, and new needs that help elevate their categories to premium status while increasing product and assortment penetration.”

If keeping up with the current trends is “today forward” strategy, brands also will need to take “future back” approach to set their own destiny and progressing toward it.

By redefining the vision for your brand, and your company – future back approach – to rearticulate a meaningful, sustainable, and consumer-driven purposes will inspire to reset the brand’s sense of urgency and to become the frontline innovator.

woman shopping on tablet - CPG

Directly Engage with Customers

Traditionally, most CPG brands don’t maintain a relationship with customers after they make a purchase. However, if brands take the initiative to connect and develop lasting relationships with their shoppers, they will drive sales and increase their opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

Adding the data-driven personalization in every customer touchpoint will significantly improve customer commitment to the brands, especially when a customer feels connected, understood, and valued by the brand.

One way is direct mail follow-ups with customers after they’ve purchased your product. Consumers typically respond positively to direct communication because they appreciate feeling that their feedback is important.

Also, brands should consider opening pop-up brick-and-mortar stores to improve engagement with consumers. Brands can more easily establish impactful connections with their shoppers in a physical store, where the entire consumer experience is curated by the brand.

There is no sales method more effective than good old-fashioned, positive, face-to-face interactions. When a customer leaves your store feeling like they’ve had a good experience, they are more likely to come back and also to encourage their friends and family members to shop there.

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The current crisis in the CPG industry doesn’t mean that your brand is doomed to struggle. Instead, brand marketers should see these market challenges as opportunities to redefine their business by thinking of new, creative ways to engage with customers and drive sales.

Making sure you stay in the know regarding new market trends, coming up with innovative ideas for products and marketing tactics, and putting in the effort to reach out and directly engage with your customers are important steps you can take as a CPG brand marketer in order to flourish in today’s challenging market. By understanding these useful actions, CPG brands are more likely to remain profitable and ensure a successful future for their business.

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Why NVISION?

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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Mixed Reality Marketing: Three-Dimensional Storytelling

man with vr goggle on

Marketers are always seeking the next big thing; whether its an emerging trend, a new generation of consumers, a viral social platform, or a technological innovation. Many experts predict that the “next big thing” for brand marketers is the Mixed Reality (MR).

Mixed Reality (MR), including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), is becoming more and more attractive. Technological advances give customers a whole new way to visualize and experience products in different settings.

According to David Roe in CMS Wire, “MR, also referred to as hybrid reality, is the technology that is used to merge real and virtual worlds and produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.” It is predicted that a staggering 100 million consumers will be using MR by 2020.

In order to ensure future success, brand marketers should stay ahead of the curve and be able to capitalize on the opportunities presented by advances in MR technologies. So, what can brands do to take advantage of MR technologies?

AR on magazine and direct mail

Reimagine Advertising

MR technology enables marketers to be creative with their advertising experience by placing the brand image closer to the eyes of consumers.

Brands can take customers on an experiential “test drive” of their product before making purchase decisions. This builds confidence in their product with ads that can transform UX and the buyer’s journey into the next level.

Using MR technology, brand marketers can also tailor their ads by applying consumer’s preferences where the content of each ad shifts by specific circumstances and even with different languages.

This will help brands tell a better story in a more compelling and a meaningfully interactive way. With Millennials and Gen Z becoming the prime consumer group, the early adopters will have the upper hand in providing a superb customer experience and staying ahead of the competition.

Let Users to Truly Connect

Where there is content, it gets shared. You and five billion other smartphone users instantly connect via various social platforms. AR and VR are the new channels that marketers should consider to increase brand awareness. It is a new way for consumers to connect with your products on a deeper level, from the first-person perspective

For example, home-building brands can implement ways for customers to visually rotate and move furniture online in 3-D, enabling them to more easily see which products look best to them. They can also “see” how various materials and finishes will look and feel in a digital mock-up of a home.

This new trend also bridges the gap between the old and the new. The traditional marketing tactics are evolving as digital and virtual technologies mature, becoming a new storytelling medium for a new revenue stream.

Especially in the form of AR, where no wearable device is required but your smartphone to connect consumers with your products. Simply point and scan brochures or catalogs with an AR app to make a purchase or receive relevant product information and tips.

female using interactive screen to customize shopping

ChatBots 24/7

Some service leaders are now using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual customer assistants (VCAs) as tools in their contact centers. Brand marketers should consider developing VCAs that can effectively interact with and provide technical support to customers.

By allowing well-equipped bots 24-7 to handle basic customer service queries, customers are cared for when needed, resulting in establishing trust-based relationships between customers and your brand. Using bots can also significantly reduce wait times for customers seeking assistance, which will increase customer satisfaction with your brand.

In the meantime, human representatives can focus solely on helping customers with complex, in-depth issues that require multi-layer customer support. As a result, they will become loyal shoppers and will recommend your brand to others.

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As new MR technologies become more available, brands need to capitalize on the different ways to use them in relation to consumers.

By assigning bots to assist customers with simple service inquiries, giving shoppers the opportunity to virtually test drive your products with AR before committing to a purchase, and provide a meaningful first-hand experience to connect with your products, brand marketers can enhance brand awareness, increasing demand generation to drive sales and revenue.

Related blogs:
2020 Shopper Marketing: Are You Ready For This New Wave of Consumers?
Looking Ahead: What Winning Customer Experiences Will Look Like in 2020
Top Brand Marketing Trends for 2019

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Why NVISION?

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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Retail Trends: Defining Your Strategic Roadmap

The retail industry today is more exciting than ever. With increases in technological advances, shopping has become a part of consumers’ everyday lives. Now, they can shop anytime and anywhere at their own convenience. The modern shopper is always in control, always in the “driver’s seat.” And they expect to have their shopping needs met by the brands they choose.

According to Kelly Bransten in Microsoft and PSFK’s eBook, “Success in this new era is dependent on understanding and anticipating the needs of customers at every stage of the retail journey.”

In order to ensure future success, brands need to find ways to capitalize on the emerging trends in the retail industry.

people looking up - crowd

Create Raving Fans

Shoppers want a customer-first kind of experience. And, with increased technology, brands are now able to gather valuable consumer data to help them accomplish exactly that. Consumers today are more open to sharing their data with brands, but they expect a more personalized shopping experience in return.

To deliver a more exceptional experience using customer data, brands first need to understand what kind of information is necessary. Once they have gathered the appropriate data, brand marketers should send personalized recommendations that address the individual needs of the shopper. These recommendations can be delivered electronically as emails or physically in the form of creative, attractive direct mailers. When customers feel their individual needs have been met by your brand, they’ll be more likely to make purchases in the future, and to recommend your brand to others.

Consumers are more likely to give out personal information to brands when they feel they will receive exceptional service in return. So, one way to incentivize customers to share their personal data is to offer exchange benefits such as discounts, loyalty points, and access to special, recommended deals. This exchange of information also helps establish trust between the customer and brand marketer, resulting in a higher conversion of raving fans for the brand.

Ensure Positive Brand-Customer Interactions

In the retail industry, it is extremely important for customers to have positive interactions with brand representatives. As a result, brands need to focus on training employees to be knowledgeable, so that they can provide accurate information when discussing their products with shoppers. They also need to be equipped and ready to present useful solutions to any problem. When brand representatives are passionate about the products they’re selling, they are positively impacting the minds of potential buyers.

As the experts at Microsoft and PSFK explain, “Despite collecting a variety of insights on individual shoppers from their online browsing behaviors, purchase history, loyalty membership and location, most companies fail to develop this information into an actionable customer view.”

Brands need to know how to effectively capitalize on customer data in order to drive sales and increase revenue. And they can do exactly that when they have well-trained, knowledgeable employees representing their brand.

When customers leave your store feeling satisfied with their interaction, they are more likely to shop with your brand again, and to recommend your superior service to friends and family members.

hand holding mobile phone with AR

Capitalize on Advances in Technology

Some brands are differentiating themselves by implementing data-driven initiatives that help them offer innovative products that have not previously been introduced to the market. They are able to do so by analyzing customer preferences and shopping patterns.

To more effectively fulfill customers’ expectations, some brands are utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) systems to unify their customer journeys across all channels. These systems notify employees when a shopper has entered the store, and then automatically trigger the delivery of recommendations. With this technological approach, brand employees are instantaneously informed of the arrival of a new customer, enabling them to more efficiently provide personalized service and assist the customer in their shopping process. This empowers brands to achieve more sales as well as higher customer satisfaction rates.

Brands should conduct Research and Development with customer needs always at the top of mind. By logging consumers’ in-store behaviors, interactions with products and employees, shopping patterns, and feedback, brands can develop a deeper understanding of their customers’ shopping needs. Using this understanding, they are able to respond better to the nuances of their shoppers, thus improving the customer experience.

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The retail industry is changing, and new trends are emerging. In order to remain profitable in this new age, retail brands need to adapt to these changes and find ways to capitalize on them.

Personalizing the customer experience to meet shoppers’ individual needs, ensuring that your employees have the training and knowledge necessary to engage in positive interactions with consumers, and effectively utilizing technological advances to your marketing advantage are important steps you can take as a brand marketer in order to flourish in this ever-changing market. By understanding these useful actions, retail brands are more likely to remain profitable and ensure a successful future for their business.

Related blogs:

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Why NVISION?

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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